What are the ECMOD Awards?

The ECMOD Awards have spearheaded the recognition of business excellence for organisations engaged in direct-to-customer retailing across traditional and newly emerging channels. With categories designed for those targeting sales to businesses as well as for those selling to consumers, these unique awards also seek to celebrate the achievements of businesses of all scales and at all stages of development.

When are the ECMOD Awards?

The Direct Commerce Awards will take place on Thursday 18th April at Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS.

What categories can I enter?

This year’s categories are:

1. Annual sales of up to £5 million                 B2B B2C
2. Annual sales of £5 million – £15 million   B2B B2C
3. Annual sales of £15 million – £30 million B2B B2C
4. Annual sales of £30 million – £50 million B2B B2C
5. Annual sales over £50 million                    B2B B2C

6. Children’s
7. Womenswear/Accessories
8. Menswear/Accessories
9. Home inc Food & Wine
10. Gardening & Outdoors
11. Gifts & Gadgets

12. Office/Business
13. Industrial, Warehouse & Materials Handling
14. Hotel, Restaurant, Catering
15. Education/Teaching
16. Safety, Security Construction, Maintenance, Facilities
17. Health, Medical, Scientific

18. Best Catalogue Creative & Production
19. Best Website
20. Best Mobile Commerce Site
21. Best Multi-Channel Customer Recruitment Campaign
22. Best Use of Social Media
23. Best Exploitation of Technology – business up to £25 million sales/business over £25 million sales
24. Outstanding CRM & Customer Service

Why do some companies seem to win year after year?

It may sound facetious but, to be in with a chance of winning one of these awards, a business has first to enter. There is no favouritism. The best entries win. New judges come in each year and new categories are introduced each year. Some businesses have won year after year, but if you haven’t entered and shown the Judges what you have achieved, you aren’t offering up any competition.

Other factors: a well-crafted, comprehensive entry that provides all the information required in a concise, well ordered way and which draws attention to major achievements will invariably have a better chance of winning than those that lack the detail. If you cannot divulge results in £s then use percentages; for example, % improvements in response/sales/customer recruited; % reduction in recruitment cost or returns.

Put yourself in the judges’ shoes, never assume he/she will be able to read between the lines. The winning factor could be the detail you include that another entrant omits.

Confidentiality and judging

Entries are recorded and handled with the utmost respect for confidentiality. Entrants are asked to clearly highlight any information which is not for disclosure. The judges, who are independent, are selected for their authority, expertise and impartiality. Judges volunteer their services. Each is bound by a confidentiality agreement.

Judges may only score entries from businesses with which they have no trading relationship, past or present. The ECMOD judges operate via carefully constructed guidelines. Judging is handled remotely, which is why they request eight full copies of each entry with eight copies of each supporting item. Each judge will score the entries allocated to him/her according to the key criteria for each category with due consideration for the size of the entering business, and the depth of information provided within the permitted word count. The judges are each allocated categories specific to their specialism.

Once each judge has submitted his/her results to the appointed awards administrator, the results are merged, scores totalled and comments compiled. From this, an initial shortlist is released first to all entrants and sponsoring organisations, and then to recipients of the next available issue of the Direct Commerce DC Weeklyenewsletter. The shortlist is then further refined following discussion with the judges immediately prior to the ECMOD Direct Commerce Awards presentation dinner, from which the eventual winner for each category is confirmed.

Compiling entries

The most important advice is to follow the guidelines. Adhering to word counts or number of sides of A4 paper is particularly important. Judges can only compare like with like and will reject entries that do not conform.

Eight copies of each entry for each category are required: that includes eight copies of each entry form, each catalogue edition, each insert, each screen grab, each supporting document, and so on. This is because one complete copy is retained by the ECMOD Awards administrator as the control set; seven judges will each receive the category entry. Judges examine entries in one category at a time and cannot review material that is not provided with a specific category entry. A business may enter several categories and each will, like as not, have differing judges.

Documents, screengrabs, website links and other digital information may be saved to memory stick (eight per entry), BUT word counts must be adhered to and a printed summary of the documents saved to the stick must be included.

Can suppliers support entries?

Many client companies are happy to have a key supplier collaborate in preparing and submitting an entry. Several categories lend themselves very well to this. It is key however, that any supplier entering has the express permission of the client, and that a separate entry is made for each client company. Most categories require results to be addended, for example, entries in the Best Multi-Channel Customer Recruitment Campaign, will not be judged purely by the creative treatment but by the results achieved expressed by %s or £s.

When is the deadline for entries?

All entries must be received at the ECMOD Awards Administrator’s office by 22nd March.