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The awards, held at London's Old Billingsgate on 23rd November 2011 followed APA's second Content Summit which centred on the issue of convergence and saw business stalwarts such as Ruth Spencer (Boots), Carla Buzais (Huffington Post), Sarah Tuke (Coke), Myf Ryan (Westfield) Simon Wood (M&S) and Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy) take the stage.
This year's awards saw a record number of entries, up 16 per cent on last year's, as well as an increased international presence. Agencies from Spain, Germany, Finland, Norway, Australia, South Africa, UAE, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, France and South Africa submitted their best work to gain recognition in the flourishing content marketing industry.
Orange Exchange Online, published by Publicis Blueprint, narrowly pipped Seven's Sainsbury's Little Ones to claim the award. It forms a central part of Orange's contact strategy for its SME customers and as far as judges were concerned the building and maintaining of the online relationship was what made the entry stand out. The website's power lies in its ability to use the data it has on customers and turn that into a hugely successful online content system. One judge commented "it was a glimpse of how we will use content more and more in the future."
This year only three brands won more than one category, with Sainsbury's, Orange and Goodwood Road Racing Club all winning two awards.
The most successful content marketing agencies this year were Redwood and Publicis Blueprint each taking home three awards. Six agencies including Cedar Communications, Wardour, Sunday and Seven won two categories.
Comments Julia Hutchison, COO of the APA: "The latest Mintel report out earlier this month investigating the Content Marketing industry predicts a 12 per cent growth rate over the coming year and seeing the quality of the content marketing initiatives submitted into the awards - it's not hard to see why.
"The ongoing economic gloom paints a depressing picture, however, the winners of last night's awards, not least our Grand Prix winner Orange Exchange online, have all demonstrated strong return on investment and effectiveness. It will be the marketing disciplines that continue to be innovative, engaging and most importantly measurable, that will succeed in the year ahead. We are delighted that the content marketing industry continues to thrive and the awards serve as an upbeat reminder of this fact - celebrating the best of the industry."
You can see the full list of winners by clicking here.