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Come fly with me... at the B2B Marketing Awards 2012

There were lots of sore heads in the office this morning, as I expect there are in offices of B2B marketers up and down the country, following the B2B...

There were lots of sore heads in the office this morning, as I expect there are in offices of B2B marketers up and down the country, following the B2B Marketing Awards gala dinner last night.

I’m delighted that it’s so firmly established as the high point of the year for B2B marketers, and so many people use it as an opportunity to catch up with old friends and acquaintances from the industry.

More to the point, it’s great to see that the standards – and levels of competition – are continuing to rise. Yesterday DNX and Gyro did particularly well, the latter with some work from the states, but there was also a strong showing from Ogilvy One and McCann Enterprise were twice runners up – the big global agency brands are increasingly focused on B2B. But despite this the B2B specialists still did well – including Earnest (picking up where they left off last year), but also Marketing Options International, The Crocodile telemarketing specialists Quantum Group. B2B remains a very broad church, and rightly so – you don’t have to be a global player to win.

There was also a great mix of winning brands this year, from across the B2B spectrum – everything from the usual big tech players, to property companies, agricultural machinery, insurance, building products and business services. In terms of sheer number of categories, SAP and British Gas Business came out on top. You can see a full list of winners here.

But of course, whilst it’s about winning, it’s also about having fun, and everyone seemed to manage that – right through to the small hours at the after party at Proud Cabaret, where burlesque dancer Beatrix von Bourbon went down a treat. Our 60s airline kitsch theme was well received, and my Airline Captain’s uniform got some great comments (as well as some curious looks from those how hadn’t seen the ‘passport’ invitations), even if my moustache did not.

The other aspect of the B2B Marketing Awards which we’ve always sought to highlight, but with mixed success, is its role as a tool for education and sharing of best practice. We do produce a supplement which available on the night, but people want more insight about what won and why. So this year we’re running an Awards Showcase event in March, where attendees can hear first hand from selected winners. It will be an exclusive opportunity to gain access to insights which will help you raise your B2B marketing game.

And once that’s finished, it will be just about time to launch the awards all over again for 2013…!

So thanks to everyone who entered, judged, attended and sponsored these awards – we greatly appreciate your support and enthusiasm. Here’s to doing it all again next year – by which point, I might have just about recovered!

PS: I’m doing Movember, trying to raise money for research into testicular and prostate cancer treatments, so please sponsor me.