The short answer – yes! Awards are very effective marketing for B2B companies. Why do they work? Because they provide third-party credibility – someone else saying you’ve done well. And that is much more believable than if you say it yourself. Awards are also useful because they give you a chance to toot your horn to prospects and customers – or at least communicate that someone else is tooting it.
There are all kinds of awards for B2B companies – both within a single industry and across industries to recognize innovation, exporting, HR, sustainability, growth, and many other accomplishments.
Like any marketing tactic, awards take resources. Time to research opportunities, time to complete the applications, and time to promote the wins. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of awards:
1. Research award opportunities – Develop a list of potential award opportunities - begin with reputable industry associations and publications as they often have an awards program. Target awards that align with your strategic initiatives like sustainable design, LEED projects or recent innovation.
2. Focus on a few awards – Awards applications are time-consuming. So focus on the ones that your firm has a shot at. Industry awards are a great example because they are a specific award and you'll have greater insight into the criteria for the award and the strength of the competition.
3. Schedule the application process and fees – Like any marketing tactic, award applications should be part of the marketing plan. Add application due dates and other details (eg questions that may require approval from various stakeholders, specific technical details that may need to be included, etc).
4. Promote your wins!! Always promote the fact that you've won an award. There are so many ways to do this - here are a few:
- Do a press release
- Include an announcement in your upcoming enewsletter
- Add it as a postscript on your email signature
- Add the logo to your business card
- Add the logo to your trade show booth
- Hold a special event to celebrate and thank customers
Awards reinforce other marketing efforts and give sales additional support when making their next call or walking a prospect through your product/service offering. Don't be skeptical of them, use them.