Top tips for entering The Marketing Society Awards in 2021

We asked our 2021 awards judges ‘What advice would you offer brands entering our awards to make their entry stand out?’ Here’s what they had to say;

Be clear on the issue you are resolving and what customer insight you are leveraging. Ensure you have clear KPI’s and results to demonstrate not only creative excellence but also effectiveness.
- Radha Davies, Brand Development Director- UK and EMEA, Virgin Group

  • Tell a story– make your submission a compelling read. As a judge, we’ll have a pile of entries to read, so your entry needs to catch our attention and keep it!
  • Be clear and concise about what the customer and/or business problem the campaign is solving.
  • Imagine you were unsuccessful– when you have written your entry, a good technique is to imagine you were unsuccessful; then ask yourself, what would I have done differently to get the few extra marks?
    - Natalie Truong, CMO, Mercer

Excellent marketing is more than a good product, an effective campaign, and a profitable result. Excellence is novel and distinctive, valuable and inspiring. It’s your Nobel prize, your Olympic gold medal. In marketing, excellence is about harnessing the power of great insight and human ingenuity, to deliver inspired outcomes and positive impact. So, how to stand out? Focus on what makes your story outstanding. What is unusual and important, and make it inspiring and memorable. If you were presenting to Jeff Bezos, he would demand it on one page. Anne Wojcicki would seek your personal story. Satya Nadella wants to know what difference it will make; not just for marketing, but to the long-term value of the business, to customers and society. Insight. Ingenuity. Impact.
- Peter Fisk, Genius Works

Tell a story, Make it one you’d like to read. Be genuine. Focus on tangible, meaningful results. Get someone not involved to check it.
- Chris Macleod, TfL

Blend the inspiration and perspiration in your entry. What is unique, original and creative about the case, how did it engage consumers and how can it stir others to greatness? However, equally importantly, how did it bring value to the business or entity – and what was the commercial impact relative to it’s objectives? The results need to be robust.
- Steve Challouma, General Manager, Birds Eye UK

Be original. Keep your entry focused. And remember to describe how you influenced the way that your customers think, feel or behave.
- Martin George, Customer Director, Waitrose

Explain how you used the media plan to amplify creativity. Historically we thought of “advertising” and “media” as unique and separate spaces. The advertising department developed advertising and then passed it on to the media department to air. Today the lines between advertising and media are blurred, with the latter playing a much more important role in driving and amplifying creativity.
- Andy Daly, Vice President, Global Pampers Upstream Innovation at P&G

Substantiate your results and tell a story.
- Lindsey Clay, CEO, Thinkbox

My advice would be for entrants to tell a compelling story and to share this in a captivating way. It is important to be clear on your objectives and to focus on tangible, meaningful results which reflect back upon them. I also look for really new and unique thinking which pushes the boundaries and keeps true human/customer insight at the core.
- Mahmood Ahmed, HSBC

I’ll be looking for how the marketing resonates with actual humans - if people ‘get it’, it will drive value.
- Rebecca Dibbs-Simkin, Octopus Energy


Read their full interviews here and then head over to our awards page to find out everything you need to know about entering.