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Ah, December. For many media folks it is a month of fat lunches and the parties. It used to be like that for me too, until we launched our Innovation Awards a couple of years ago.
Since then December has turned into a month of hardcore reading. Our in-house judging panel (me, CEO Ashley Friedlein and Research Director Linus Gregoriadis) spent the majority of the month poring over the 350+ entries, checking out sites and apps, and generally trying to make sense of things.
Last year was a great year for innovation, based on what we read. There are some amazing things going on in our industry.
So firstly I need to say that this shortlist could be (much) longer, but we needed to draw a line somewhere. Maximum kudos to all that have been shortlisted, and commiserations if you just missed out. Here we go...
Innovation in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Window & myThings
Affiliate Window & Red Letter Days
buy.at & Coull
Innovation in B2B Marketing
Candytech with Socialbakers
Reed Business Information
TradeDoubler and SceneStealer for Dell SMB
Innovation in E-commerce
Innovation in Email Marketing
Air New Zealand
e-Dialog and British Airways
Innovation in Mobile Marketing
Golley Slater Digital
Marks & Spencer/ Mobile Interactive Group
Innovation in Multichannel Marketing
Flightglobal - part of Reed Business Information
Nectar, Groupe Aeroplan
Innovation in Online Customer Service
Philips Consumer Lifestyle
Innovation in Online Marketing Research or Customer Insight
Direct Line & Foolproof
Intrepid - An Alterian Company and CNN International
Innovation in Online PR
Innovation in Paid Search Marketing
Clicks2Customers and Real Life Insurance
Net Media Planet Limited
Innovation in Rich Media and Video
Innovation in SEO / Natural Search
Innovation in Social Media
Jimmy Choo and FreshNetworks
Welcome to Yorkshire
Innovation in User Experience
Innovation in Web Analytics
Innovation in Web Content Management
BBC Future Media and Technology
Lloyd's of London
Most Innovative Digital Agency
Adjust Your Set
Most Innovative Digital Marketing Team
TradeDoubler (The Publisher Team)
Most Innovative New Technology
HookLogic and Kiddicare
LOVEFiLM UK Ltd
Most Innovative Online Advertising Campaign
Trinity Communications (UK) Ltd & New Look
Most Innovative Use of Data
Auto Trader Mobile
Barclays Bank PLC
There is a final judging phase, which involves our expert panel. The shortlisted entries will be analysed by smart people at innovative companies such as the BBC, Mercedes-Benz, Dell, Telefonica (O2), Dupont, BT, Net-a-Porter, Mindshare, bigmouthmedia, SMAC, and Newsforce.
In addition we have asked a number of thought leaders – including Paul Boag, Sam Decker and Ian Jindal – to cast their eyes over the shortlisted few. And after that we’ll be able to announce the winners. Expect an announcement within a fortnight.
There will be a Winner’s Dinner taking place on Wednesday 9 February in a lovely restaurant in central London. Winners will receive complimentary tickets as part of their prize. Otherwise seats (limited) cost £195+VAT, to include food, drink and assorted merriment. Email email@example.com to reserve your place. Priority will be given to winners and those on the shortlist, though all entrants are welcome to attend. Hope to see you there.
Once again, bad luck to those that missed out this year. Judging innovation is not without its difficulties but the bar is being raised ever higher, and we believe those on the shortlist are worthy of their place and represent true innovation. Fingers crossed if you've made the shortlist...