How to write an award winning entry
The inside track…
Having judged the An Post Direct Marketing Awards on more than one occasion, I can offer some inside information on what judges are looking for in a winning entry, writes Ruth Brady, Head of Marketing, News International Newspapers
Your campaign should be based on a strong consumer insight or truth. This doesn’t have to be unique; it can be a category truth, but it does need to stand up to the “so what?” test
2. Well defined segmentation and targeting
Every award winning campaign is tightly targeted to a clearly defined and segmented audience. Great campaigns will demonstrate extensive personalisation and customisation for discrete segments.
3. Clear strategy and objectives
Great creative is pointless unless it is driven by distinct business goals and a single-minded communications strategy. Your campaign should show evidence of how it manifests your overarching strategic imperatives.
4. Inspirational creative
A campaign that is beautifully art directed or that exhibits exceptional copywriting will stand out from the crowd. Every time I judge an award, I’m looking for a campaign that will make me think “Wow, I wish I’d done that”!
5. A big idea
Judges are looking for big ideas or innovative solutions to business challenges. A big idea is one that transcends a specific medium but that doesn’t have to mean a big budget! Some of the best ideas are delivered on a shoestring.
6. Great execution
Unfortunately great ideas are often let down by execution. Award winners will deliver a great idea through all consumer touch-points and ensure the campaign effectively leverages the strengths of each channel. Strong execution is about taking care of the little things like salutation, punctuation, timing, budget management, data, packaging, response mechanism and everything in between.
7. Quantifiable results
Providing evidence of quantifiable results, that are clearly attributable to your campaign, is critical to how your entry will be judged. Results need to be linked back to your initial strategy and objectives. If your campaign was part of a bigger integrated campaign, you should be able to prove which results were driven by the direct marketing and direct response elements only.
8. Best practice
The An Post Direct Marketing Awards are designed to recognise and reward best practice in direct marketing. On previous occasions, entries have been submitted that didn’t have a direct response component and as such, could not be judged. It’s not about big budgets or high production values. Whether it’s a small campaign developed in-house or a first-time use of direct marketing, we’re looking for work that embodies the principles outlined above, that prompts action from consumers, that demonstrates fresh thinking and that delivers results.