Thomas Cook, lastminute and mydeco named among 14 digital marketing and e-commerce award winners

London, 4 December, 2008:

E-consultancy this week announced the results of its inaugural Innovation Awards for digital marketing and ecommerce.

Winners included Thomas Cook, which scooped the awards for both Email Marketing and Online Conversion, and lastminute.com who won the Multichannel Marketing category. There were more than 230 entries for a total of 14 different awards categories.

Summit Media managing director Hedley Aylott was named the Most Innovative Person in Digital Marketing. Aylott has gained a reputation for cutting-edge tools for clients whilst also using trained prisoners as an integral part of his digital agency’s account teams.

mydeco.com, the interior design site launched by lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman, won the award for User Experience.

Ashley Friedlein, co-founder and CEO of E-consultancy, said: “We were delighted by the response to our awards, which included some outstanding submissions. It is great to see such passion and commitment to excellence across our industry from in-house digital teams as well as from agencies and technology vendors.”

The Innovation Awards were decided by a global judging panel known for their innovation including Google, Orange, Apple, innocent drinks, Dyson and the BBC.

Winners

Innovation in Affiliate Marketing
TradeDoubler / Dell - winner
(sunshine.co.uk - highly commended)

What they won for (summary): Work for Dell including use of pay-per-call functionality to venture into the mobile search arena and convert online sales over the mobile phone. (TradeDoubler)

What the judges said about winner:
“TradeDoubler’s entry stood out for opening a whole new sales mechanism. Taking advantage of a limitation in capability, the innovative approach has created a truly cross-channel, modern, mobile service that links the device with (arguably) a more appropriate form of communication – voice rather than just the web."

Innovation in Email Marketing
Thomas Cook – winner
(Database Group - highly commended)

What they won for (summary): Interactive magazine Holiday Hotspot, containing resort features, video footage including actual interviews with customers, clickable editorial features such as an Interactive Calendar that offered month-by-month editorial and video advice on where to go (and why). (Thomas Cook)

Judges comments about winner: “The multi-channel, multi-media nature of this initiative was truly impressive and lifted this out of the realms of simply being ‘best practice’. The digital team managed to convince an entire organisation to shift gears and try something very different.”

Innovation in Online Advertising
ad pepper media - winner

What they won for (summary): SiteScreen network, the first safe blind network, which protects brands’ reputations online.

Judges comments about winner: "Highly innovative solution to a genuine industry problem of brands appearing on inappropriate websites. As more above the line spend is directed online, the problem of bad placement will continue to grow. Ad pepper has provided an innovative and real-time solution to this problem."

Innovation in Multichannel Marketing
lastminute.com - winner

What they won for (summary): “fonefood”, a mobile website to find and book restaurants all over Europe.

Judges comments about winner: “This is a stand-out winner for having taken an emerging technical capability and turned it into an engaging, polished and sustainable service. Of particular note is the ability to cancel reservations – this is more than a directory listing – and the promotional integration means that this is a commercial tool not simply a profile-raising activity."

Innovation in User Experience
mydeco.com - winner
(Endeca/Kiddicare - highly commended)
(Skyscanner - highly commended)

What they won for (summary): Interior design website which allows users to select products against a range of criteria like colour, dimension and price, and to visualise products in the home. (mydeco)

Judges comments about winner: “The 3D room planner is a useful online tool, built on Adobe’s Flex application that allows customers to design and build their own room. There is a lot of hype about next-generation social shopping and aggregator sites and this is one which actually works really well and provides people wanting to decorate their home with a genuinely good experience.”

<b>Innovation in Social Media & Communities
Photobox.co.uk – winner
(Essence - highly commended)

What they won for (summary): Online community for photo printing and personal publishing which enables anyone to create personalised products using their own digital photos. (Photobox)

Judges comments about winner: “Obvious they just 'get it' and are focused on relevant innovation not just the latest gimmick or gadget ... There are all manner of tools out there on the web, but these only become really exciting for the average consumer when they are made to converge seamlessly. This innovation shows an understanding of the importance of that seamlessness."

Innovation in SEO & Natural Search
Quirk eMarketing - winner

What they won for (summary): Mash-up with Google Earth on South African Tourism website.

Judges comments about winner: “All the judges felt that the tie-up with Google Earth was a highly innovative way of driving engagement, which proved itself to be extremely effective in driving links and improving natural search visibility.”

Innovation in Paid Search & PPC
Unique Digital – winner
(Greenlight - highly commended)

What they won for (summary): Driving traffic to Sky News website by tapping into search volumes on breaking news stories at competitive CPCs. (Unique Digital)

Judges comments about winner: “This was a very clever way of systematically driving traffic to a publisher website by exploiting the lack of competition in sponsored listings for specific news searches. A very well-thought-out and strategic initiative.”

Innovation in Web Analytics & Optimization
TagMan - winner

What they won for (summary): Dedicated tag management system which allows companies to meet their entire tagging needs from a single container tag, bridging the gap between the content management system, ad serving and web analytics.

Judges comments about winner: “The creation of a single system and interface through which tags can be deployed is a significant innovation which can help to remove the burden caused by the proliferation of tags as well as enabling complete campaign tracking.”

Innovation in Online Acquisition
GAME Stores Group - winner
(Five by Five - highly commended)

What they won for (summary): Created an innovative and engaging online game where users play to win the wish list they have created on game.co.uk. (GAME)
Judges comments about winner: "Great idea, highly engaging and entertaining ... they created a compelling game which drove repeated sales as well as virally boosting positive sentiment towards the brand."

Innovation in Online Conversion
Thomas Cook - winner
(Imano - highly commended)

What they won for (summary): Customer interface and adaptable booking journeys that make finding a holiday easier to research, easier to locate, and then easier to book. (Thomas Cook)

Judges comments about winner: “They have successfully used individual visitor activity and previous booking history to present relevant and personalised offers based on behaviour by way of personas. They score most highly for innovation in organisational management - educating and convincing an entire company that this would be a good investment. And it was."

Innovation in Online Retention
Coast Digital - winner

What they won for (summary): Personalised and dynamic email marketing which is helping to drive long-lasting relationships with customers.

Judges comments about winner: “Dynamic content in emails makes the most of customer segmentation by leveraging customer behavior. Past purchases are the best indicator of future action and Wiltshire Farm Foods is on track to increase customer retention as well as customer satisfaction by getting their individual messaging right each time.”

Innovation in Digital Marketing Team Management
Jellyfish Online Marketing - winner

What they won for (summary): Performance-based paid search campaigns and auctions among their own account managers to see who manages client campaigns.

Judges comments about winner: “There are other search agencies now working purely on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis for their clients but Jellyfish has introduced a new dimension to this model by holding internal auctions to decide who wins the account, and a well-thought-out bonus scheme based on profit and CPA which has helped them to retain key staff.”

Most Innovative Person in Digital Marketing
Hedley Aylott, Summit Media

Judges comments about winner: “Hedley is a true innovator in the digital marketing and e-commerce space who is widely admired both for the technology introduced by Summit Media and also for his pioneering work in training prisoners in digital marketing.”

Media contact:
Linus Gregoriadis, Head of Research, E-consultancy
(e: linus AT e-consultancy.com t: 0207 681 4051 / 07956 564713)

About E-consultancy’s Innovation Awards

Since 1999, E-consultancy has been a leader in bringing together the digital marketing and e-commerce communities and helping the industry to learn, share, experiment and innovate.

This year we launched the industry’s only Innovation Awards, designed to give clients, suppliers and agencies recognition for genuine innovation and success. We assembled a global judging panel of experts who are looking for an approach, idea, practice or technology which holds out the promise of being a smarter, better, way of doing things in the digital space. Not just new for the sake of being new, but a fresh take on solving a particular challenge or improving on the norm.

Visit www.e-consultancy.com/awards for further information.

About E-consultancy

E-consultancy is the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and ecommerce.
Our reports, events, online resources and training programmes help a community of over 75,000 registered marketers make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers.
Join E-consultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing - and what works. Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7681 4052 or contact us online.

Published on: 12:00AM on 4th December 2008