Record entries for marketing awards, but new media opportunities overlooked (PT)

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) received a record 152 entries from 18 countries for its annual European Solal Marketing Awards, surprising even the judges who had not expected so many to enter this year due to budgetary constraints on marketing teams across the industry.

ICSC Jury Award Chair, Frank Pöstges, Managing Director of CentrO Oberhausen in Germany said: "I thought that due to the economic crisis and tighter budgets, fewer campaigns would have been launched. What has happened instead is that shopping centre marketing teams have risen magnificently to the challenge of delivering creative and effective marketing campaigns within tough budgets which have been so successful that they want to share them across the industry."

The ICSC Jury has drawn up a shortlist of 84 campaigns 17 countries from which the winners will be announced at ICSC's European Marketing Conference, being held in Lisbon, Portugal 16-18 June, and there are already some stars and themes coming through, according ICSC Jury Award Chair, Frank Pöstges, Managing Director of CentrO Oberhausen in Germany.

One category that did not receive many entries is that of New Media campaigns, which surprised the judges.

"We were disappointed with the few entries we had in this category. We would have expected to see more dynamic shopping centre websites, integrated micro sites targeting a range of shoppers, facebook pages, twitter campaigns and email newsletters," said Pöstges. "Mobile marketing also sits in this category where technology is now well-established to send messages to shoppers whilst in the centre. There is clearly scope for marketing teams to work on these next year, otherwise it could be a missed opportunity."

"It is evident that marketing teams have focused strongly on sales promotions and events; campaigns that deliver immediate footfall for tenants and responses from visitors to defend the centre's market share against their competition. This is to be expected in the difficult economic conditions."

Pöstges also reports a large number of environmental campaigns. "Everyone is putting more effort into their campaigns, which isn't just good for the ICSC Solal Marketing Awards but for the wider industry. Shopping Centre management recognises that they must work their retail assets harder than ever to stay ahead of their competition."

This year, for the first time, the ICSC Solal Marketing Awards included nine entries from shopping centres in South Africa, where developers and shopping centre management has recognising the growing prestige of these European Awards.

"These campaigns are refreshing and creative and we are looking forward to showcasing some at the ICSC Marketing Conference in Lisbon later this year," added Pöstges.

Source: Nicky Godding Communications

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