It’s marketing awards season, a time of year that requires a significant portion of a marketer’s budget, team capacity, and resources to be spent. Award entries and attendance cost time and money without any guarantee of a win on the big night. It begs the question of why fast-growing businesses place such importance on building a solid awards strategy.  

Are awards worth the investment?  

The short answer is yes. For the long answer, keep reading.  

Most marketing award programmes offer a variety of categories aimed at recognising campaigns, teams, or individuals. This is your opportunity to be selective and pick a category that strategically showcases the best your brand has to offer. Whether your business objective for the year is revenue focused or people focussed, awards play a vital role in marketing success.  


Award entry requirements are often very prescriptive, from the information included to the presentation on the page. Operating within these parameters can be tough. Winning entries demonstrate a clear objective, a well-devised strategy and solid reporting metrics. Consider your competitors and interrogate how your brand compares in areas such as customer service, investment in people, diversity, ESG, and sustainable growth. Yes, this discipline could win you some silverware but more than that, it’s a valuable benchmarking exercise that could uncover your next great campaign.   


It’s obvious how winning an award can provide brilliant PR opportunities but don’t overlook how a spot on the shortlist or a highly commended accolade can help too. Being recognised in any capacity by an industry body will set you apart from your competitors. Industry bodies promote their awards, their shortlists, and their standout members. Make it onto any of their lists and your brand will reach a wider network, new audiences, and boost SEO.  


The past few years have been incredibly tough for brands. Marketers have faced uncertainty and been forced to navigate an ever-changing landscape. As a result, awards programmes are highly competitive and bursting with entries from the next generation of marketing innovators. Want a front seat to the future of marketing? Awards are the answer.  

Top talent  

If your business objective is people-focused, award entries can help move you closer to success. In a competitive marketplace, showcasing a positive company culture and strong employee value proposition will make you stand out. Communicate your award entry internally and highlight top talent with the wider business, including sales teams, senior management, HR, and internal communications. Awards and accolades attract top-tier talent, but they also go a long way in retaining your shining stars. 

Team motivation  

Award entries are a great way to boost team motivation and morale, showcasing business success both internally and externally. The process of consolidating data and formalising an award entry can give your team the chance to learn what has worked and what can be improved moving forward. Closing a feedback loop and progressing together can make team more successful long term, regardless of whether you take home a trophy.  

Awards and business impact  

Investing time and budget into a robust marketing strategy will get your brand the recognition it deserves and go a long way in demonstrating business impact.  

The MMA MENA SMARTIES Awards will take place on 16 May in Dubai and you still have time to enter your work here until end of February.