Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Did you know that TRUST has now become the #2 reason that people buy, beaten to the top of the list only by PRICE.

I get it.

For far too long, our lives have been dominated by fake news, political u-turns, bluffing, blagging and bad behaviour. We’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly tell us ‘their truth’ only to get called out for misleading us five minutes later.

This year, people have lost their jobs, their holidays, and their hard-earned money as companies struggled to deliver on their promise and customer experience went out the window.

In the worst cases, responsibility got shifted around, communications became impossible, and small print was activated to protect companies from paying out whilst their customers’ cries for help fell on deaf ears.

Well, enough’s enough. It’s time to go back to basics, it’s time to remember that old adage:

“Actions speak louder than words”

Now more than ever, consumers need to see and feel why they should trust a company with their money, loyalty, and recommendation. And thankfully there are plenty of companies out there who ARE doing the right thing.

And thanks to websites, social media and online review platforms, it doesn’t take long for a consumer to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to choosing who to trust to buy from, or who to do business with nowadays.

So what can you do to make sure your next potential customer KNOWS they can trust you?

First and foremost, just do the right thing!

Stick to your word. Act with honesty, compassion and empathy. And look after your employees, because they will only be able to (or want to) look after your customers if you are truly looking after them.

In my recent podcast with Ian Golding, International CX specialist and Chairman of the Customer Experience Awards he explains how you can create an award-winning customer experience if you do this one thing now.

And when it comes to winning awards, I judge hundreds of entries, and direct my team to craft even more every year, and I promise you this: talk is cheap. The companies who can prove that they truly live and breathe their values will always win.

So…

Don’t tell the judges that you are ‘diverse’ – be it!
Don’t tell the judges that you care about your employees’ well-being – show it! (hint: fruit bowls and ping pong tables really don’t prove that point!)
Don’t tell the judges you care about the community/environment/charity – invest in it!

You get the picture.

Be real. Be Fair. Be relatable. Be kind. Be transparent, and you will be trustworthy.

Then SHOW your customers that they can truly trust you by using valuable and visible trust signals on your website and all your marketing materials. Add reviews, up-to-date awards logos, feedback and case studies to make it easy for a potential buyer to see what you are doing well, and you’ll see your business blossom. One of our clients saw his sales rise by 30% within weeks of adding a credible awards logo to his website, because that logo implicitly said ‘You can trust us with your money and your time’ to everyone who saw it!

So if you don’t have recent business awards or don’t know if you’re ready to win, head over to our unique Business Awards Test to find out what you need to do to win today.

Of course trust is also an important factor in entering awards, and in my podcast interviews with the UK’s leading awards organisers you’ll hear me question them, explore their processes and find out exactly how their programmes work, so that you know you can trust them too.

Lastly, thank you for trusting me to bring you honest and open awards advice, it’s been a true pleasure helping to strengthen so many brands to come through 2020 with a renewed sense of pride and achievement.

I can’t wait to see you shine in 2021.

 

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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.

 

Share
Contact Us

Contact us now to find out which awards you could be winning.

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Latest Tweet

  • RT @awardsinter: The time has come to announce the Overall Winner of the Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards 2020! Congratulations to Spl…

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