Five things we learned about the state of content marketing from judging the CMA awards

November 5th, 2018

If you have an entry, or possibly a few, in the CMA awards then you’ll know that Thursday, November 1st was one of the key dates in the process. That was the day when we convened all our judges at the Century Club in London and spent the hours discussing who was going to win the awards.

At the close of the day each category had been judged with gold, silver and bronze all allotted. The exhausted judges then retired to the upstairs bar for a well earned drink.

The judges, who are content experts from brands, freelance consultants and representatives from startups, had plenty to say about the standard of the entries this year. So at the end of the sessions, we asked them to share a few thoughts about the process.

1. The standard of entries was exceptionally high – “I was completely blown away by the quality of entries in the two categories I judged” said one of our judges, reiterating a view that a few others had shared earlier in the day. The standard for award entries across the board was exceptionally high, not just in the most high profile awards, like best use of print and video series, but also in categories like best use of SEO and innovation where the competition was fierce.

2.  The judging was as competitive as ever – “I remember one year being involved in an awards judging session that refused to end,” explained one judge. “It was like the infamous tennis match at Wimbledon when the two players went on and on and couldn’t be separated. This year was no different, with so many strong entries from across the categories, picking a winner proved as difficult as ever. Another judge said, “We managed to decide on a winner but not without some hard fought debating from all sides”.

3. The awards continue to grow globally – This year saw the continuation of the trend of entries from across Europe and North America competing with the best of British. What was also encouraging to see was the growing willingness from all entrants to promote and support their own in house teams with the Rising Star category doubling in size.

4.  We appreciate it must be hard for agencies to constantly keep refreshing their product – be it a magazine or a website, to show innovation and excellence. Yet once again several judges said they were hugely impressed by the standard of entries and how brands and agencies maintained momentum throughout their content campaigns whilst entering into territory.

5. Content marketing is both a science and an art – Several judges noted the way in which data-driven campaigns which were able to demonstrate very clear business impact, were among the strongest entries.  with creativity and innovation as important factors the high quality content marketing that the awards attracts helps position us here at the CMA as the leading benchmark for all good quality content.

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