While Thursday night represented a historic night for Irish sport, with Dundalk FC securing the first ever Europa League group stage win for an Irish football team, Wednesday, September 28th also saw Ireland reach an unprecedented landmark, albeit on the digital side of things.
The second annual Search Engine Land Awards, which look to highlight the world’s very best digital search campaigns, were held in New York City on Wednesday night, with no less than three Irish firms in contention for top awards at the ceremony which is affectionately referred to as “The Landies”. Seeing as no Irish company had ever won a Landy Award before, there was a cautious optimism in the air on the night.
As reported previously by the IIA, the Irish 2016 Search Engine Land nominees were:
- Littlewoods Ireland– Best Integration of Search into Cross-Channel Marketing
- com– Best Overall SEM Initiative – Small Business
- Wolfgang Digital– Agency of the Year – SEM
The night got off to a great start from an Irish perspective, with McElhinney’s, a family owned fashion retailer based in Donegal, picking up the gold for Best Small Business SEM Initiative, making them the first ever Irish company to win a Landy. Their alone time in the spotlight did not last long, however, with online department store Littlewoods Ireland picking up the award for Best Integration of Search into Cross-Channel Marketing soon after, making it two for two for the Irish contestants.
Unfortunately, a historic hat trick was not to be, as Dublin-based digital marketing agency Wolfgang Digital narrowly missed out on winning Agency of the Year. There was however, plenty of reason for Wolfgang to celebrate, as it was they who implemented the successful search campaigns for both Littlewoods Ireland and McElhinney’s.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Alan Coleman, Wolfgang Digital CEO, was in upbeat mood, and had the following to say in relation to the wins:
“We’re thrilled with the wins. At Wolfgang Digital we’re a little bit different. Our organisational structure is our own construct. We’ve created very different policies on recruitment and ongoing training than are typical in the industry – we also have our own philosophy on effective client-communications. We believe these differences yield better digital marketing. We’ve enjoyed a wild run of international award wins this year. I see it as a powerful validation of the Wolfgang approach to digital marketing that judging panels in Ireland, the UK, Europe and now the US rate our output as the best.”
Wolfgang Digital, Littlewoods Ireland and McElhinney’s have been doing extremely well in terms of this year’s search engine marketing awards season, with all three of them representing at the Drum Search Awards which took place in June. Littlewoods Ireland were the big winners on that night, securing the highly coveted Grand Prix Award which represents the “best in show” as far as campaigns are concerned.
The finalist nominations for the 2016 Search Engine Landy Awards were formally announced yesterday, with no less than three Irish websites securing places among the prestigious competition’s grand finals.
The Landys, now in their second year of competition, are a worldwide search awards which recognise the very best digital search marketing campaigns from around the world over the course of the past year. With over 200 entries on the awards’ long list, the competition was of an exceptionally high standard this year. The fact that Irish websites could so much make the long list, let alone the final short list, speaks volumes in terms of Ireland’s ability to ‘punch above its weight class’ in terms of the world of digital marketing.
The Irish websites to receive Landy finalist nominations are as follows:
Littlewoods Ireland – Best Integration of Search into Cross-Channel Marketing
This award signifies a website which has worked wonders in terms of combining paid search with organic search (SEO) to produce tremendous results. In Littlewoods Ireland’s case, their success was underpinned by record levels of search-based traffic and conversions during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas periods, cementing their position as Ireland’s largest e-commerce website.
McElhinneys.com – Best Overall SEM Initiative – Small Business
McElhinneys found themselves fighting for attention in a highly competitive market space alongside some really high profile competitors, so knew they’d have to be smarter than the competition if they were to succeed. Through innovative use of custom audiences, custom AdWords scripts and a highly focused keyword strategy, they have been able to thrive in the online markets of both Ireland and the UK.
Wolfgang Digital – Agency of the Year – SEM
While widely considered to be one of Ireland’s leading digital marketing agencies, it would be hard not to consider Dublin-based Wolfgang Digital to be plucky underdogs at this year’s Landys, given the scale of the event. The fast-growing Wolfgang are not without form when it comes to upsetting the apple cart though, having already won top prizes at the DMAs, Drum Search Awards and European Seach Awards in the past year.
The trio of Irish websites have been doing quite well in terms of this year’s search engine marketing awards season, with all of them representing at the Drum Search Awards which took place in June. Littlewoods Ireland were the big winners on that day, securing the highly coveted Grand Prix Award. Can the Irish sites pull another rabbit out of the hat?
The Search Engine Landy Awards take place in New York City on the 28th of September. The full list of finalists can be viewed here.
The Drum Search Awards, which seek to recognise the very best internet based businesses from both Ireland and the UK, take place later today (June 8th). These awards focus on the two main disciplines of search marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click), choosing from the year’s very best digital marketing campaigns.
As was the case in the European Search Awards, which took place in May, Irish entries are well represented at the Drum Search Awards. Among the big prizes handed out to Irish business on that night were “Best Use of Search for Retail” (Brown Thomas), Best Integration of Search and Social” (iClothing) and “Best Small PPC Agency” (Wolfgang Digital) as Ireland received four first placed trophies, the second most of any nation (bested only by the UK).
For the 2016 Drum Search Awards, Ireland finds itself looking to improve upon its European Search Awards haul, with no less than six award nominations in total. Many of the companies which represented Ireland at the European Search Awards find themselves on the Drum bill as well, including McElhinneys, iClothing and Littlewoods Ireland. This signifies that their European success was no fluke as their respective works and campaigns have been independently recognised by several respected judging bodies.
Irish internet based businesses have been nominated for the following Drum Search Awards:
- Best Integrated Strategy or Campaign: Littlewoods Ireland
- Best Use of Technology in a Search Campaign: Brown Thomas
- Most Innovative Search Campaign (SEO & PPC): McElhinneys
- Best Use of Technology in a Search Campaign: iClothing
- Best Use of Data in PPC: iClothing
- Performance Agency of the Year: Wolfgang Digital
While the competition at tonight’s awards is fierce, with many of the biggest companies and agencies in Europe in attendance, that was also the case at the European Search Awards back in May when several Irish companies emerged triumphant. It is hoped that the overall volume and quality of Irish submissions will prove to be the same recipe for success at tonight’s ceremony which kicks off at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London.
The full list of Drum Search Award categories and nominees can be found here.