Go for Gold! How to Write a Winning Award Submission

Old Style Photo. Champion gold cup trophy on the table


Posted: December 2, 2015 | Modern Marketing

And the winner is…

Get your ball gowns and dress suits ready—award season is just around the corner: the Oscars, the Grammys, and, of course, the Revvies, Marketo’s annual award program. No matter what department or industry you’re in, awards are a way to build credibility and generate positive PR for you and your company. Think back to your childhood soccer team’s end-of-the-year party when awards were passed out. Everyone wanted to be the MVP and get recognized as the best player on the team. Well, that’s just what the Oscars, Grammys, and Revvies do—recognize and celebrate the top candidates that blow their competition out of the water. And that can be you.

Winning an award enables you to share your stories with peers and others, and get you and your company recognition you deserve. But before you start planning your acceptance speech, the first step to winning an award is the award submission itself.

Here are five suggestions for putting together a great submission:

1. Back up your success with metrics

This one should be obvious. Going back to the soccer example, simply stating that Johnny scored a lot of goals this season doesn’t provide much context. Now support that with metrics and Johnny scored 25 goals this season–more than anyone else on the team. Wow, how impressive! That’s because metrics are a clear differentiator.

Particularly in marketing, reporting and analytics provide data-driven insights and measureable results, and are the key reason that the CMO now has a seat at the revenue table. Not only does this build your company’s case for marketing activities and budget, but it can also help establish your team as an industry leader by leading by example and showcasing your results.

2. Captivate your audience

The summary section of your award application is often the most important part of the submission because it sets the stage for the rest of your submission. It needs to hook the audience into reading through and remembering your entire submission. Keep in mind the committee is going through hundreds of submissions—this is your opportunity to creatively stand out. Make sure you cover key information that sets you apart, including your main points, metrics, and any other relevant information.

3. Paint the picture

Looking back on life events, you may not remember exact conversations but you will remember how they made you feel. This is important to keep in mind while writing your submission. Within the actual submission, tell the story from your perspective, just as you would in conversation. When the committee is reading the submission, your submission should aim to evoke emotion—they should feel your pains, trials, and successes just as you did.

4. Provide other perspectives

While it’s certainly important for you and your team to realize and share the value you are achieving, when other teams within your organization also realize the value you and your team provide—your sales team, your executive team, your account managers—it gives you external, unbiased validation. Pull in quotes from some key stakeholders outside of your team, such as a vice president or a sales representative, who can vouch for your work to give your submission even more credibility.

5. Use video

If a picture speaks 1,000 words, a video speaks…well, more than 1,000. There is no better way to tell a story than from your own mouth. If the award submission form permits, include a link to a video that complements your submission. Videos are a much easier, quicker, and stronger way to consume information, with a humanistic touch that brings the story to life.

Now you’re all set to submit the best award submission yet! Regardless of what award you’re submitting for make sure to put these tips to work. Looking for a way to take them for a spin? Check out the 2016 Revvie Awards. Submit by January 30th for a chance to be recognized as a marketing leader who’s used Marketo to drive the new era of marketing. Plus, you’ll get a chance to walk the Purple Carpet at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit!


Katie Pope is a Customer Marketing Specialist at Marketo. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University, with concentrations in marketing and finance. She loves all things sports and is a loyal SF Bay Area fan of the 49ers, Sharks, and Giants.

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It's award season! Learn how to write a winning award submission and get recognized for the rockstar that you are!

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