Judges share insider tips to improve chances of winning a Northern Marketing Award

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

*UPDATE: The Northern Marketing Awards will take place on November 3rd*

With less than a month to go before the Northern Marketing Awards (NMAs) entry deadline, judges have revealed how you can improve your chances of winning an award.

A number of the judges have kindly shared their personal advice, along with some useful tips for how to improve your award submission. 

Last week, we took a closer look at the eight topical new categories added to this year’s awards. You can see all the award categories open for entry here.

With the NMAs ceremony set to take place on November 3rd, award entries need to be submitted before Friday, September 4th.

Let's find out what the judges had to say...

Alex Hamilton, Head of PR and Social at One Brand Magic

"Pay close attention to the information you're submitting, the judges look for clear, tangible and meaningful results, it may be the most creative and strategic campaign you've ever produced, but without the results to back it up, you're not likely to score very highly. 

"Make sure that your agency or brand personality shines through. That's not to say that every entry needs to be creatively copywritten, but it needs to be relatable and exciting to read.

"The judges are made from a panel of passionate marketing professionals who will happily go on the journey you take them on."


Gareth Healey, Marketing Agency Mentor at Beyond Noise

"Here are my top six tips for agencies to think about when entering awards, handily constructed as a D-E-S-I-R-E acronym:

"DEMONSTRATE clear objectives. If you can’t clearly outline measurable objectives then consider whether it is right to enter this award. It’s the first thing judges will look for and evaluate you on.

"ENTER the right award. Sounds obvious, but it can be tempting to enter the category you want to win, not the most appropriate category and one that you CAN win. If your entry doesn’t really fit within the category you select, it will be plainly obvious to the judges when assessing your entry against the competition.

"SUMMARISE the strategy and output clearly and concisely. Don’t make the judges try and piece things together. They might want to, but they won’t have time. It might mean your entry doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

"INCLUDE additional information (if you are allowed). However, remember to keep it brief, easy to follow and impactful. A short video is better than 4 or 5 pages of still images and copy.

"RESULTS and the return on investment achieved are critical (not optional) and must exceed the objectives. Indeed, like the objectives themselves, if you cannot clearly demonstrate the results and ROI, consider whether you should be entering at all.

"EVERY award is a pitch. It's an opportunity to sell your work and agency.  Just because you can’t stand in front of people with a slide deck, doesn’t mean the award submission doesn’t need to “sell”. Indeed, it means it needs to work even harder. If given the opportunity to explain “why you should win”, do just that. Pitch your entry to the judges (don’t just write a sentence or two or add a client quote)."


Stuart Clarke, Co-founder and Festival Director for Leeds Digital Festival

"Answer the question! It’s easy to get carried away with all that you love about your business, but your submission has to relate to the specific questions for the category you’ve entered. When you make a statement, ask yourself ‘how is this relevant to the question in particular and the category overall?’

"Provide evidence and examples. A statement like ‘we’ve taken on new staff’ is not nearly as powerful as ‘we’ve created X new jobs in the last 12 months, with plans for a further X in the next year’ or ‘we’ve increased staff numbers by X%’.

"Use your word-count wisely. If the limit is 500 words, a 100-word paragraph isn’t going to give anywhere near enough detail for the judges to make a decision. It also suggests you can’t be bothered to put the time and effort in, which will go against you. In reality, it’s often harder to keep within limits, so give yourself plenty of time to edit your submission down - ideally a couple of days. This can really help you to ensure that your answers are succinct and to the point.

"Judges have to read a lot of submissions, in addition to their busy day jobs, so make it interesting, engaging, and concise."


There are also sponsorship opportunities available for companies looking to further their presence both at the unforgettable awards ceremony and on the online reports. Click here to download the 2020-2021 sponsorship pack.