Industry News & Trends

DMA Awards 2021: Great Data Drives Great Performances 

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Finalists for the 2021 Data & Marketing Association (DMA) Awards have been announced.

The awards recognize the year’s best marketing campaigns—and the teams that execute them—across 30+ categories. Validity proudly sponsors the annual showcase of marketing excellence, and with good reason: One in every three finalists is a Validity customer!

We’d like to recognize each of them individually. Take a deep breath (it’s a long list!) as we congratulate:  

  • Barclays 
  • Bottomline
  • BT
  • Canon
  • Coca-Cola
  • Co-op
  • EasyJet
  • Expedia
  • Hilton
  • Jaguar 
  • Land Rover
  • Laithwaites
  • Lakeland
  • Mazda
  • McDonald’s
  • Microsoft
  • PayPal
  • Samsung
  • Toolstation

These household names understand the importance of using high-quality data to support great marketing and of having a reliable channel (email!) for fulfillment. In fact, it’s a recurring theme through many of the fantastic 450 entries that made this year’s shortlist.

Such an impressive list of nominees required an equally impressive judging committee. To that end, we salute three of Validity’s own—Priyanka Roy, Elliot Hogg, and Guy Hanson—who participated in the judging process for this prestigious competition. 

As Spider-Man learned, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Judges of the DMA Awards know this firsthand: The committee’s evaluation criteria are demanding, rigorous, and place a strong emphasis on being exceptional and ethical—values that closely align with Validity’s corporate philosophy.

These values are particularly relevant in the current social climate. During COVID-19, many marketers re-evaluated their strategies. While they might have been laser-focused on selling in the past, priorities have shifted to providing useful content and showing empathy as mental health concerns rise.

As we reviewed this year’s DMA Awards submissions, several themes emerged that align with this shift: 

1. Data-driven marketing 

More marketers are using customer data to facilitate meaningful conversations and build stronger customer relationships. Some marketing strategies now include new technical components, like using advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver relevant, hyper-personalised messaging. Senders are also thinking more visually about their customer data and using it as a storytelling device to illustrate product interests, lifecycle stages, and value received from the relationship. 

2. Changed context

After another year of upheaval, we expected marketing teams to alter their strategies to reflect their customers’ evolving circumstances. We weren’t disappointed.  

We saw numerous examples of teams using data-driven marketing to better understand their customers’ altered working practices, evolving childcare needs, and in some cases, surplus free time. Smart marketers leveraged these insights to provide their customers with advice, guidance, and support. These emotional bonds will last long after the high tide of the pandemic ebbs.    

3. Increased social awareness

The DMA’s “How to Win Trust & Loyalty” report identifies compassion as a primary driver of customer loyalty. This works on a personal level (per the previous point), but also on a larger scale.

Companies known to treat their workers well, operate in an environmentally friendly way, and maintain a good reputation typically inspire greater customer loyalty. In response to this enhanced social awareness, we saw many businesses working to demonstrate the positive impact they have on their communities and the environment. 

Great data drives great performance. That’s why Validity is a proud headline sponsor of the 2021 DMA Awards. We can’t wait to don our black ties for awards night on Tuesday, 7 December. We hope some of you will join us for one of the biggest industry events of the year. 

Visit the DMA’s website to book your place at the awards.

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