Insider tips to achieve award-winning retail marketing success

Soon enough the attention of the retail property industry will once again turn to the annual Property Council of Australia Queensland Retail Property of the Year Awards.

These awards are the pinnacle of our industry and are highly sought after by proactive retail property owners, managers and marketers who recognise the enormous value in being crowed the best of the best in the competitive field for retail marketing.

I have been a judge for Excellence in Marketing category for nearly 10 years and during this time I have reviewed literally hundreds of entries across all size classifications. 

Some entries immediately stand out, not only for clearly demonstrating retail property marketing excellence but also for the professional way they are presented and how they accurately adhere to the judging criteria and requirements.

At the other end of the scale, far too many entry submissions keep on making the same basic mistakes year after year! These mistakes can be very easily addressed but they are continually repeated and unfortunately cruel the chances of a quality marketing achievement receiving due award recognition.

So in the interests of getting out early ahead of this year’s nomination process, I have decided to highlight my key tips for preparing entries that do justice to your marketing achievement and give you the greatest possible chance of award success.

I believe this insider’s view is crucial to fostering and improving best practice standards in the retail property industry, and in particular among retail property marketers.

Here are my key ‘dos and don’ts’ for navigating the award entry process:

  • Ensure you read the entry requirements carefully and strictly adhere to these requirements. This can be the difference between winning and missing out. 
  • Clearly and succinctly discuss the rationale for implementing the marketing campaign. What market research was used? Why are you doing it? This critical situation analysis component is a common area where many entries fall short.
  • The objectives of the marketing campaign must be specific, measurable and quantifiable. If sales objectives are not a key reason for implementing the campaign then you had better think twice about entering as the judges will not view this favourably. 
  • Define the key strategies implemented to reach and engage with your audience and meet your objectives.  This includes explaining the appropriateness of the campaign strategies to meet your objectives, taking into account the size of the property, its location, market etc.
  • Stick to the word count requirements also. A good entry is short and succinct. Don’t waffle on, get to the point!
  • Make sure your grammar and sentence structure is excellent. Many clever campaigns miss out on the recognition they deserve because the entry has been poorly written. 
  • The writing style for award entries is business, not advertising or social media speak.
  • Don’t get too carried away with all the digital marketing jargon. There is more to a successful campaign than digital media. 
  • Creativity is a very important factor. Make sure you demonstrate the creative components of the campaign even if it is a new spin on an old campaign.
  • Measurement of results, impact of the marketing campaign, and effective use of budget are also key judging factors. Ensure that the costs of the marketing campaign are budgeted, measured and compared to results, such as by an ROI.
  • Don’t forget you’re retailers! Demonstrate how the retailers at your property were involved in the campaign and how they were communicated to. Too many award entries fail to show how retailers were involved or engaged and as such they are not looked upon favourably. 

This last point is very important as it reflects a more fundamental ‘big picture’ approach to the marketing of retail properties. What I have learnt from more than 25 years in retail marketing, is that all successful campaigns require a true partnership and teamwork approach with the retailers at a property. Campaigns that are formulated and implemented alone, in isolation and with no input and buy-in from retailers are doomed to fail.

The Property Council of Australia's Retail Property of the Year Awards recognise and publicly reward exceptional retail properties and precincts in Queensland, based on the response to Design, Marketing, Presentation and Food Retailing criteria.

Properties or precincts that nominate in more than one category vie for the title of Queensland Retail Property of the Year.

Nominations will close on Friday 13 July at 5pm.

Bev Strickland is Managing Director of Strictlymarketing.
The Strictlymarketing team works at the coalface of retail property marketing every day and is constantly engaged with retail property managers, owners and individual retailers to achieve the best possible marketing outcomes.