In this book, I have shared more than 14 marketing awards we have won for our new marketing techniques. I get asked for a lot for secrets on how to win.
Our Basic Best Practices
We work to make each one easy to read, not overtly technical. We are also careful to explain simply the technology used from IBM. Remember that you know your work deeply, and the judges don’t have time to learn it! Finally, keep your submission to less than 500 words. Mark Twain once wrote, “I would have written a shorter book if I had had the time.”
Writing the Awards Submission
- Why we should win: It is important upfront to sum up your value in the front part of the submission. Not everyone does that, but I like to tell the judges what we have done that is unique and justifies the award.
- Program goal: Tell the judges why you did the campaign or developed the asset and your goal in doing so.
- Summary of the tactic: Plus relevant results.
- Materials: List where the materials can be found online.
To see these elements in action, look at the submission that Mary Hall, a brilliant marketer on my team, did for the MarCom Awards for INNOV8.
Why We Should Win: Using the format of a movie trailer is an innovative way to use the web as a canvas to paint the picture of how users can develop a business process. Modeling a business process is an area that might be considered dull. However, the medium of the game and its sneak preview video on YouTube are designed to draw the viewer in and demonstrate modeling a business process in a way that is easy to understand and fun. This concept of using a game as a learning tool for software technology is innovative and IBM is one of the first to market this.
Program Goal: Innov8 is IBM’s new video game designed to bridge the gap in understanding between IT teams and business leaders in an organization. The game, which was announced at IBM’s Impact 2007 conference in May 2007, is described by Business Week magazine as a tool to “help tech managers better understand the roles of business people, and vice versa.
Players go into a virtual business unit to test their hand at ventures such as redesigning a call center, opening a brokerage account, or processing an insurance claim.”
Summary of the Tactic: Innov8 is a sneak preview of a video game that puts a business person in a virtual office with the task of constructing a more efficient company. The game is meant to address how organizations can improve a company’s internal business processes. Process improvement is a critical component to service-oriented architectures (SOA). It’s a way of designing software as a series of linked, modular business services. The software for modeling and deploying these designs is called business process management (BPM).
In the game, a person is given a series of tasks from the CEO, including understanding a single business process, and then finding the bottlenecks that slow it down. Participants use a joystick to navigate around a virtual office where they can speak to other employees, such as in the call center operation, and report back to executives. In the end, workers are assessed with a score on how well they did. More than 2,000 universities downloaded the game, and 37 are using it to teach full-course curriculum.
What to Do After You Submit
- Call and e-mail the judges to follow up after you submit your award nomination.
- Set up a time to talk to them to brief them on the award.
- Be energetic and passionate when you talk to them. If you don’t believe you should win, don’t expect anyone else to pick you as the winner.
- Offer to demonstrate the submission to them, live or on the phone. This is important. These are busy people, so see if you can get them to take the time to really look at your entry.
- Send them any good customer comments or references you have on the entry. Show them the material was of value to customers, not just to your company.