Here’s how to impress the Marketing Awards judges as entry deadline looms
With the deadline to enter The Drum Awards for Marketing upon us, jury co-chairs Sanyu Dillon of Penguin and Lex Bradshaw-Zanger of L’Oreal share what they want to see from this year’s entrants.
“Serious skills”. That’s what’s required to navigate brands through a marketing maze that’s getting more complex by the day according to Lex Bradshaw-Zanger, the chief marketing and digital officer at L’Oreal UK and Ireland and one of the co-chairs of The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022.
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Bradshaw-Zanger says the “complexity of marketing – the growth of the number and complexity of the channels” is the foremost trend he’s seeing right now.
“Historically we had fewer marketing channels and they each served a single objective – eg TV for awareness,” he tells The Drum. “We now have a multitude of channels, growing every day, and they can be used in many different ways – eg TikTok for awareness and reach, or now for performance, and even shopping directly on the platform.
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“Alongside this, the use of data to augment our decision-making capabilities, to challenge and decipher the complexity around us make the data driven world of the future a rebalancing of the art and science of marketing. But it isn’t a walk in the park, between tech and skillset challenges within our organizations and legislative and privacy concerns on the outside, it will take some serious skills to navigate and succeed.”
It is these “serious skills” that Bradshaw-Zanger hopes to see on display from the entrants of The Drum Awards for Marketing, which he’ll be presiding over alongside a jury of high-profile brand peers from around the world. Those brands and agencies that demonstrate they can match the right message with the right environment will be the ones that catch his eye.
“Today we need to see great creative ideas, executed across multiple channels in a way that builds on the idea at each touchpoint – and – results that drive the brand and the business. A true understanding of what challenge or service the brand is offering the consumer and delivering that message in a way that cuts through both the clutter of comms and everything that impacts our daily lives, and also makes it stand out from the competition.”
Sanyu Dillon, chief marketing officer at Penguin Random House and fellow co-chair of this year’s judging panel, sees increasing opportunities for marketers arising thanks to a bigger focus on first-party data, which is helping to develop “more personalized experiences, better campaign optimization and privacy compliance”.
“I see tech and social savvy consumers driving social commerce,” Dillon says. “It’s becoming an opportunity for brands to shorten the customer journey between discovery and purchase. I also see a greater emphasis on inclusive marketing to engage high value audience segments that drive bottom line growth.”
But while the tools and the tech are vital, it’s still all about the idea when it comes to winning campaigns. “I am looking for an entry that delivers a strong narrative from campaign conception through execution,” Dillon says. “Something that gives me the sense that I was in the room and saw how the story came to life. I’d like to see a clear and compelling consumer insight that delivers an 'a-ha!' moment with creative output that screams ‘of course! I wish I had thought of that’.”
Last year, The Drum Awards for Marketing Grand Prix was awarded to the KFC campaign ‘How KFC pressed pause on the world’s most inappropriate endline’ produced by Mother and Mindshare UK.
The jury praised the popular campaign’s “hattrick” of “a highly confident brand execution, achieving scale, and delivering strong commercial outcome in a pivot environment”.
They went on: “In particular the entry was distinguished through its achievement of both rational and emotional outcomes, where the creative execution really captured consumers imagination and had a clear link to campaign objective in creating heat.”
Will you take KFC’s crown this time around? You can enter The Drum Awards for Marketing now on the dedicated website. This year's winners will be revealed in a ceremony streamed live from The Drum Labs in London on 23 March.