Ad Age's B-to-B Agency of the Year: Here's How to Enter

We Are Open for Submissions

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You hopefully saw the news that Advertising Age will be expanding its coverage to include the business-to-business marketing space. As part of that, we will be introducing a B-to-B Agency of the Year category in our annual Agency A-List report.

Ad Age is now accepting submissions for the B-to-B Agency of the Year award, honoring the top business-to-business agency.

The winner will be named as part of Ad Age's annual Agency A-List report honoring the best agencies in adland (including a Multicultural Agency of the Year; a Creativity Agency of the Year and an International Agency of the Year). Your entry will also be considered for the Agency A-List, and any other agency lists in that report. Please note: the deadline for B-to-B Agency of the Year submissions is Nov. 27. SUBMISSIONS FOR ALL OTHER AGENCY A-LIST-RELATED HONORS ARE NOV. 5 AND THERE ARE NO EXTENSIONS.

Some of you have done this before when entering Ad Age's Agency A-List, so you know the drill. But many of you do not, so to help guide you in the process, we've presented answers to the most frequently asked questions about submitting. Please read the guidelines for entry first. If you have additional queries, contact Kate Maddox at [email protected]. We strongly urge you to thoroughly comb through the FAQ section first though so we're not being pinged with a query that we've already addressed below.


What do we look for?
Evidence of an agency's business success, conveyed by revenue growth, income growth and a killer new-business record. If your agency has developed innovative channels for making money, including via collaborative projects, ownership of intellectual property or by influencing or even creating products, make sure to include those too.

Ad Age always heavily weighs how the agency has delivered strong results for its clients. We're looking for shops that come up with creative and effective solutions to clients' business problems, with meaningful, measurable results that back those claims. (And please note, we don't necessarily define "creative" as the most beautiful or groundbreaking TV commercial -- it can also be demonstrated with creative thinking about a business problem.)

So what should an agency submit?
The following six things should be included in your B-to-B Agency of the Year submission:

1. Three to five of your very best client case studies, including all the relevant work as well as an explanation of the business challenges, your strategy, tactics and, most importantly, the results. The timeframe for this work is November 2012 through current day. We most highly value hard business results like sales and market share, but we'll also consider other indicators such as evidence of how work has penetrated popular culture and engaged consumers. You can also include publicly available data, such as sales or market share data. Be inventive -- but be accountable.

2. A picture of your growth. We realize some of you will need to be discreet here, but give us a sense of how your revenue has grown or declined in year-over-year percentage terms and explain a bit about where that revenue comes from (e.g., 5% mobile, 30% digital). Please include the percent of total revenue that is generated from b-to-b work. We're interested in projected calendar 2013 revenue, a sense of how headcount has changed and any key senior hires.

3. A detailed list of client account wins and losses with their estimated revenue per annum. (If you have IP projects or other new revenue streams that are not client related, please note them as well).

4. Describe your agency culture in no more than 250 words. What have you done to foster talent, a creative workplace and collaboration?

5. Diversity. Share your staff's gender breakdown and, if applicable, what percentage of your creative department is female. Then tell us what percentage of your overall staff is multicultural, and what percentage of your creative department is multicultural. (Don't lie -- you'll get caught). If you feel like it, include a little information regarding your diversity recruiting strategy and success metrics for those efforts.

6. Share a few photos that you think represent your agency. They could be of your principals and top execs, the agency space, the bar cart, the pool table. This will give us a flavor for the special vibe you've created at your agency, but will also be retained for potential use in our A-List package, either print or online, and beyond.

Is there anything important to add?
Since you asked, yes: Know that anything you send might end up being published -- think of it as entering the public domain. We're not going to choose you for all the secret things you're doing that you can only share off the record.

How do you submit?
This is the key part. After all, what good is all that hard work that you put into the submission unless it's manages to reach us safely, and in the proper form? For starters, this is a paperless process. Think green! Put everything up on a website and send us the URL. There are no points for fancy presentation here -- use a Tumblr account, Wordpress, we don't care. Though, we really hope that in this day and age, you won't opt for a PDF. The easier information is for us to find and digest, the better. Send the URL to Kate Maddox at [email protected] (and if it is password protected don't forget to send that too).

What's the deadline?
The final deadline is November 27. This will NOT be extended. Of course, if you hear about a new business win a few weeks before the December holidays and want to share that with us to add some extra oomph to your case, email us and let us know so we'll take it into consideration. And it's fine to include in your entry a big pitch that's pending.

Can we have an extension to the deadline?
See previous question. We need adequate time to read, research, interview, write, photograph, design, etc. So please, please get all your entries in by no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 27.

Does entering cost money?
No. It's free! (Though Ad Age does offer plenty of ways you can promote your agency in our pages and pixels outside the A-List, including the LookBook . For more info on those opportunities, contact Lisa Scotto on our business side at [email protected])

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