Award winning companies and individuals have pointed out the role awards have in the image of their brand – it builds credibility for their quality of work. What comes after is a domino effect of positive outcomes. The biggest being the confidence it inspires internally within employees and senior management, according to Marketing Director of McDonald’s Malaysia; Eugene Lee who won one of the two CMO Marketer of The Year award in 2018. Even the hiring process became easier because “people want to work for and with the best and knowing I’m CMO of Year, there are many more applicants when there’s an opening in Marketing,” he added.Lee was also invited to join the McDonald’s Global Creative Council as the sole representative for Asia where top marketers chime in to drive the future direction of the company’s global creative strategy.
VP of Marketing In Etika Holdings, Santharuban Sundaram was the recipient of the other CMO Marketer of the Year 2018 award. According to him, what an award does is it “gives external recognition against the industry benchmark” which is rewarding for employees and essentially free marketing for the brand.
It’s about the journey more than the destination
Yes, winning an award gets you the sugar, spice and everything nice but the real value lies in the application because the act of merely nominating yourself for an award is in itself a benefit to you and your company. Putting together an award application makes you reflect on your skills, the progress you’ve made in your career and helps you identify your edge.
Sitting down in front of your computer to answer questions about your achievements and your successful projects is the kind of self-reflection and self-awareness you owe yourself from time to time. The projects that come to mind when you’re trying to remember your career highlights in the past are a good indication of what kind of work excites you and makes you feel satisfied.
As you study the requirements and criteria for an award you’re applying for, looking up past award winners is a good way to understand the standards and recognise the gaps in your own experience. Consider this personal insight to set goals for yourself and plan future training programs to upskill yourself.
Put yourself out there
Magic happens when you step outside of your comfort zone and submitting your name for an award takes courage because you’re putting yourself out there, regardless of the outcome.
When applying for an award with the hopes of winning, it might be tempting to apply for every category listed but you should avoid this by speaking to your colleagues and mentors. They might have noticed you thriving in a specific project which can help you narrow down the awards you have a better chance with.
If you can muster even more confidence, you should approach them by asking for constructive criticism or honest feedback on your work and your application itself. What’s most important in doing this is the relationships you build or strengthen with people whose intentions are to see you grow.
Most awards also shortlist the applicants and if you happen to be one of them, you’re getting your name out there not just for the nomination but also as a shortlisted candidate and more people are going to know you and want you for future collaborations.
Another point to keep in mind is that people who are judging these awards are usually industry leaders and when your application makes it to the judging table, the impression is made. Essentially, by taking the bull by the horns, you’re promoting yourself and have more control over the content.
Build brand trust and increase visibility
Winning an award or being nominated for one is a strong third party endorsement not just for you but also your business or company. Similar to how people are more likely to watch movies packed with Oscar award winners and nominees, customers are going to trust you and your brand if you have industry specific awards because it shows that you know how to execute effectively.
In this hypercompetitive environment, planning ahead for awards you’re interested gives you the edge you might need to win it. Networking with more people in your industry and keeping an eye out for award worthy projects forces you to step out of your usual frame of mind and take your career a step further because almost everyone works better when there’s an incentive. Just setting a goal for yourself to win an award will inevitably grow your portfolio of skills even if you don’t win it.
The badge of recognition isn’t always as physical as a trophy. The ambition itself – regardless of the outcome – promises self-development and career progression. So bet on yourself!
“Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” — Goethe
The CMO Awards 2019 is happening on November 15th. It’s still not too late to submit your applications for nomination. For more information, please click here. Nominations are accepted for client-side senior marketers including CMO/VP/GM/Head Advertising/Marketing/Retail/Data/Digital in brand marketing. Nominations for Rising Stars are for candidates 30 years and below.