Why Awards Should be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Why Awards Should be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Why Awards Should be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

From Start-ups and SMEs, to huge global organisations we all have and need a marketing strategy. And no matter your budget, awards should be included.

Awards can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to marketing. But an awards strategy can help to boost your business and brand awareness, all at a low cost with big impact.

A professional awards strategy will;

  • Help you choose the most valuable awards with the biggest return on investment
  • Help you decide the most relevant categories you are most likely to win
  • Help you manage and meet all your deadlines
  • Help you establish a workflow (for gathering vital evidence etc.)
  • Help you budget for the whole awards process (entry fees, ceremonies etc.)

So if you want to; enter awards you have the biggest chance of winning, raise your brand’s profile, recognise your team’s hard work, stop missing important industry awards, and put an end to submitting rushed last-minute losing entries…

You need an awards strategy! And if you’re not sure how to create one, we can help.

Here’s why awards should be part of your marketing strategy;

1) RECOGNITION

Whether you’re a winner, runner-up or a finalist, the third-party recognition you receive is invaluable. It will reinforce your marketing messages and raise your profile, so when you say you’re the best, you can prove that you really are!

Winning an award shows your existing customers you are trustworthy, reliable and a good business to spend their money with. And for new customers, being award-winning will give them a reason to choose you over their competitors.

Also, an award win, or finalist announcement will impress existing stakeholders and shareholders, and can be an effective tool to win over prospective investors.

2) ADDITIONAL PR COVERAGE

Becoming a finalist of awards with connections to local, national and industry press means you can benefit from FREE PR, saving you ££££s!

Awards such as The National Business Awards in 2019 partnered with The i, The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post. Similarly, The Amazon Scale-Up Awards are organised by Business Leader Magazine. Both awards publish finalists and winners in articles that reach a huge readership.

Industry trade magazines often run their own awards programme and will publish you as a result of your participation – getting you valuable industry coverage.

3) LOW-COST LOW-RISK MARKETING

Marketing campaigns usually require a big budget. But entering awards is a relatively low-cost exercise that has a fast impact on your results.

Depending on the awards programme, entry fees can range from being free to a couple hundred pounds. By creating an awards strategy you can make decisions on which awards to enter based on your budget.

If you win, you have spent a small amount and achieved a huge result. If you are a finalist you have still gained valuable exposure. And if you don’t win this time, you will learn from the experience, and it won’t affect your bottom line.

4) BRAND AWARENESS

Awards can present some fantastic opportunities for networking, partnerships and sponsorships. All of which will increase your brand’s exposure and awareness in your chosen industries – which is a great way to find new customers and partners.

Award ceremonies are huge events attended by CEOs, business leaders and decision-makers.

If you want to grow in an industry you supply, getting yourself invited to an awards ceremony where your ideal customer will be is the perfect opportunity for exposure. You can network and create relationships with the brands you are interested in, either as clients or as collaborators.

Sponsoring and partnering with an awards programme will require a bigger budget, but if you choose the right event for you it can have a huge ROI. Again, having an awards strategy can help you decide the best opportunities for your business.

5) PROJECT MANAGEMENT

When you make awards part of your marketing strategy, an awards strategy will help you manage your time and the entry process.

We get so many enquiries from companies wanting to enter an important industry award where the deadline is as little as a week away! Usually because they have received a final deadline reminder and it was not part of their marketing strategy.

Depending on the length of the entry, the project you are entering and how many people are involved, you will need to plan in how much time is needed to gather the evidence, create the story and complete the entry.

With an awards strategy in place you can plan time for each step of the entry process; writing a first draft, editing, second draft, final edits, signoff and submission.

Planning time for all these steps will radically reduce stress and improve the quality of your entries, giving you a much higher chance of success.

HOW TO WIN AWARDS AND BOOST YOUR BUSINESS

Entering awards takes time, energy, and requires skill but it is worth it!

If you are ready to enter awards contact us to find out how our award writing experts can take the pressure off and write your entries for you. Or read our tips on how to write a winning award entry.

Take advantage of our full bespoke awards package where we can create your awards strategy, write your award entries and support you throughout the whole process.

9 out of 10 clients win when we fully support them with our full awards service.

Get in touch today for your free consultation and find out how we can help you build your brand through awards recognition.

 

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Personal Branding for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Personal Branding for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Personal Branding for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

We were honoured to be invited to the Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator Brighton Hub to talk about the importance of awards for personal branding and thought leadership.

Hosted by Natwest Entrepreneur Development Manager Kristina Pereckaite, the #PowerUp your Personal Brand event was a wonderful opportunity to talk to aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders, giving them actionable takeaways to improve their personal brands.

WINNING AWARDS TO BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

Personal Branding, Donna O'Toole, business awards, Entrepreneur and Business Leader Awards, Entrepreneur Awards, Business Leader Awards, Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator

August CEO Donna O’Toole took to the stage to inspire the room to take their personal branding seriously and enhance their reputation!

Donna shared her entrepreneurial story and demonstrated how you can use your unique story and business results to win awards and raise your profile, no matter the size of your business.

Gaining external credibility and recognition from awards verifies your achievements and gives you third-party credibility, which instils trust in your expertise and ultimately business. Winning awards gives you valuable PR opportunities, fantastic networking events, and provides a step-up to the next level in your entrepreneurial journey.

PERSONAL BRANDING 101

Personal Branding, Donna O'Toole, business awards, Entrepreneur and Business Leader Awards, Entrepreneur Awards, Business Leader Awards, Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator

The panel consisted of five personal branding gurus. All focusing on their own area of expertise;

  • Donna O’Toole our very own awards expert, talked the audience through getting into the right awards competitions and how to write your entry for the best chance of winning.
  • Kerry Watkins founder of Social Brighton ran-through some thought-provoking activities about the impact of personal LinkedIn profiles on your personal brand.
  • Jude Bolton, founder of Speaking Works demonstrated the importance of voice, breathing and balance when public speaking or presenting in business pitches.
  • Louise Stevenson, CEO of Speakeasy Coaching demonstrated how to exude confidence when speaking, and how to inject humour for audience engagement.
  • Personal Branding Coach Vicky Booker explained how physical appearance (clothes, make-up, grooming etc.) impacts on how you are perceived, and what message your image gives to prospective customers and partners.

It was great to hear from each one of the fantastic speakers. Everyone in the room was excited to take their hints and tips and start improving their personal brands and we are looking forward to seeing the accelerator entrepreneurs start winning awards for their achievements soon!

 

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International Customer Experience Awards Winners 2019

International Customer Experience Awards Winners 2019

International Customer Experience Awards Winners 2019

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AWARDS WINNERS 2019

We were thrilled to attend and judge at the 2019 International Customer Experience Awards Finals held in Amsterdam.

Inspiring international organisations are recognised for their exceptional customer experience. SMEs, large global businesses and professionals from all industries compete to win.

If you’ve innovated, transformed or are leading your industry in CX these are one of the awards you need to win!

PRESENTATIONS TO THE JUDGES

The awards follow the same format as the UK Customer Experience Awards.

Finalists present to the judges during the daytime event before finding out the winners in the evening. So no need to wait months to find out if you’ve won.

Presentations are 15 minutes long with an additional 15 minute Q&A with the judges. The judges’ questions help to bag some last-minute points you may have missed in your presentation and could be the difference between Gold and Silver!

International Customer Experience Awards, International Customer Experience Awards winners 2019, Business Awards, Customer Experience Awards, Awards International, business awards, August The Awards Consultancy, Donna O'Toole, Awards Judge, Awards Expert

Our CEO, Donna O’Toole was part of the judging panel for Most Effective Customer Experience in Social Media category this year. She said,

“It was great to be a part of the international customer experience awards and to see some of the incredible customer experience transformations being made across the world! It’s great to meet the teams behind them and hear exactly how they have made a mark on their businesses and customers.”

“Judging the entries is always an interesting activity, and seeing the hard work of the entrants come to life in a face-to-face presentation is a real privilege. It’s an incredibly revealing process; there is nowhere to hide when it comes to the judge’s questions, but the best teams always shine bright in the end.”

Attendees were invited to watch the finalists present to the judges. A fantastic opportunity to gain insights into the current customer experience trends (and check out the competition).

Throughout the day the venue is a hub for networking, sharing a coffee and lunch with colleagues, and connecting with sponsors.

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AWARDS WINNERS 2019

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Winners included Telkom Indonesia, The Holly Private Hospital, Dell, HP, KCB Group and many more very happy teams!

Silver awards were given to the very close runners up who included Shell, Caterpillar, TUI Benelux and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

And there are even bronze awards for the very best of the rest, including tado, E.ON and Sberbank.

We would like to say a huge congratulations to all the winners at this years’ International Customer Experience Awards, and to all the finalists. And a huge thank you to Awards International for organising such a successful event.

International Customer Experience Awards 2019, International Customer Experience Awards Winners 2019, Internationl Customer Experience Awards, Customer Experience Awards, International Business Awards, Awards International, Donna O'Toole, August The Awards Consultancy, Awards experts, how to win awards

WINNING OPPORTUNITIES

The awards don’t stop there.

Two weeks after the event, all finalists receive a feedback report from the judges, providing invaluable insights and comments on where they excelled, how they compared to the winner, and where to improve for next year.

The International Customer Experience Awards will open again in 2020. But before they do, winners need to be shouting about their win. And finalists, we’d love to hear from you!

We can help you to understand where you dropped points and what your next steps should be. Contact us today to book in your free consultation call.

And we look forward to the 2020 awards which promise to be bigger and better!

 

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UK Employee Experience Awards 2020

UK Employee Experience Awards 2020

UK Employee Experience Awards 2020

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

 UK EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE AWARDS 2020

The 2020 UK Employee Experience Awards are OPEN for entries. Deadline 31st January 2020.

If you have,

  • Outstanding initiatives that have improved your employees’ life at work,
  • Transformed your learning and development,
  • Or improved your customer experience through your employees’ success

This is your chance to get top class recognition.

Entering the awards means you can showcase your initiatives, celebrate your team’s dedication and compete with the best companies.

SMEs, start-ups, B2B, B2C and large global organisations are invited to enter. If you have happy employees, and good results – no matter your size – you can win.

The awards also send feedback reports to all finalists. The reports include judges comments, your scores and how you compare the winners. A fantastic tool to benchmark your performance and see how you performed.

2020 CATEGORIES

There are 11 categories in the UK Employee Experience Awards to choose from,

Employee Training and Development
Employee Engagement
Health and Wellbeing of its People
Delivering Customer Experience
Best Company to Work For
Employee-Centric Company
Business Transformation and Managing Change
Innovative Employee Engagement
Use of Digital Technologies
Team of the Year
HR Professional of the Year

Top Tip: When choosing your category, make sure your company/project fits ALL the criteria.

ENTRY PROCESS

Stage 1 – Written Entry

Entries are 2000 words. Including a summary and 8 criteria points to complete; Business strategy Goals and Objectives, Planning and Preparation, Stakeholder Engagement, Implementation, Impacts and Benefits, Innovation and Creativity, Lessons learned, Professional Competence (for people categories only).

Read our top tips on how to write a winning entry here, or get in touch for our help.

Stage 2 – Finalist Presentations

If you’re shortlisted, the next stage will be to present to the judges at the awards finals.

Your written entry will account for 50% of your total score. Your presentation will make up the final 50% to give your final score and decide if you are the winner.

Presentations are 30 minutes long: 15 minute presentation and 15 minute judges Q&A.

The awards have a unique format. The presentations take place on the same day as the awards ceremony. Meaning only one day out of the office and no need to wait months for the result!

Here are our top tips on creating an awards presentation that will wow the judges. Or we can create your presentation and coach you to win.

9 out of 10 of our clients win when we create their written entry and coach them through the presentation stage.

DATES AND FEES

EARLY BIRD ENTRY DEADLINE: 20th December 2019
The early bird price is £199. And extra categories are £99 when ordered together. Pay for your entry before 20th December to secure the early bird price and you will still have until 31st January to submit your full entry.

ENTRY DEADLINE: 31st January 2020
The standard entry price is £299 with extra entries for £169 when ordered together.

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED: 10th February 2020

AWARDS PRESENTATION AND FINALS: 14th May 2020, Park Plaza Riverbank, London

WINNING AT THE UK EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE AWARDS

If you have happy employees and good business results you should enter the UK Employee Experience Awards.

Contact us today to find out how we can give you the very best chance of winning, saving you time, energy and money.

We recently attended and judged at the UK Customer Experience Awards. And we achieved a 100% win rate for our clients. Awards International run both the EXAs and CXAs and they follow the same format. You can read about our experience at the CXAs here to get a feel for the event.

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

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read more

UK Customer Experience Awards Winners 2019

UK Customer Experience Awards Winners 2019

UK Customer Experience Awards Winners 2019

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

UK CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AWARDS WINNERS 2019

We were thrilled to attend and judge at the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards Finals held at Wembley Stadium. And it was a HUGE event!

The awards were celebrating their 10 year anniversary. Year after year they’ve grown to become one of the biggest CX events in the world.

Inspiring organisations are recognised for their exceptional customer experience. SMEs, large global businesses and professionals from all industries compete to win.

If you’ve innovated, transformed or are leading your industry in CX these are one of the awards you need to win!

PRESENTATIONS TO THE JUDGES

UK Customer Experience Awards - Team of the Year

The awards have a unique format. Finalists present to the judges ‘Dragon’s Den’ style during the daytime event before finding out the winners in the evening. So no need to wait months to find out if you’ve won.

Presentations last 30 minutes, with 15 minutes to present and up to 15 minutes Q&A with the judges. The judges want you to succeed, and their questions help to bag some last minute points you may have missed in your presentation and could be the difference between Gold and Silver!

Our CEO, Donna O’Toole was Chair of judges for the Team of the Year category this year. She said,

“There are some incredible customer experience transformations being made across the whole of the UK today. It’s great to meet the teams behind them and hear exactly how they have made a mark on their businesses and customers.”

“Judging the entries is always an interesting activity, and seeing the hard work of the entrants come to life in a face-to-face presentation is a real privilege. It’s an incredibly revealing process; there is nowhere to hide when it comes to the judge’s questions, but the best teams always shine bright in the end.”

Attendees were invited to watch the finalists present to the judges. A fantastic opportunity to gain insights into the current customer experience trends (and check out the competition).

Throughout the day Wembley Stadium is a hub for networking, sharing a coffee and lunch with colleagues, and connecting with sponsors. At this year’s event you could even get your professional headshots for free from Splash Media!

UK CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AWARDS WINNERS 2019

20191010_194426

Businesswear swapped for black tie attire, finalists, judges, sponsors and guests took to the Three Lions Bar for a celebratory and well-deserved glass of Champagne.

Winners included CPM International, Knight Frank, Aviva, Direct Line Group, Octopus Energy, BT and many more very happy teams!

Silver awards were given to the very close runners up who included SearchFlow, CODE Students, and Green Flag.

And there are even bronze awards for the very best of the rest, including Capita, HiB and Littlefish.

It was also a joyous evening for our team. We achieved a 100% win rate for our clients who we’d supported through both the entry and presentation stages. There is no better feeling than seeing our clients win for their impressive initiatives!

We would like to say a huge congratulations to all the winners at this years’ UK Customer Experience Awards, and to all the finalists. And a huge thank you to Awards International for organising such a successful event.

WINNING OPPORTUNITIES

The UKCXAs don’t stop there.

Two weeks after the event, all finalists receive a feedback report from the judges, providing invaluable insights and comments on where they excelled, how they compared to the winner, and where to improve for next year.

The UK Customer Experience Awards will open again on the 14th February 2020. But before they do you could be entering the UK Employee Experience Awards. If you have a fantastic CX you likely have brilliant employees making that happen too – so why not get the recognition you and they deserve and show the world why you are a winner!

Contact us today to find out how we can help you to win gold and get valuable recognition for your brand.

And fingers crossed we will see you at the 2020 awards finals!

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

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