For those of you who are unaware, Marketo’s Revvie Awards recognize and celebrate customers and partners who are using the Marketo product to push the status quo and break away from the competition. At its annual Marketing Nation Summit event last month, Marketo announced a total of 16 award categories and sub-categories which recognized customers and partners who have succeeded with the product and taken their companies to the next level. We started the program in order to understand and share these inspirational success stories, ultimately showing the power of Marketo in transforming businesses.
Customer Awards Programs Are Mutually Beneficial
Customer awards programs are an effective tool for companies to utilize. But there’s no one-way street here! Launching an awards program serves the needs of both you and your customers:
- It makes your company’s current customers feel appreciated and thus encourages loyalty and longevity in your relationship.
- It ignites media attention and brand awareness for your company (aka a PR team’s dream).
- From the perspective of your company’s potential customers, it brings light to the value of your company’s product/service. Your potential customers will be encouraged to pursue your company, thus leading to more conversions (aka a sales team’s dream).
- On the customer’s end, receiving the award serves as an inbound marketing tactic to propel the company into the spotlight in its respective industry, distinguish the company from competitors, and lure leads in.
- The prospect of receiving an award incentivizes the customer to work hard to make the product/service work for them, and therefore from this effort alone, the customer will reap more (monetary) benefit.
Implementing a Customer Awards Program: The Low-Down
Now that we’re clear on why customer award programs thoroughly rock, here are four steps to implementing one in your company:
Step 1: Plan
Just like any other marketing program, you must start with setting a budget, creating a project timeline, and resourcing. Next, it is important to sit down with your team and define the award categories. Keep in mind which content will be relevant to the company within the following year. Once the categories are defined, you need to set up a website which explains the program. Here, establish the terms and conditions and design a form for submissions.
Step 2: Promote, Promote, Promote!
When the submission period begins, it is time to get the word out! For example, Marketo has promoted the Revvie Awards through call-to-actions in emails as well as on the main Marketing Nation Summit website. We also promoted the Awards through personal reach-outs to advocates and to those who had previously made submissions. By the way—don’t worry if you are not seeing a large number of submissions at first, for most flood in during the last few days before the deadline (that’s surely not stressful at all..!).
Step 3: Select
The most challenging part of managing an awards program is that you must sort through all the entries in order to pick the finalists and winners. Yes, I’m not going to lie—it takes a good amount of time and effort, but it’s worth the investment for both parties. Make sure to treat each entry as unique: not all companies are the same, and ultimately you’ll want the champs to represent a good mix of company demographics (e.g. size, industry, location). Also, whether you leave it up to public vote or decisions are made by committee, there should be a firm system in place to finalize the top contenders. Finally, once the finalists and winners are selected, you need to communicate the congratulations! (Spoiler alert: this is the easy part…and it only gets easier! Keep reading…)
Step 4: Recognize and Celebrate
Now it’s time to celebrate all those amazing finalists and winners! Marketo builds the Revvies around its Marketing Summit event, so we are fortunate to be able to acknowledge all finalists and winners in person, which has the obvious benefits. This year, we built the ‘Hall of Revvies’ highlighting finalists and winners which included a summary of the success stories. We invited all finalists and winners to the Revvie Lunch where they received their awards and a signature Marketo purple letterman jacket and had the opportunity to network with one another. This is clearly the fun part! The takeaway here is to be creative in your brainstorm of how to celebrate the success of fellow marketers.
Overall, launching an awards program is a solid way to better connect to your customers and have them better connect to you. Has your company been on one (or both) ends of this relationship? Let us know in the comments below.