Now in their sixteenth year, our Awards for Marketing Effectiveness have always featured outstanding examples of innovation in all its forms – whether driven by creative approaches, radical developments in product features and benefit delivery, or the use of technology to improve customer access and interaction. But the growing importance of innovation in financial services today, and its vital role in engaging with and empowering customers in the future, has prompted us to develop the established New Product, Service and Innovation category into a new set of awards – recognising innovation in financial services that delivers tangible benefits to both consumer and provider.
Most customers not interested in technology for technology’s sake – nor are we. So these awards focus on the overall impact the innovation has had on the sector, audience or consumer, and whether the innovation achieved or exceeded its objectives and goals. The initiative should have benefited the customer as well as the company, and should be taken up by a significant proportion of the audience. The best entries will also demonstrate clear forward-thinking, rather than just “future gazing”.
Entries will consist of a 1000-word submission, answering six key questions. Where appropriate, all submissions will include quantitative and qualitative material to support the claims of effectiveness and success. It is the combination of robust quantifiable data, judged by a panel of senior industry executives, using transparent scoring guidelines focused on real effectiveness and insight, that set our awards apart.
Entries can cover either type of innovation – Momentum (taking an existing product or service and improving it) or Disruption (a step change in a product or service, or developing an entirely new category) – or a combination of both, as often happens in practice.
Examples of such initiatives would include taking a radical new approach to meeting an existing customer need (rather than making a minor adjustment to a current offering), or introducing a totally new (to financial services at least) access channel.
For these awards, as the principal focus is on the innovation rather than the marketing execution, and because most of the innovations should be applicable across all product class, we will split the entries by the area of innovation rather than market sector:
All entries from any sector will be judged together within these categories, except that there will be additional awards for business-to-business and international entries, because of the distinctive elements of these markets.
In addition to the category awards listed above, the judges will have the discretion to make some special awards, including:
Members of The Financial Services Forum will also be able to nominate and vote for their selection of: Inspirational Innovator of the Year