Marketing Excellence Awards - Submission Guidelines

Deadline for submissions: Friday, May 20, 2022

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.

2022 Award Categories:

ITSMA will accept submissions in seven categories:

Advancing Marketing’s Digital Transformation
Taking advantage of technology capabilities by emphasizing integration, useability, and adoption; training users to leverage the tools in their marketing stack to their fullest potential; integrating marketing and sales to optimize an omni-channel customer experience.

Collaborating with Sales
Improving access to high-quality and consistent content and providing deep, personalized insight and intelligence on priority prospects and accounts to enable innovative and flexible approaches to hybrid sales enablement that drives revenue.

Deepening Engagement through Thought Leadership
Developing insight-led and innovative content, events, and experiences that bring bold new thinking to priority clients and prospects, deepening engagement, strengthening reputation, and accelerating pipeline and revenue growth.

Embedding ABM Programs
Creating an ABM culture across the organization to deliver orchestrated, client-centric solutions as a core component of the firm’s overall growth strategy.

Enabling Marketing for Success
Nurturing and enabling the marketing organization to be a creative and insight-led team that drives strategic growth, by creating centers of excellence, focusing on training, developing career paths, and fostering an agile and collaborative environment.

Optimizing ABM Campaigns
Developing insight-led ABM campaigns to build reputation, strengthen relationships, and drive revenue in a priority account or accounts. Reorienting thought leadership to engage with target audiences or break into new markets while focusing on the digital buying process to improve campaign effectiveness.

Strengthening and Differentiating the Brand
Building on brand strength and reputation to differentiate the company through purpose-driven programs, drive awareness and interest in new offerings, and deliver on the brand promise.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate submissions for the 2022 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. Submission Overview

Provide a paragraph on the marketing initiative: situation, solution, learnings, and results.

2. Situation

Describe the business problem and/or opportunity that inspired the initiative.

  • What challenges and/or opportunities was the business or marketing facing?
  • What occurred that called for a new initiative?
  • What was the competitive situation? (if applicable)
  • What approach was taken to gain a full understanding of the problem or opportunity?
  • How did you quantify the need or opportunity (e.g., costs, potential savings, benefits, and/or market size)?
  • How did you or your organization get buy-in and sponsorship for the initiative and with whom?
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the business conditions and environment that your organization faced while developing your initiative and gaining sponsorship to proceed with it. (Limit: ½ page)

3. Solution

What approach did you take to develop a plan and execute it to solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity?

  • Detail the nature and scope of the solution/initiative, including your insight into the customer/market need.
  • What were the major steps taken to execute?
  • How was the initiative managed against the plan?
  • What resources were involved?
  • Were there new types of collaboration across the organization or with partners?
  • In what ways is the solution innovative within your company and your industry?
  • Have you seen a competitive response to your initiative?
  • Provide a clear and detailed description of the process and innovation involved in the solution, the resources allocated, how efficiently and effectively the initiative was carried out, what was unique about the solution, and how your approach was new for the company and among competitors (if applicable). (Limit: 3 pages)

4. Lessons Learned

Explain the most difficult challenges you faced in executing the plan successfully, and how you addressed them.

  • What challenges and roadblocks did you face?
  • How did you overcome the challenges?
  • What lessons did you learn throughout the process?
  • How will this influence future marketing initiatives?
  • Describe the lessons learned with this initiative, what elements of the program contributed most to its success, and how the lessons and key success factors will influence future marketing initiatives. (Limit: 1 page)

5. Results

Describe the business objectives and metrics that are/were being used to measure what has been accomplished to date.

  • How did you measure both marketing and business success?
  • What quantifiable results have you been able to document?
  • How important are these results to the company or division?
  • Provide concrete data that documents the success of the initiative and demonstrate the appropriateness of the scorecard. (Limit: 1 page)

6. Future Plans

Describe the next steps or stages for this initiative.

  • What’s next for this initiative? How are you building upon your success?
  • How will you scale this across the marketing organization or the company/division (if applicable)?
  • What results do you expect to accomplish with this initiative over the next year (e.g., revenue impact, profit impact, order pipeline impact, brand or reputation impact, customer engagement, renewal rate, referrals, win rate, etc.)?
  • To what extent, if any, does this impact the future of marketing or your industry?
  • Provide details and data that demonstrate the long-term impact of the initiative. (Limit: ½ page)

7. Summary

In 3-5 sentences, summarize the most important reasons why your initiative deserves special recognition by ITSMA.

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 20, 2022. 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 20, 2022.

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 [email protected].