All companies like to receive recognition, whether from customers, partners or the industry. There are so many industry awards in the market today, that one could spend their whole time just writing award submissions. But is there a receipe for a successful submission?
I’ve been fortunate over the years to have submitted entries for many of my clients that have resulted in either being a finalist or a winner. For me to write eloquently about the product, project or service, I first have to really understand the benefits it has delivered to the customer. Secondly, why is it different to the plethora of similar solutions/services in the market? Thirdly, what has the company achieved in terms of thought-leadership and, perhaps, changed practices due to their innovation or being a pioneer in a particular segment?
This is why awards submissions are better coming from an external resource rather than within the company, in my opinion. Because internal folk live and breath their company/product/solution and, sometimes, have drunk too much of the “Kool-Aid” to be totally objective. When submitting an entry for any award, the first thing is to really read the entry criteria. Put yourself in the judges’ shoes; they want a succinct overview fitting their criteria so they can ascertain in a few sentences, or paragraphs, the value of your entry. Secondly, don’t just repeat features/benefits from the marketing collateral; really delve deep into the deliverables against the specified criteria. Some awards don’t specify criteria, they just have categories and “submit 1500 words” – these are the harder ones to gauge. In my experience, though, a compelling entry combines innovation, demonstrating value to customers, leadership and, where required, customer testimonials, as all these elements have to have supporting proof points.
There is nothing like seeing a client receive an industry award and knowing your entry helped them to achieve the recognition, particularly when they look as chuffed as the CEO of my client Databarracks, winner of the Best Cloud Business Continuity Service Award at the recent UK Cloud Awards, sponsored by CIF and CloudPro 🙂
Whilst all this might sound marketing 101, the obvious is what we sometimes forget and I hope this post serves as a pointer on what to focus on.