CMA Awards: A judge’s perspective

Over the last decade, I’ve enjoyed being a judge for the CMA Awards. The industry has evolved from the early days of digital marketing, and the awards now include a martech category. Marketing has become more complex, which has created a need for marketers for perform at an increased speed of execution. It’s important to recognize the organizations and campaigns that showcase how this can be done successfully.

The awards cover a cross-section of industry categories and sectors, including automotive, B2B, consumer products, consumer services, financial, food and beverage, healthcare, retail, and social causes. In 2019, the CMA created a martech sub-category for each of the nine sectors.

After judging 30 cases in the 2019 martech category, I noted that the campaign submissions that won Gold included key strategic elements and provided proven measurements and impact. Not surprisingly, the Gold winners highlighted financial return (payback, or ROI) or demonstrated how they built sustainable, competitive advantages for their organization. The submissions also quantified the impact on customer perceptions, behaviour and sales.

In a recent CMA Martech Council meeting, the group discussed how marketers have been too tactical in their approach to martech. We agreed that the industry needs to have a more strategic view of its conceptualization and execution. To create more robust campaigns, we need to close the industry gaps in education, activation and strategic thinking, all of which stem from a misunderstanding of what martech is.

Martech is more than just bringing digital marketing together with technology. At a tactical level, innovative use of technology may drive engagement, but it also needs to have a demonstrated impact on business. This is done through integrated campaigns that enable companies to run marketing operations at a much larger scale.

Within the Council, we are helping to educate and provide thought leadership in this ever-changing space. Be sure to check out our blogs and other content as we kick off the 2020-21 Council term, and in the meantime, save the date for the CMAmartech event taking place on July 7.


By Geoff Linton, P. Eng, CM
Geoff Linton is the President of Tekside.io and the incoming Co-Chair of the CMA Martech Council.

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