Think of this as a key.
It's going to unlock information that often you can't usually access. It's going to open up your mind to some new ideas and opportunities.
I have been one of the SMA judges several times. I think that if I tell you a little about what goes on the judges' room, it will be useful feedback for those who entered. If you didn't enter, I'm hoping to motivate you to do so.
I have been coaching and consulting in the IT space (from the big boys to the start-ups) for many years but I'm not from the sector so maybe I can offer a little independence and objectivity.
Here are my bullet point thought-starters from the judges' deliberations:
Proof/pudding shocker - how well did your innovation/programme/event/roadshow work out? What happened? Often it's hard to get to an ROI but give us some results.
What's the thinking behind that? Your entry has to demonstrate how you want to be seen and what your brand stands for. In a number of cases, I felt that more thought was required. Every word, every slide needs to be considered carefully before being included.
Show that you speak "customer" - Pages of tech-speak suggest an internally focused company, keen only to talk to like-minded people. Senior business people (even some CIOs) don't want a conversation about technology - how will you get the balance right?
Presentation planning - they're the Sales and Marketing Awards so chew over how you will lay out the information. The entry form allows you to attach documents and links - might be an alternative to writing 1,000 words in plain text in a box?
Our people are our greatest etc. - How do want them to be represented? In some cases they weren't there at all. In others, I got a sense of an engaged workforce - how will you get the message across?
Everybody sells - so we know about benefits and advantages, differentiations and propositions. So how can you make them front and centre rather than make me search for them?
So if you review your submission with these points in mind, it might be helpful.
It's not easy being a judge; many entries are hard to separate but I feel that emphasising some of the elements above could really help you.
And if you didn't enter, what a missed opportunity to demonstrate proof, highlight your benefits, showcase your people and publicise how you want your brand to seen.
See you on 7 July!
Peter Grundy is CEO of the Partnership, which, with offices in the UK and Bahrain, works with leaders who want to achieve great results by building high performance businesses.
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