Roll the music, for I’d now like to announce the winners of Econsultancy’s Innovation Awards 2010. Before I do, I’d like to thank all of the expert judges who helped us in the process of making our minds up.
Aside from the lucky few winners, we have commended a number of other entries that stood out from the crowd. Commiserations if you missed out. The innovation bar was definitely raised in 2010, and - innovation aside - we were delighted by the sheer commitment to best practice by hundreds of firms who entered the awards.
So, here goes…
Innovation in Affiliate Marketing
Winner: Affiliate Window & myThings
Highly Commended: Buy.at & Coull
About the winning entry: With its unique CPA business model and partnerships with affiliate networks, myThings has brought personalised retargeting to the affiliate marketing domain. Advertisers only pay for actual sales generated by personalised retargeting campaigns, as with their affiliate programs.
Judge’s comments: This is impressive and aggressive technology, and it’s tactically a smart thing to do. It is both innovative and effective. We expect to see it more widely used in 2011.
Innovation in B2B Marketing
Highly Commended: Tradedoubler and SceneStealer for Dell
About the winning entry: A campaign that targeted small business professionals working away from home using frequently accessed wi-fi hotspots, to engage a B2B audience that is incredibly fickle as far as financial advertising is concerned.
Judge’s comments: This was a pioneering campaign for a B2B brand, and it proved to be a hugely effective way of raising awareness among target businesses.
Innovation in E-commerce
Highly Commended: Kiddicare
Highly Commended: SciVisum
About the winning entry: Shutl is the first company worldwide to ‘solve’ delivery by enabling shoppers to get their purchases when they want; either immediately or within a one-hour window of their choice, same-day or any-day, for a price that is comparable to standard delivery.
Judge’s comments: Shutl is genuinely innovative and ahead of its time. Shoppers are increasingly intolerant of poor delivery. Shutl has solved this age-old problem and is a business to watch in 2011.
Innovation in Email Marketing
Winner: e-Dialog and British Airways
About the winning entry: To promote the launch and maximise downloads of the Executive Club mobile application, BA and e-Dialog developed a unique strategy, using historical customer data to target smartphone users in a highly targeted email-to-mobile campaign.
Judge’s comments: A smart and progressive email marketing campaign that – as well as being innovative in its scope – generated some great results.
Innovation in Mobile Marketing
Winner: Golley Slater Digital
Highly Commended: Marks & Spencer/Mobile Interactive Group
About the winning entry: The Clarityn augmented reality iPhone app helps people to visualise the strength of the pollen based on real-time data feeds linked to a localised pollen count forecast. It is an accurate and fully animated 3D pollen forecast for today or tomorrow.
Judge’s comments: A superb app that supports the brand incredibly well, and which proves that augmented reality is more than a technology gimmick. A great use of real time data, and very successful. Bravo.
Innovation in Multichannel Marketing
Highly Commended: Flightglobal – a part of Reed Business Information
About the winning entry: Photographic equipment retailer Jessops offers an exceptional multichannel experience for customers, across four channels: store, online, call centre and catalogue. The ‘Collect In-Store’ service is used by 70% of customers, while its Advice For Life promise on all purchases was supported by a £1m staff training programme.
Judge’s comments: Jessops’ thorough commitment to multichannel innovation has transformed the business. The results of its efforts are frankly jaw-dropping. It is a firm that all multichannel retailers should keep a close eye on in 2011.
Innovation in Online Customer Service
Winner: ‘Gatwick Airport’
Highly Commended: Netflights
Highly Commended: Reevoo
About the winning entry: London Gatwick Airport is the first airport in Europe to offer 24-hour Twitter support, the first airport worldwide to use mobile barcodes as information points and the first airport worldwide to roll out a mobile and web-based retailer review section using Qype.
Judge’s comments: Probably the most holistic use of social media seen in a customer-focused business, and a great way of transforming something boring into something interesting. Ticks all of the boxes! Well done to Gatwick Airport and Team Rabbit.
Innovation in Online Marketing Research or Customer Insight
Winner: Intrepid - An Alterian Company and CNN International
About the winning entry: Faced with a plethora of social media measurement tools CNN International concluded no single tool could produce accurate insight to prove the commercial power of news sharing and recommendation. CNN commissioned Intrepid to create an integrated research methodology that broke through limitations of traditional insight and monitoring tools.
Judge’s comments: Groundbreaking research and a very interesting method which helped to prove the effectiveness of CNN’s social media strategy. It is great to see proof that sharing boosts all of the key ad metrics.
Innovation in Online PR
About the winning entry: The Foursquare Race to The North Pole PR Campaign combined traditional PR techniques with the latest social networking trend – and mobile. The campaign successfully gave the story a much wider reach in order to raise the profile of the charity trek and the agency’s client, Carole Nash Motorbike Insurance.
Judge’s comments: A great use of mobile and social channels to boost media coverage, and the development of Android-to-satellite phone tethering technology was a serious commitment to innovation for this PR campaign. Very good results too, with more than 200 articles published.
Innovation in Paid Search / PPC
Winner: Net Media Planet Limited
Highly Commended: DC Storm
About the winning entry: Search agency Net Media Planet harnessed the YouTube Video Targeting Tool and its own Mercury technology platform to overlay adverts for celebrity perfumes by targeting and matching thousands of high profile celebrity YouTube videos. The Perfume Shop's revenue from this approach outstripped normal search engine PPC sales.
Judge’s comments: An enviable application of technology and marketing insight, which generated incredible results. Both clever and strategic.
Innovation in Rich Media and Video
Winner: BroadView: ‘Virgin Holidays campaign’
Highly Commended: Buto
Highly Commended: YuMe
About the winning entry: The Virgin Holidays web buying experience was humanised through the projection of a virtual sales adviser on to the screen, apparently walking off the page and into the viewer’s world. The project broke new ground in the use of video to upsell, resulting in a 30% uplift in the sales of Upper Class tickets by Virgin Holidays.
Judge’s comments: Very relevant, effective, and on-brand. The campaign generated superb results that Virgin Holidays must be thrilled with.
Innovation in SEO / Natural Search
Winner: Linkdex Limited
About the winning entry: Linkdex presents businesses of all sizes with an end-to-end SEO tool that solves several market problems using complex technology implementations. Its proprietary crawling and filtering algorithms create signals that allow the system to show causality between actions and SEO results, and provide fresh data which can be segmented and acted upon.
Judge’s comments: An extremely useful tool, and one that provides a much-needed analytics layer over SEO data sets.
Innovation in Social Media
Winner: Jimmy Choo and FreshNetworks
About the winning entry: Luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo harnessed social media, and in particular Foursquare, to help launch its new trainer collection. Foursquare's own Head of Business Development, Tristan Walker, said The Jimmy Choo Trainer Hunt was: “Probably my favourite campaign that I’ve seen in social media. Period.”
Judge’s comments: Great to see a top global brand pushing social media in this innovative way. Attaching social media to moving objects, rather than people, is inspired.
Innovation in User Experience
Winner: Fortune Cookie for Europcar
Highly Commended: Box UK
About the winning entry: Europcar was the first travel company in Europe to offer Microsoft Surface tables to provide customers with a new and unique way of planning their onward journeys. The first interactive touch-driven table was initially rolled out for customers at Europcar outlets in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and Munich Airport. Europcar also became the first travel company in the world to have its own multi-touch application for Windows 7.
Judge’s comments: What’s great about this entry is that it recognises that user experience is about much more than usability. Fortune Cookie created something engaging, usable and memorable, and it has planned for the future too, making this project one to keep an eye on.
Innovation in Web Analytics and Optimisation
Winner: AdInsight Limited
About the winning entry: AdInsight Clarity has solved the complicated problem of accurately tying phone call conversions to online visitors by allocating each visitor a unique telephone number for the entire time they are engaged with the website. It reports on how each caller found the website, what search phrases they used and which pages they viewed before during and after they called. It works by tracking an unlimited number of keywords through to a phone call and integrates with third party analytics solutions such as Google Analytics and Adwords to allow the offline conversions to be reported alongside online data.
Judge’s comments: A brilliant way of tracking users over their customer lifetime, which should improve service and sales. This solution joins up telesales information and online marketing activity in a simple useable package.
Innovation in Web Content Management
Winner: BBC Future Media and Technology
About the winning entry: The BBC World Cup 2010 website was a significant step change in the way that content is published. Its dynamic semantic publishing framework facilitates the publication of automated metadata-driven web pages that are light-touch, requiring minimal journalistic management, as they automatically aggregate and render links to relevant stories.
Judge’s comments: This is in another league, as far as content strategy is concerned. It is light years ahead of what most publishers are doing. Brilliant!
Most Innovative Digital Agency
Highly Commended: Essence
Highly Commended: Rockfish
About the winning entry: Significant investment in digital thinking though collaboration with Bournemouth University, as well as in its innovation department, resulting in projects such as chromacam.co.uk.
Judge’s comments: Scores highly for fostering a genuine culture of innovation, with its Labs division and hack projects.
Most Innovative Digital Marketing Team
Highly Commended: first direct
About the winning entry: Impressive examples of innovation proposed to LBi/bigmouthmedia clients: the use of QR codes, the launch of V-commerce activities, a 3D room designer application and Facebook’s Open Graph API.
Judge’s comments: This tech team deserves recognition for leaping headfirst into some new areas, and for pushing the boundaries in mobile, location and rich media once it has landed intact.
Most Innovative New Technology
Highly Commended: Fontdeck
Highly Commended: LOVEFiLM UK Ltd
About the winning entry: The world’s first smile-activated ice cream vending machine created for Unilever offered an exciting new way for consumers to buy Wall’s ice cream and to experience the brand. The “Share Happy” vending machine combines facial recognition, 3G technology and social media.
Judge’s comments: A clever combination of offline and online technology and free ice cream! What’s not to like?
Most Innovative Online Advertising Campaign
Highly Commended: Cisco
Highly Commended: Essence
About the winning entry: Hiscox partnered with a location based wi-fi network that serves customers with targeted insurance adverts as they wait for a connection, Targeting was concentrated on those hotspots regularly used by prospects on the move, such as hotels, coffee shops and airports. In comparison to traditional display advertising, Hiscox achieved above average click through rates and higher recall levels.
Judge’s comments: A great example of how joined up online and offline advertising enhanced the user engagement for Hiscox. Location-based smartness.
Most Innovative Use of Data
Highly Commended: Barclays Bank PLC
Highly Commended: Monetate, Inc.
About the winning entry: Use of Tealeaf technology has given netflights.com complete visibility into how customers are behaving on its website. This has allowed the company to identify how customers are struggling, and then to pass these insights to the contact centre so that agents can proactively help customers that are in need of assistance. Using Tealeaf, the outbound call centre team now delivers more revenue per hour than any other part of the business and generates over 26% of all revenue received through netflights.com.
Judge’s comments: Proactive and highly effective, this is precisely the kind of thing that all kinds of e-commerce firms should be doing. Call centre agents can be hugely empowered with real time data. This is the future.