24 January 2023

The power of combining customer reference programmes with award entry activities

Fresh (and quantified) text and video case studies are certainly always in demand as award-entry support, so it’s odd and counter-productive that most companies use different teams (sometimes in-house, sometimes agency-based) for customer reference programmes and award entry processes. That separation fails to recognise the synergy between the two disciplines and ignores the need to plan case study work in advance and often over multiyear timeframes.

The fact is that customer reference production can be a long process. Starting with getting the client’s permission to proceed in the first place – and ending with clearing the final hurdle of securing customer approval – takes time.

So, starting to produce an award submission it shouldn’t be about ‘opening the case study cupboard to see what’s in there’. And finding it empty or wanting. Rather, planning against award categories that will indubitably be featured isn’t rocket science. (Yes, there might sometimes be a few new categories, but most repeat year after year.)

It therefore makes sense to combine the two disciplines. That way you can use your choice of award entries for a clear steer as to the products, industry sectors, and management and technology – innovation and ESG, for example – that should feature prominently in a significant proportion of your case studies.

With most companies starting their new marketing and/or financial years (and award entries) about now, this is the time to get your house in order. There’s probably still time for a couple of quick wins to meet upcoming award entry submission dates. Incentives might help. (For more guidance click here). Auditing existing client solutions and new wins for their award-friendliness will add sure-fire impetus for the rest of this year and looking forward into next.

We hope you’ll take our advice to help improve the completeness and persuasiveness of your award entries, for success both now and in years to come. Talking to GoRefCo will get you off on the front foot.

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