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The ROI of Awards

May 16, 2019 | marketing

By now, you’ve come to realize that awards programs come with a price tag. No doubt, you’ve asked yourself: is it worth it? Let’s take a deeper dive at how companies can get the most mileage out of their awards spend—and even find a way to directly tie it to sales and business development.

If you are tracking all of your marketing spend, including PR/comms, why not track the ROI of awards? Attribution is key to demonstrating the correlation between your spend on awards and sales.

This post will cover promotions, attribution, and various fees you might incur by participating in awards programs. We will continue to update this post, and share additional insights via other posts in our blog.

What has worked for you and what hasn’t? Please contact us with your suggestions and experiences.


Analytics and Tracking

After winning the award, the next step will most likely be the creation of a page on your website promoting the win. You’ll then promote via social media, email footers, or even Google Ads and other PPC channels. Make sure that every external link you place around the Web pointing to this award includes the same Campaign Name created in your Google Analytics UTM Tracking Code.

If you’re using HubSpot, you can follow the Buyer’s Journey. You can measure how much time visitors to your website spend on the the award page, and count this towards attribution and by extension, the ROI of the award.


Licensing Fee

Some awards programs do not charge you to enter—and do not even ask you to fill out an entry form. Somewhere along the line, you may have received an email (or most likely a call) from a company congratulating you and your company for having won an award. Wow! In fact, you may not have heard of the awards issuer either. (In our awards saturated climate, this may not come as a surprise.)

The catch, of course, is that you cannot openly promote this news; you must pay that company a “licensing fee” for the right to promote the award. Companies like industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan do this, and justify their request for payment because their analyst team has identified your company and written a short piece of research explaining why your company stands out from the crowd.

You can simply cut to the chase and ask the representative for the licensing fee, and what it allows you to do and not do. I would also ask the rep for references or examples of past companies who have successfully extracted ROI from paying the licensing fee. 

Feeling Overwhelmed?

We’ve uncovered close to 8,000 awards categories. Choosing the handful to apply to can be a challenge. We’re here to make things easier. 

Events and Conferences

Many awards programs are simply extensions to live events. As a sponsor, speaker, or attendee, you are invited to enter a competition or awards program, at no extra charge. Well, of course there is a fee—it’s tied to the dollars you spent getting in to the front door.

Companies have different ways of attributing an event spend to sales. Consider a percentage of that as a spend on the award, to more tightly track any sales or business development efforts.


Research Bundle

Some awards programs have no entry fees, but you have to subscribe to their information products and services in order to be considered. This is common in publishing and industry research firms. The ROI of this category of spend is perhaps a bit harder to track, as sales generally do not emanate directly from a subscription media product.

However, if you do any marketing surrounding this content, including landing pages, microsites, ads, and the like, be sure to attribute it to the publisher.


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