When the Colorado American Marketing Association began our board year last July, it was clear to us that we had a chance to make a serious impact.
The light is on Denver and Colorado. Our communities are seeing throngs of new creative professionals moving here and we’re growing (ahem) like a weed. It seems our cities and towns are making every list there is to make when it comes to quality of life. Best places to start a career, best places to start a business. Best places for millennials, best places to retire. Best places to raise a family, best places to be single.
So it was in this context that the board wanted to make a difference with our year. See if we could take advantage of Colorado’s climate and the solid foundation in which past leadership had left the organization. Make this year an inflection point for the Colorado AMA. It was time to bring our organization into a new area of excitement and relevance.
And find new ways to add value. First and always, add value to our members and the marketing community as a whole.
One area where we decided to rethink this value was our annual marketing awards. Well known across the marketing community, The Peak Awards have been a mainstay in Colorado for years.
But when we sat down to really look at it—we convened an advisory board to help—Peak felt a bit tone deaf to today’s marketing environment in Colorado. While acknowledging work on tactical campaigns is one way to celebrate Colorado marketing talent, it isn’t always practical with the way marketing works today. (How do you identify a good marketing automation campaign? Was it the list curation? A good supportive ad campaign? The use of data? The content? The integrated social aspects? All of it?)
Marketing awards, it seemed to us, were born from a different age.
We also heard that “award season” was a drain on Colorado’s smaller marketing departments and agencies. The value received from a feel-good trophy wasn’t enough to justify the hours away from client work. Many of Colorado’s marketing pros are do-it-all’ers without dedicated resources to apply for a bunch of awards.
And lastly, as a community building organization, we wanted to create something Colorado was proud of, could rally around. Something that would let us ride the Colorado Love Fest train. Something that would bring us together and appreciate why we’ve all come to this special place to create, market and make a good life together.
So we changed the Peak awards. Significantly.
The Peak (as we’re now calling it) celebrates Colorado brands and the people who build them. Instead of giving a nod to campaigns, we’re lifting up brands. Colorado brands that have been built well across all the disciplines. Brands that make Colorado a great place to live and work. Brands that reach for the peaks and make us proud.
Our intent is to present 10 total awards: three Trailhead awards (brands in business 1-3 years), three Basecamp awards (brands with 3-5 years under their belts), three Summit awards (brands in the game 5+ years), and an academic award.
A brand can be a product, service, retail brand, event, politician, nonprofit, for profit, band, artist, celebrity, book, magazine, neighborhood, church, movement, school, or any other legal thing that stands alone with its own identity and a need to engage people to take some kind of action.
We want to recognize everyone involved in building great Colorado brands. Because isn’t that why we love Colorado? Here it’s collaboration over competition. Quality of life over acclaim.
By the way, the submission process—done entirely online—has been streamlined in a big way. We think you’ll find it a lot simpler to apply to The Peak than you’re used to.
So if you’re building a great Colorado brand for a client in an agency, or if you’re in-house marketing talent and want to submit an entry, all are welcome. There’s space in the entry to add the other agencies or in-house folks involved with the brand so everyone can feel the love when you win.
Oh, and check out who’ll see your work. Our judges are top-shelf:
Deb Kolaras – Founder & Taskmaster, Marketing Java
Thomas Leydon – President, Generous Brands Inc.
Chris Ruszkowski – Vice President of Advertising and Marketing, Quiznos
Megan Timmons – Director of Marketing Partnerships & Strategic Alliances, Life Time Fitness
We’re accepting nominations through May 27th. Please join us in in this celebration of Colorado marketing. We can’t make this change—this evolutionary shift in marketing awards—without you and your talent.
Authored by: Aaron Templer, President, Colorado AMA