Why entering awards is good for business
How often do you reflect on your successes? Business owners are busy people and inevitably, your customers come first. But taking a moment to review your achievements and celebrate success can pay dividends, which is why entering awards should be part of your marketing strategy.
Whether you’re considering the Leamington Business Awards, or other industry-specific opportunities, entering awards is about much more than gaining new ornaments for your reception desk. Awards can kick-start a marketing campaign, provide valuable publicity, improve staff morale and cement existing client relationships. While winning is the ultimate aim, being shortlisted brings plenty of kudos and even the process of writing a submission can give you a new steer for your marketing activity.
Three steps to a strong entry
Step one – Plan your submission:
Every application method is different so read the entry form and judging criteria. Make sure you know at the outset where the crucial information needs to go and whether additional information such as presentations, videos or graphics can be included.
Step two – get writing: Draft your submission with the judging criteria in mind. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get lost in the flow of your story, without clearly spelling out why your business, project or service should win. Double check any specific requirements such as budget information or evaluation, and ensure you have them covered – and don’t forget to include third party testimonials from customers or staff where you can.
Step three – Edit and submit:
Review and edit your draft, before asking a colleague or client to proof your entry and highlight any weaknesses so that you can address them. Judges will be grateful for entries which cut to the chase so ensure your submission is concise but include enough detail to give a clear sense of what your business is all about. Submit your entry in good time wherever possible, so there’s time to deal with any last minute queries.
Making awards work hard for your business
Award submissions are of most value when you include them as part of an integrated marketing communications campaign.
Winning or being shortlisted for an award is a cause for celebration, and you should share your good news immediately with colleagues, clients, target media and wider stakeholders. Beyond the immediate aftermath, referencing this external endorsement on your website and new business bids will also help differentiate you from competitors.
Even award ceremonies present a marketing opportunity. These events are ideal for networking and client entertainment – as well as providing a much-needed opportunity for you and your team to enjoy a night out while you reflect on what you’ve achieved.
So what are you waiting for? Make this year your year to shine – and good luck!
By Catherine Martin, Director, Catherine Martin Communications Ltd
For further information, visit www.cmcomms.co.uk