Deadline for submissions: Friday, May 8, 2020

ITSMA’s Marketing Excellence Awards are designed to honor the marketing strategies, programs, and campaigns that have achieved excellence in driving business results with B2B services and solutions worldwide. Use these guidelines to produce your submission.

2020 Award Categories:

ITSMA will accept submissions in seven categories:

Developing Next Gen Talent
Attracting, developing, and retaining the next wave of marketing leaders and teams to strengthen marketing capabilities, culture, business impact, and organizational transformation.

Driving Strategic Growth
Advancing marketing’s strategic role in the business with new and innovative approaches to work with business leadership in identifying, developing, and accelerating new strategies for revenue, brand, customer experience or insight driven growth.

Enabling Sales to Accelerate Growth
Designing, developing, and innovating enablement programs with new initiatives, tools, training, and support activities that improve sales capabilities and performance, especially for new offerings, markets, and growth opportunities.

Orchestrating Executive Engagement 
Designing, managing, and coordinating integrated, multi-channel engagement programs with content, events, and experiences that broaden and deepen executive-level relationships with clients and prospects for growth and innovation.

Repositioning the Brand
Creating and improving brand and reputation-focused programs that strengthen awareness, interest, credibility, differentiation, and trust with new buyers, offerings, and markets.

Scaling and Optimizing Account-Based Marketing
Strengthening ABM programs, COEs, and ecosystems to achieve greater business impact and efficiency and support the growth strategy of the company.

Transforming Marketing with Data, Analytics, and Insight
Developing and strengthening teams, processes, and approaches, including leveraging AI and machine learning, that advance marketing’s ability to operate as a data-driven, insight-led function that informs business strategy and optimizes performance and results.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate submissions for the 2020 Marketing Excellence Awards program with the following criteria:

  • Quality of the research and analysis utilized to understand the problem or opportunity
  • Innovation relative to past practice and to peers in the market
  • Effectiveness of implementation
  • Appropriate metrics
  • Measurable impact on the business


ITSMA will honor two winners in each category.

  • Diamond Awards: Best in class for the industry, as measured by innovation, execution, and results.
  • Gold Awards: Standout performance in improving marketing performance, as measured by planning, innovation, execution, and business results.

Small and Medium Business Awards

In addition to the two winners in each category, ITSMA will award two winners from small- and medium-sized businesses. These awards will go to the strongest submissions from two companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue, regardless of category.

Submission Format

All submissions must be entered online and follow the outline below to present a compelling story of what was done, how it was done, and the business results. Submissions should include detail for each of the required sections. Judges will look especially for initiatives that represent true innovation for the industry, highly effective execution, and substantial, measurable business results.

Judges will look especially for initiatives that represent true innovation for the industry, highly effective execution, and substantial, measurable business results.  Be as specific as possible. Avoid marketing fluff or hyperbole.

Submission Outline

1. Initiative Summary

Provide a brief overview of the marketing initiative and the results realized. What is the essence of the story? (Limit: ½ page)

2. Situation Overview

Describe the business problem and/or opportunity that inspired the initiative. What challenges was the business facing? What changes had occurred that called for a new initiative? What was the competitive situation? What constraints were overcome?

This section should provide an understanding of the business conditions and environment that your organization faced while developing your initiative and implementation plan. (Limit: ½ page)

3. Understanding of Customer/Market Need

Define the organizational, customer, or market need that the initiative addressed. How rigorous was the approach taken to understand the need? To what extent did you quantify the need or opportunity (e.g., costs, potential savings, benefits, and/or market size)? Was the initiative based on a new insight into organizational, customer, or market needs? Was this an effort to define a new segment? How would the target customers define the business issue you were trying to solve?

This section should provide an understanding of your insight into the customer/market need and how you described and quantified that need. (Limit: 1 page)

4. Innovation

Describe the innovation involved in addressing the customer/market need. To what extent did this initiative represent a new way of doing business within your organization? To what extent did you break new ground within your segment or the larger industry in marketing services or solutions? Have you seen a competitive response to your initiative?

This section should provide an understanding of how different and innovative the submission is relative to your peers and competitors as well as previous practice within your own organization. (Limit: ½ page)

5. Execution

Detail the full scope of the initiative and the specific steps taken to bring it to fruition. What were the key elements of the initiative? What resources were required to execute the plan? How was the initiative managed? To what extent did the initiative require new types of collaboration across the organization? Were partners involved? What were the most difficult challenges you faced in executing the plan successfully? What changes were made along the way as new challenges emerged? What were the most important factors contributing to the initiative’s success?

This section should provide a clear and detailed understanding of what was involved in the initiative, how efficiently and effectively it was carried out, and what elements of the program contributed most to its success. (Limit: 3 pages)

6. Business Results

Describe the “scorecard” and metrics that are/were being used to measure what has been accomplished to date. What measures of success (marketing and business metrics) are included in the scorecard? What quantifiable results have you been able to document? What results do you expect to accomplish with this initiative over the next year (e.g., revenue impact, profit impact, order pipeline impact, customer engagement, renewal rate, referrals, win rate, etc.)? How important are these results to the company or division as a whole?

This section should provide concrete data that documents the success of the initiative, as well as demonstrating the appropriateness of the scorecard. (Limit: 1 page)

7. Closing Statement

Summarize the most important reasons why your initiative deserves special recognition by ITSMA. (Limit: ½ page)

Please note: Applicants may provide additional materials to support their online submission; please note that the judges will look primarily at the main submission.

Submission Fee

ITSMA must receive payment of $495 for each submission to help cover program administration expenses. For awards shipped outside of the US, all associated shipping fees will be the responsibility of the award winner.

Payment in US dollars via authorized purchase order, check, or credit card must be received by May 8, 2020. You pay for your submission(s) during the online application process. Please use Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, or Safari as a browser for best results. IE may cause problems.


ITSMA will keep all information included in award submissions strictly confidential, and will not disclose any information from the submissions without formal authorization from the applicant.

Please note: ITSMA will not return any of the submission materials.

Submission Deadline

ITSMA must receive all submissions by May 8, 2020.

Enter your submissions at:
Please use Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, or Safari as a browser for best results. IE may cause problems.

More Information

Please contact Christina McCarron with any questions at




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