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Data & Marketing Association Awards Judge 2022 – What the best case study entries have in common

Published On: Sunday 9th October 2022

DMA LogoI recently took part as a Judge for the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) Awards 2022, for the third year running. In this blog post, I share my thoughts on what it takes to make the shortlist and importantly, what you need to think about as you deliver your best work in the next 12 months.

What is the DMA?

The DMA is a not-for-profit and the driving force of intelligent marketing in the UK. They’re customer-first and underpinned by the DMA Code.

“Guided by our customer-first principles enshrined in the DMA Code, we champion a rich fusion of technology, diverse talent, creativity, research and insight to set standards for the UK’s data and marketing community to meet in order to thrive.”

Data & Marketing Association

The DMA has 5 core principles and interestingly, they are intrinsically aligned with Hexdon’s:

  • Putting your customer first: value your customer, understand their needs and offer relevant products and services
  • Respect privacy: Act in accordance with your customer’s expectations
  • Be honest and fair: Be honest, fair and transparent throughout your business
  • Be diligent with data: Treat your customers’ personal data with the utmost care and respect
  • Take responsibility: Act responsibly at all times and honour your accountability

What does brilliant work look like?

Drawing upon my 3 years of experience judging the DMA Awards, I bring to you what I think ‘brilliant work’ looks like, regardless of the category you enter into. Think of the following areas in the context of your data-driven marketing over the next 12 months and ask yourself how you can set a new standard that pushes the industry forwards: Strategy, Culture, Customer Insight, Data, Creative, Integrated Campaigns and Results.


Winning entries set out a clear and concise strategic approach. Explain the challenge and draw upon company values and business goals to set the scene. Underline the customer insight to demonstrate you understand their needs before showcasing great customer experiences and engagement. Articulate the market insight to set the commercial scene. And tell us why you chose the approach you did, touching on data, technologies and channels that drove successful business results.


In today’s environment, culture is critical to success, especially when integrating company culture into the mix. Share how data culture and creative culture was embedded into your work and bring in the context of today. Speak to what’s happening inside your organisation and the cultural truths from the perspectives of your customers. 

Customer Insight

Show us how you put your customers first. What’s the key insight that’s meaningful for your story. Share your customers attitudes, behaviours, needs and preferences where relevant. And talk to us about the problem your customer is trying to solve, or the solution they want but don’t have. Did you undertake any research? And what does the segmentation look like?


Tell us how the data in your organisation are the foundation of your award entry. We want to see a well thought out data strategy. We want to see customer, market and channel perspectives. And we want to see a practical measurement approach that works – this is the Data… and Marketing Association Awards after all.


The magic happens when we bring data and creativity together. How will you differentiate from your competitors and what’s going to capture the hearts and minds of your customers? What are the most impactful channels to deploy communications most effectively across phases of your marketing campaign. And are there any innovations that demonstrate new ways of experiencing your brand.

Integrated Campaign

We want to see your work come together in a well thought out plan. How will you bring various customer segments together, along with channels and strong messaging to nudge your customers forwards? We’re not looking for integration for the sake of it – we want it to be meaningful.


Your goals and objectives are the driving force behind your work. Talk to us about what you’re aiming for and why it’s important to this work.  Ensure you present them clearly and concisely and don’t hold back – we’re under NDA and the DMA follow strict protocol. As judges, we’re looking for targets, benchmarks, control groups – anything that puts your results in context. And when you report on success, ensure they’re measured against the plan. 

Final Thoughts

Now is a great time to take stock of what the year ahead looks like for your team and brand. Regardless of whether you entered, made the shortlist or not, this is a perfect time to look ahead to the next 12 months.

Don’t forget that as well as delivering great data driven marketing, judges want to see great storytelling and supporting assets that jump out. Remember to make our lives easy – we’re looking for any way we can differentiate you from the competition.  

It’s difficult to meet all these elements, but the brands that do, will be sure to be shortlisted and stand a chance of Gold at the DMA Awards 2023!

If you’d like to discuss your DMA Awards Entry in more detail, contact us for a friendly chat.

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