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2013 DMA Awards: a snapshot of our industry


And so the curtain falls on yet another spectacular DMA Awards. Congratulations to WDMP for beating one of the strongest fields for years to clinch the Grand Prix for its campaign for Monarch Airlines. The Grand Prix was hotly contested, but WDMP won the vote of the Awards’ judging panel because it showed how a genuinely insight-driven, multichannel approach – without a huge budget – can deliver impressive ROI.

What I enjoy in particular about the DMA Awards is how it serves as a bellwether for our industry. This is my second year serving as the chair of the DMA Awards Committee, but I’ve long been involved with the Awards. Every year I’ve seen the hundreds of entries we receive reveal a snapshot of the evolving trends that drive the development of one-to-one to millions communications.

This year was no exception.

The winners in the 37 categories highlight the emerging shift in one-to-one strategy with the trend now for direct marketers to focus on engagement as well as response. This is an exciting time for one-to-one: the use of big data is now a standard, and new channels and new devices are driving exceptional innovation in targeting and creative execution. To be honest I’ve always shied away from the many and various debates around “What is direct marketing?” But this year’s awards do suggest we are now the broadest church, with any previous lines dividing things like direct, social and brand all now beautifully blurred.

Competition drives innovation, and the DMA Awards plays an important role in helping our industry to continually strive for brilliance. How? Primarily because the DMA Awards entries are judged on a combination of results, strategy and creativity. But also because – apart from encouraging new talent – the Awards don’t recognise individuals; they recognise the work and the teams behind that work.

The rigour of the DMAs entry process is like holding up a mirror to your marketing strategy, your creativity and your campaign’s overall performance. Many Awards entrants have told me that even though they have campaign dashboards and numerous campaign reports, it was preparing the DMA Awards entry that gave them an opportunity to objectively review their marketing activity and identify opportunities for development and improvement.

So raise a glass to WDMP, for their incredible success, and to the DMA Awards for recognising and celebrating those whose work has made a real difference. And here’s to the 2014 DMA Awards!

By guest blogger, Mark Runacus, Director of Loyalty & Relationship Management at Karmarama and Chair of DMA Awards Committee

See all the winners of the DMA Awards 2013.

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