It’s Your Time to Shine at the 2018 Pinnacle Awards

By: Amy Mersch

Do you love cheering for an underdog? If March Madness has shown us anything this year, it’s that anything is possible. Or maybe you’re still caught up in the spirit of competition from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, or you still have stars in your eyes from #Oscars90.

Whatever kind of story inspires you, the fact of the matter is that you go out there, week after week, and play to win. Whether you work in branding, digital, CPG, innovation, or research; whether you represent a big brand or a startup; whether you’re part of a team at an agency or you’re an in-house warrior, or maybe you work at a university or are a college student yourself, you’re a practitioner of marketing, and you don’t settle for “good enough.”

Cincinnati marketing professionals, NOW is your time to shine. AMA Cincinnati is currently accepting submissions for the 2018 Pinnacle Awards, the highlight of our chapter’s year, and our chance to celebrate regional excellence in marketing.

2018 Pinnacle Awards Categories

At the 2017 Pinnacle Awards at the Transept, we awarded winners across 10 categories, carefully chosen from a record number of submissions.

This year, we’ve made a few tweaks to our Categories & Descriptions, and even added a couple opportunities for Special Merit! There’s sure to be a category that’s just your style.

The 2018 Pinnacle Awards categories include…

Best Use of Content for Inbound Marketing and Engagement

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. It’s not just blogs and white papers anymore, but leveraging all kinds of media in interesting ways so brands can tell a story and spark engagement with their intended audience.

Best Overall Digital Strategy & Execution

We live in a world of constant digital innovation and transformation. At the core of the best marketing efforts is a website that informs, engages, inspires action, captures leads and drives sales. For optimal impact it must go farther, reaching your audience and drawing or driving them to your website to create those engagement and conversion opportunities.

Best Integrated Marketing Campaign

This category welcomes submissions for the best thought-out marketing campaigns that use a variety of channels and vehicles with carefully tracked metrics to accomplish their business objectives or solve a marketing problem.

Best Customer Experience Execution (formerly best use of Insights to Drive Experience, Engagement and/or Innovation)

Customer experience has become the new “currency” for brands looking to up their status and profit. This category welcomes submissions in which an experience was created that made a difference for a target audience. What were your insights gained? How did you continuously improve and innovate?

Best Brand Launch or Rebranding Effort

Did you go through a rebrand this year? We want to recognize the company that best demonstrates the “why” behind a brand or rebrand effort. Whether you’re a startup or a decades-old company going through a turnaround or rebirth, share your rebrand process with us.

Best “Non-Marketing” Marketing Program

Marketers wear many hats, and sometimes that means stepping out of some disciplines and into different ones to drive value for your organization. Did you undertake a big change initiative? Facilitate a social engagement campaign for/with employees? Support talent management and recruiting efforts? How about community involvement and volunteer initiatives?

Best Collegiate/Student Marketing Plan, Campaign, and/or Program

Calling all students! Have you had term papers, projects or capstone courses that require the creation of a marketing plan, campaign, and an extent of execution? Brag about the results of your work!

Best Use of Technology for Sales Enablement

One of the biggest opportunities and challenges for marketers these days is to incorporate, adopt and adapt Marketing Automation and CRM for lead and demand generation activities. These activities are essential to drive sales initiatives, asset creation, relationship development, and conference/trade show participation. Share your transformation or application story, including goals, results and creative solutions.

Best Scrappy Marketing Campaign

Are you a non-profit operating your marketing initiatives on a shoestring? New manager in a large organization trying to build a business case for something new and fighting for every budget dollar? Startup with lean funds to promote your new business? Tell us what you had to work with, how you tackled the creative challenge of getting the most bang for your frugal buck, and how far it went in the end.

NEW!   Special Merit/Recognition: In-House Warriors

Not every organization hires an agency partner. Great marketing can come from within the company. Based on entries submitted, this special recognition is for the in-house warriors who rocked a campaign from brainstorm to execution and measurement, regardless of budget. Consider this a “no agencies allowed!” space.

NEW!   Special Merit/Recognition: Research or Insight Catalyst

Who doesn’t love a good backstory? Based on entries submitted, this special recognition is to recognize the research and/or insights that helped spark the effort for a successful marketing campaign, initiative, rebrand, operations innovation, etc.

Note: The campaign or initiative may have been executed in 2017, but the research may have occurred earlier, so this special recognition is not time-bound to 2017.

Tell us your story — submit your work!

It’s our honor to recognize marketing excellence from across greater Cincinnati.

Who Can Submit?

You do not have to be an AMA member to submit your work for award consideration.

You must submit original work or work that you directly supervised. Additionally, the work submitted must have been created/managed in 2017.

How Do I Submit?

We have a page dedicated to the process. Read more and start getting your materials together!

But don’t delay — submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2018,  April 6, 2018! (The deadline has been extended!)

A Standard of Excellence

Need even more motivation? Our past winners have set the bar high, elevating the role of marketing in Greater Cincinnati through their inspiring work. Read more about our past winners and view the 2019 Finalist Showcase.

Our Second Class of Cincinnati Marketing Legends

At this year’s awards, we’re excited to welcome our second class of Cincinnati Marketing Legends. This is a lifetime achievement-type award, recognizing those who have made a lasting impact, and brought acclaim to Cincinnati or the profession of marketing.

We are accepting (free!) nominations for our second class of Cincinnati Marketing Legends, to be inducted at this year’s Pinnacle Awards. You don’t need to be an AMA member to nominate. Nominate here.

Read more about our inaugural Cincinnati Marketing Legends here.

Do You Have Stars in Your Eyes?

Relive the magic of last year’s awards ceremony, and picture yourself joining us on May 31, 2018 — visit our photo album on Facebook! And keep an eye out for event details and how to RSVP for this night of marketing excellence!

We hope to be announcing YOUR name on May 31!

P.S. If you missed the #Pinnacle???? fun on social media last week, catch up with us on Twitter at @AMACincinnati!