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Thoughtful Marketing: A New DMA Awards Category


From the beginning, the DMA has encouraged brands and businesses to put their customers first and, in our new world of work, this is more important than ever before. There’s the notion that organisations shouldn’t be advertising, rather offering sensitive and supportive dialogue through marketing. Many people have embraced becoming more mindful, changing how they communicate, such as adjusting their approaches or tone of their campaigns.

To shine a light on work that’s helped others throughout the crisis in an authentic way, the DMA has created a new Awards category: Thoughtful Marketing. And we could think of no better partner than The Thoughtful Marketing Movement.

The Thoughtful Marketing Category

Over 130 brands have joined the Thoughtful Marketing Movement, proving organisations can play an important role in making small gestures that have a large impact.

“Never has there been a more appropriate time for marketers to put extra effort into making sure they are driving the right messages to the right people, using the right framing,” said Matt Conner, Chair of the Awards Committee. “Introducing this new category for Thoughtful Marketing will give brands a platform to show how they have gone above and beyond with their initiatives through a unique commercial time. We look forward to judging the entries and seeing how doing the right thing can lead to tangible business returns.”

Charlotte Langley, Brand and Communications Director of Bloom & Wild, has offered to chair the category, bringing her expertise alongside our other hard-to-impress Judges. “Customer-centric marketing is always doing our best to understand our customers on a human level,” she said. “It can be too easy as a marketer to see your email database, for example, as an asset that you in some way own as a brand. But every customer is an individual with their own story and sensitivities, and so we try to approach our customers as such, and give them choice over how and when they hear from us.”

What will DMA Judges look for in a winning entry?


Strategy forms the core of all entries and links to every other submission section. Judges keep an eye out for innovative approaches that push forward a brand or business in a new direction, harnessing data and insight to create results not previously achieved.


How did the creative outputs and thinking bring the strategy to life? Judges seek out a straightforward, fact-driven outline of the creative method; they want to experience and understand the work from the point of view of a critic as well as a consumer.


Judges are after specific results and supporting data – as many as possible – including cost-effective measures, total sales, and cost per sale, from successful campaigns that made a large difference. All results are kept confidential.

What will we look for from work entered into the Thoughtful Marketing category?

“Long-term success for any brand is driven by the ability to play a meaningful role in people’s lives,” Conner said. “To create this connection, an organisation must show empathy and understanding for a consumers’ needs, state, and current circumstances. Using data to drive this connection makes it an incredibly powerful platform for enhancing the lifetime value from the customer relationship.”

Langley said, “It's really about the values that have driven the work.” This category is about initiatives that demonstrate a customer-first approach has been taken above considerations of pure sales and profits, she explained. That's not to say these initiatives are uneconomical: it's really important to recognise that building strong and deep customer relationships will benefit business in the long run. We'll be looking for something that has made a large impact and genuinely resonated with customers.

Check out our in-depth interview with Langley on Thoughtful Marketing and tips from brands that stand out.

Discover the DMA Awards here or email for information on entering. Explore previous campaigns that worked; work that changed lives; work that changed the way we think. Entries close on Friday, 18 September, 2020. Our early bird deadline has been extended to Friday, 14 August, so entrants have more time to submit their entries at the lower fee.

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