This year the PMAs celebrate their tenth anniversary. It’s a prestigious landmark not only for the ceremony, but for the entire performance marketing industry.

With nearly a decade of industry recognition under its belt, entries will now face a more fierce level of competition than ever before, as companies, new and old, vye to be championed as leaders in their sector, in what’s geared to be another exciting year for performance-driven advertising.  

With this in mind, we want you be equipped with the know-how to craft winning entries that do your campaigns justice, tell a clear story of originality, innovation and success – and importantly, catch the eyes of our judging panel.

With the standard entry deadline looming ahead – fixed on January 22 – we’ve put together a list of Dos and Don’ts for you to check off before you make your submission and put you and your team in the running for a coveted Performance Marketing Award.


Be concise. Brevity and concision prevails, as our judges spend around three days examining hundreds of entries. Make your pitch punchy and eliminate the waffle. The judges will be much more likely to pick up on your success if you do.


Cut corners. A perceived lack of effort and care over your entry reflects badly on your campaign as a whole. Judges will be quick to spot a submission that’s been botched together at the last minute. Additionally, make sure your entry is proofed for grammar and checked for facts.  


Keep within the stated parameters. Your ‘Executive Summary’ is just that, so make sure you keep it to a maximum of two pages and you’ll avoid a potential penalty. You can add supporting evidence in the appendix, but don’t base the quality of your entry on this.


Recycle an old entry. It might be tempting to re-submit an entry from another award ceremony, but it’s unlikely to make the grade (and pretty easy to spot).


State your USP. The PMA judges look for originality and innovation. Identify what makes your campaign unique, and perhaps more importantly, necessary, then condense this into a single sentence or short paragraph.


Be vague with your objectives. Be selective and clear with your objectives as they’ll be a point of reference when benchmarking the success of the campaign’s results. Directly link your results back to these objectives. Please note that we honour the confidentiality of all entries, so pack it with as much information as possible.


Provide clear evidence of success. Judges will need clear evidence in terms of solid KPIs, such as sales and engagement, not just percentage increases, with emphasis on the ROI of the campaign. Bear in mind this will be for the judges’ eyes only.


Leave client sign-off until the last minute. We all know how long this can take, so make sure you draft your entry up in good time to avoid a last minute panic before deadline day.


Provide supporting evidence. Some judges like to ‘see’ the campaign when they review it; you can add a single piece of supporting evidence in the form of illustrative graphic, video, screenshot for example, while client testimonials can provide a refreshed perspective.


Overlook design. Use bullet points if it makes your point clearer, make certain points or stats bold to stand out within the text.


Pay homage to the PMA’s core values. The awards are about demonstrating excellence, innovation and best practice in performance marketing. Emphasise the elements of your campaign which embody this.


Skim-read the criteria. Read it carefully and in full, and make sure your entry is specifically relevant to the award you want to win.

The small print

Please note that submissions should relate to activity within the UK and the eligibility period of January 1, 2015 – January 29, 2016.

Entries for the Global Excellence in Performance Marketing Award can, however, refer to activity outside the UK.

Entries already submitted for the Performance Marketing Awards 2015 cannot be submitted again in 2016, unless substantial developments to the campaign can be proven to have taken place.

You are welcome to enter multiple categories with the same campaign, but each submission must be tailored separately for each entry.

One piece – two pages maximum – of supporting evidence can be included. This must be relevant, adding value to the entry. This may include campaign snapshots, client testimonials, photos and videos.

Please be aware that failure to supply information that has been requested in the entry criteria, such as revenue figures and other elements, has been a deciding factor in past award decisions.  

Entrants are invited to label any information regarded as sensitive data with ‘Judges’ Eyes Only’, which will ensure it does not get shared elsewhere.

We have a number of templates entrants can use as a guide. These are by no means mandatory, but serve as a guide to what you should be including in your entry.

Dates for the Calendar

22.01.16 Standard entry submissions close

29.01.16 Late entries close

01.03.16 Shortlist unveiled

08.04.16 Voting closes

26.04.16 The Performance Marketing Awards Ceremony

For any queries regarding entry criteria for the Performance Marketing Awards 2016, please email, or phone on 0117 203 3010.

In the meantime, good luck and we look forward to seeing you at the Grosvenor House Hotel on April 26!