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How to create a winning submission for the 2019 Regional Partner Awards

Save the date for the Microsoft Advertising Regional Partner Awards 2019
With the Microsoft Advertising Regional Partner Awards around the corner, we are looking forward to celebrating, amplifying and continuing to enable our Elite and Select partners to grow their business with us. Serving as a platform to showcase and honour the individuals and organisations behind some of the most impactful, innovative and performance-driven work from our partners, the awards ceremony will be hosted in the beautiful city of Munich, Germany at the Paulaner Nockherberg on 4 December 2019.

With over 250 attendees and award hopefuls expected to attend this prestigious event, we've prepared some key advice to help you create the best entry ahead of nominations going live in early September. How can you increase your chances of winning? Read our top 10 tips and submit your entry by 11 October 2019. We wish all of our Partners the best of luck! 

Top 10 tips for nomination success  

1. Start early  

The early bird gets the worm, so why not get started on your nomination well ahead of the pack? Connect with your Microsoft Advertising Account Team to learn more about the details so you are able to go ahead and give yourself a big head start to increase your chances of success. All in all, you should plan to spend around 10-15 hours working on your nomination submission.   

2. Draft your entry offline  

It’s always best to write the first version of your submission offline. Uploading your official entry to the Award Submission Tool should be the very last step that you take in the application process. We recommend playing it safe by having everything polished in Microsoft Word and sticking to the 300-character limit for each question before you begin inputting your answers into the online tool. For each category you need to answer three questions.  

3. Collaboration is key 

Two (or more) heads are better than one, so get together with your colleagues and the teams you worked with on your projects to pinpoint your achievements. Taking the time to have a thorough brainstorming session will help you identify new angles, discover new insights and come up with many more creative ideas through the collaboration process. And don’t forget to reach out to your customers, too. Speak to them, gather testimonials, draw on case studies and remember to always ask for their permission to be quoted. Your customers can really help you tell your story and quantify your success.  

4. Facts and figures  

Make no mistake–the best entries are always those that include the most details, so make sure you prove your success by including metrics, measured return on investment and clear details that showcase exactly what you achieved along with the stats and data to back it up. We recommend positioning your solution value in terms of business and technology innovation and customer ROI.   

5. You can submit more than one entry 

We encourage you to submit multiple entries and nominate yourself for different solutions. While writing more than one entry will be more time-consuming, it could also give you a better chance of being shortlisted as a finalist, or even a winner. Don’t go overboard, though–it’s recommended that you spend your time submitting one or two of your best stories rather than entering multiple categories with less compelling entries. While you  can submit more than one entry, choose your categories carefully to ensure your entry is as relevant as possible. Be a hundred percent certain you meet the category requirements and that everything you submit meets the eligibility criteria.  

6. Highlight the Microsoft Advertising resources that have helped your business 

When putting together your entry, it is advisable that you discuss your relationship and experience while working with the Microsoft Advertising account teams and the value which this has brought to you. We are always thrilled to learn what makes our partners happy and how the team came together to help the customers. Do remember to focus on what’s important to you as a business and how Microsoft has enabled or empowered you to achieve more while getting closer to the needs of your business and customers.  

7. Linking results to objectives  

Showcasing your results is great, but they have to be put in the context of what you were trying to achieve. If you grew revenue, but your objective was brand awareness, then you haven’t achieved what you set out to do. So it means, linking your results to the objectives of your story is important to get full points from the Jury. 

8. Tell a great story  

Make it human. When writing your story, make sure that you put your best points up front and start with a compelling opening statement that is relevant to the award category. Outline what the challenge has been by using specific details while also making sure that your entry has a narrative arc and is easy to read. Check that you are clear on the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your story in order to keep the reader engaged and interested in reading further. Here are the four elements of great storytelling to keep in mind during the writing process:  
  • Start with a great opening hook: Capture the reader’s attention from the beginning to the end by writing a strong opening sentence.  
  • Have a hero: You are the one with the answers, resources, skills and innovation to slay the bad guy and save the day.  
  • Conquer the villain: The villain is anything posing a challenge to the hero trying to reach his goals. Your villain could be your customer’s particular pain point, the competition, budgets, corporate culture or any other odds you’ve faced while trying to deliver results.  
  • Rescue the damsel-in-distress: This is your client–whether they be a small company trying to keep pace or a multi-national losing control of their data. Portray your client in a sympathetic way that makes it easy to relate to them and understand their situation.  

9. Check your spelling, grammar and wordcount  

Make sure you do a simple spell check and grammar check. Take your time when looking over your entry and do send it round to other people for a fresh perspective. We recommend breaking up your text with bullet points in the case of objectives and results, keeping your sentences short, highlighting key points in bold and using sensible and consistent fonts throughout. Please be careful when using industry-specific acronyms that may alienate judges–while search acronyms like ‘CPC’, ‘SERP’ and ‘ROAS’ are fine, vertical specific ones should be spelled out. Lastly, it’s important to watch out for the word count. If you feel the 900-word limit (in total for all three questions) is too tight to get your story across, you can always submit supporting materials such as screenshots of analytics tools to add value to your entry.  

10. Make it professional  

Why not enlist the help of a writing professional with technical experience to strengthen your chances of winning an award? If you don’t have access to a professional writer, you could work with a marketing writer to ensure the technical details are correct. Professional writers can help you polish your entry, ensure that it tells your story well and that it is a good read overall. If your company requires any additional support in this area, the Microsoft Advertising Account Team would be happy to help you with your submission.  
 
By following these 10 simple steps you will be giving yourself the best possible chance of getting noticed and winning an award. No matter which category you nominate in, remember to really make it count.

We wish you the best of luck!
 
Please note: The finalists for all categories will be announced at the end of October 2019 through the Microsoft Advertising Blog. If your nomination is successful, receiving one of the Regional Partner Awards for your company will enable and assist you with new business opportunities, will generate positive press coverage and could drive greater market recognition. As a winner, your achievements will be amplified through Microsoft owned and run social media channels, a trophy and digital badge. In addition to that, you will also be invited to the exclusive celebrations of regional winners and global awards in Seattle for the Global Microsoft Advertising Partner Summit on March 30- April 1, 2020 date in Redmond. 
 
The Microsoft Advertising Account Team is happy to help you with your submission. Please reach out to your Microsoft Advertising representative or send an email to RegionalPartnerAward@microsoft.com 


Nominations will be live in September 2019