DMA is the world's leading independent organization for data-driven marketers. Our vision is for a world in which every marketer has the ability to provide their customers with exactly what they need, at precisely the right moment when they need it. DMA's mission is to advance and protect responsible data-driven marketing, and the ECHO awards line nicely with that. The benefits and opportunities of utilizing data-driven marketing in campaigns have never been as exciting as today.
The DMA International ECHO™ Awards competition began in 1929 as the "Best in Direct Mail" contest. As interest grew, and business expanded, it was changed in 1979 to encompass all types of media in the entire direct marketing spectrum. Now, the DMA International ECHO™ Awards competition is the only award that honors the world's best response marketing campaigns – campaigns that have raised the bar in terms of data-driven strategy, creativity and results. No other awards competition looks at the direct response marketing discipline in such totality. The ECHOs demonstrate how data-driven marketing is serving brands, large and small, and changing strategies on customer acquisition and engagement everywhere. Which is why no other awards competition is so important.
Entries are categorized into 15 business categories – including three new categories in consumer products, education, and professional services – as well as automotive; business and consumer services; communications and utilities; financial products and services; information technologies; insurance; nonprofit; pharmaceutical and healthcare; product manufacturing and distribution; publishing and entertainment; retail and direct sales; and travel and hospitality/transportation.
Then, integrated and single-channel direct-response campaigns are divided into 13 channels: Alternative and Insert Media; Catalog; Content and Video; Direct Mail; Email; Mobile; Print Advertising; Search Marketing; Social Media; Outbound Calls; TV/Radio; Web Display Advertising; and Websites/Landing Pages.
The ECHO is the only international award where judges rigorously assess entries based on strategy, creative execution and results – recognizing the whole picture of a campaign's success. The formula is simple, 30% strategy, 30% creative, 30% results + 10% Mojo – that extra something that takes a campaign from competent to special. Judging for the awards happens in four total rounds, involving senior-level practitioners from both agencies and client-side marketers as well as the ECHO Board of Governors.
Winners in the various segments receive a Gold, Silver, or Bronze ECHO award. In addition, seven special awards will also be presented – the Diamond ECHO; the ECHO Governors Award for Strategic Innovation; the Henry Hoke Award; the Search Marketing Award; the US Postal Service Gold Mailbox Award; the Pitney Bowes Personal Connections ECHO Award; and the ECHO Green Marketing Award.
The ECHO Awards Ceremony & Gala is held each year in the fall at The DMA Annual Conference & Exhibition.