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The 2024 ANA B2 Awards

ANA ANNOUNCES 2024 B2 AWARD WINNERS

Workday and Ogilvy Awarded Best In Show for “The Rock Stars of Business”  
Code and Theory, Park & Battery, and Stein IAS Take Top Agencies of the Year Honors
Carhartt’s Kendra Lewinski Named B2B Marketer of the Year

Naples, FL [June 14, 2024] – The ANA hosted its annual B2 Awards Gala on June 13, celebrating overall excellence and performance in business-to-business marketing. Workday’s “The Rock Stars of Business” took home the Best in Show Award, demonstrating exceptional insight and creativity, extraordinary business growth, and strong results. 

The shortlist of finalists in contention for Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards in thirty-nine categories were also presented at the gala ceremony in Naples, FL.

Read full 2024 B2 Awards Press Release 

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Decoding B2 Excellence: Judges' Insights on What Makes a Campaign B2 Award Worthy

Discover what 2024 B2 Award judges will be specifically looking for in the 2024 submissions, and  in their words, what will set apart award-worthy campaigns from the rest. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific elements and strategic considerations they highlight, to achieve the highest recognition in the competitive B2B marketing landscape.

Original thinking: big budgets often bring big results despite very 'obvious' thinking behind the campaigns.  Sometimes the smaller budgets require more original/out of the box thinking to create impact. So I'd be looking for the really clever ideas and original approaches. Results: results relative to the effort and budget invested. Inter-team alignment.  How did different disciplines within an organization align to create a result 'greater than the sum of parts?

In assessing B2 Award submissions, judges seek a harmonious blend of strategic prowess, creative ingenuity, and tangible impact. Winning entries typically present clear business objectives, innovative solutions, and measurable results. Effective audience targeting, integration across channels, and adaptability to market dynamics are crucial. Compelling storytelling, industry influence, and ethical considerations round out the criteria. Ultimately, the judges look for campaigns that not only resonate with the B2B audience but also leave a lasting positive mark on the industry.

A winning entry includes a clear, specific set of goals, how success was defined and how it was achieved.  It stands out by demonstrating what insights drove the effort and how it is connected to the business strategy.  It also stands out from the competition - and has an element of risk-taking and/or challenging the status quo.

Winning entries first and foremost must show the work created an impact on the business. They should demonstrate their performance in areas such as penetrating a new market, increasing customer loyalty, growing revenue from new clients, driving awareness of a new offer, or delivering sales meetings for their team. How impact is measured can vary by company of course but business impact is paramount to deliver for a winning submission. In addition, among submissions that are impactful, those that employ deep human understanding and treat their business customers with empathy and creativity will fare well in the judging.

There is always a clear playbook of tactics that work for driving B2B marketing performance.  As I look at entries, I will be looking for how companies are finding unique and disruptive ways to deliver that playbook to maximize performance, build their brands and overall deliver for their businesses.  This includes things like...
•    What unique insight informed your strategy
•    How was your strategy or your execution unique and distinctive (this could be approach, targeting mechanisms, creative and message, or other things)
•    What was the outsized impact of your efforts

I prioritize campaigns that showcase innovation, creativity, and strategic thinking. Submissions should present original and inventive ideas for addressing their unique B2B marketing challenges. A central criterion involves the effectiveness and measurable impact of the campaign on business objectives, emphasizing the need for clear evidence of success, whether through increased sales, lead generation, or enhanced brand awareness.

To be good: It will need to be true (authentic & specific) to the audience, the product/service/etc., and the company. As the reader/viewer, I must say "yes" to the request (stated or unstated) to take the next action (visit a store, click on a link, call a number, put the brand into my consideration set, watch a video, join a webinar, attend an event, etc.). And, it must be easy to successfully take that next action (excellent UX).  To be award-winning: All the above + being memorable.

I think it's important in this day and age to be innovative and maximize utilization of technology to run highly efficient campaigns. multi-faceted marketing efforts that personalize messaging to highly targeted audience segments and leverage AI for high returns would emerge as clear winners for me.

I'll be looking for out-of-box thinking. The B2B space has a lot to contend with and preconceived notions around being stodgy, particularly in highly regulated fields (financial services, healthcare, insurance). How are you keeping the audience engaged across various touchpoints? How do the efforts ladder up to your company ethos and KPIs? Is the effort something I want to copy and tell my peers about? These are the aspects I'm looking for, with the most impactful in creativity, voice, and outcomes leading to the winner's circle.

A clear, simple and unique insight. A true insight, not just an observation.

 

The ANA B2 Award. Exceptional Insight. Extraordinary Results. Effective is just the beginning.