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2011 Assegais open for entries

Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA) is now accepting entries for the best in direct and integrated marketing campaigns that were executed between May 2010 and September 2011 for its 2011 Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards, sponsored by the South African Post Office. The deadline for entries is 7 October 2011, with the gala awards taking place on 17 November.
The entry website and creative theme for this year's awards - 'Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing', was developed by 5th Dimension, a multiple award winning agency and specialists in the field of direct.

This year's awards marks a subtle change in the name, with the addition of 'Integrated Marketing' added to the awards title.

"We recognise that marketing is moving more and more into the realm of integration, where above and below the line campaigns are designed to dovetail and support each other across media, messaging and channels to deliver a measurable response. This is very evident in campaigns making use of traditional advertising messages, but supported by direct response mechanisms with the focus on generating feedback and data on recipients," explains Brian Mdluli, CEO of the DMASA.

"In addition, we are also seeing SMS and e-mail campaigns being integrated with traditional direct mail to improve response and open rates for example. The bottom line is that more and more marketers are seeing the value in integration and streamlining of processes. The line between above and below the line is blurring and the days of pure brand advertising are disappearing into obscurity. If marketers are unable to show measurable ROI for their marketing investment, they are dead in the water. Campaigns must translate into leads or responses and into conversions or behavioural change, depending on the objectives of the campaign."

"There is industry respect for an award that is not solely based on left-brain creative thinking, but rather on what that creative thinking actually achieved on the bottom line for a business," explains Keith Wiser, founder and MD of 5th Dimension. "Direct marketing is about packaging analytics and science in a creative package. In fact stripped to its fundamentals, the awards are all about winning, based upon the performance of the winning campaigns - winning new business, more revenue, respect, credibility and being the leader of the pack. This is the emotional element that we wanted to recoup for the 2011 awards,"

Exciting focus on direct marketing

Brian Mdluli adds that tough economies have created a whole new mind-set as to how businesses are approaching their marketing strategies. The result has been an exciting focus on direct marketing as a scientifically measurable marketing practice. "What is exciting is that while the big brands, particularly in the financial services sector, have always used DM to great effect, we are seeing a significant upsurge in small and medium sized businesses embracing DM as they learn more about its efficacy, cost efficiency and sales power."

The organisers are hoping to attract more entry numbers this year across the six sections and 30 categories this year ranging from mass media through to multiple media, activations, social media, integrated marketing, e-commerce, telephone marketing and database to CRM. The most sought-after award is the Inkosi Assegai, given to the best overall direct campaign across all categories. Other category sponsors are African Bank, Computer Facilities, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

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