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Tech, telecoms, farming and charities... an unusual shortlist for the B2B Marketing Awards

So, after months of frantic preparations and much anticipation, it’s finally here: theSo, after months of frantic preparations and much anticipation, it’s finally here: the B2B Marketing Awards 2012 shortlist is out. And it makes for interesting reading – whether your brand or agency is included or not.

From the agency contingent, the top performers are Gyro, Earnest, DNX and OgilvyOne, scooping 13, nine, seven and six entries on the shortlist respectively. Bearing in mind their size and geographical reach, you might expect Gyro and OgilvyOne to do well, whilst Earnest and DNX are clearly punching above their weight. There are a wealth of other agencies with a submissions featuring on this shortlist, which is testament to the breadth of the B2B marketing industry, and the fierceness of competition within it.

As regards the brands on this year’s shortlist, the IT/Telecoms sector was – rather predictably – best represented, making up 40 per cent of the total shortlist, whilst business services, construction/property and professional services lagged behind with 11, eight and six per cent respectively. Once again, we can see that all sectors that make up B2B marketing, IT/Telecoms is clearly the most focused on marketing, and most progressive in terms of the tactics and strategies employed - the other sectors have much to learn from how the progress that the leaders are making.

As B2B marketers, we all understand what effective marketing machines IBM and Google are, therefore it’s no surprise that they have the joint highest number of campaigns shortlisted (five in total), a number that they share with fellow technology giant SAP.

What is more surprising is that farm machinery brand John Deere also achieved a similar number of finalists, and that St Johns Ambulance was only just behind with four finalists (for a campaign it conducted with Earnest). Orange, Psion, Cable & Wireless and Thales both have three submissions on the shortlist.

But whilst the technology brands feature prominently, there is a long tail of diverse brands and activities on this shortlist, including environmental technology brand Vestas, health and beauty company Ellisons and food services brand Lesaffre. The variety of the full list shows how diverse B2B marketing is… and that you don’t have to be a global IT brand to produce excellent campaigns.

So congratulations to all those brands and agencies who have been shortlisted, and commiserations to those who weren’t successful this year. Entries were up almost 20 per cent year-on-year, and consequently competition was hotter than ever. So much so that we’re almost certain going to have to extend the first round judging process to three days instead of two.

The final round of judging takes place in September, but as ever we won’t be announcing the winners until the end of November, at the Gala Dinner. It will be fascinating to see which brands, agencies and campaigns ultimately end up being winners.