Meet the 2022 Genius Awards Finalists and Winners for Best-in-Class Marketing Analytics
It’s that time of year again, a time when we recognize and celebrate innovative brands for their award-winning marketing as part of the premier global marketing analytics awards program, the ANA Genius Awards, presented by Neustar, a TransUnion company.
Each year, the ANA Genius Awards offers marketers a platform to showcase their best uses of data-driven marketing and to earn recognition amongst their peers for their exemplary application of marketing analytics and marketing strategy. Entrants have the chance to claim the top spot in one of four categories:
Adoption: Adoption of data and analytics to boost business outcomes
Growth: Use of a data-driven approach to drive significant business results
Innovation: Progressive analytics-based approach to solve a business challenge or seize an opportunity
Storytelling: Use of data to tell an enlightening visual story that encourages organizations to make insights actionable
Now in its 10th year, the ANA Genius Awards received a range of impressive submissions from major B2B and B2C brands, nonprofits, publishers, startups, and more. And the results are in! Our expert panel of judges, which includes marketing executives, academics, and top industry professionals, has reviewed this year’s marketing strategy entries and made their selections for this year’s finalists and for the winners in each category.
2022 ANA Genius Awards Finalists
Here are this year’s finalists by category, and insights on why they’ve earned recognition for their award-winning use of marketing analytics.
Data and Analytics Adoption Finalists
Congratulations to Ford, Legoland, Pepsico, and Hilton for being selected for their outstanding achievement in the organizational adoption of data and analytics to boost business outcomes. These brands rose to the top of the field by demonstrating how they were able to bring their company’s marketing analytics out of reporting dashboards and ingraining these insights into their organizational decision-making.
Ford conducted a marketing attribution, a/k/a multi-touch attribution (MTA), analysis in partnership with Neustar, to develop inclusive marketing strategies to reach a broader consumer base and to understand how to best invest in order to connect with key segments. The results from this analysis helped Ford refine its targeting strategies and more efficiently connect with traditionally harder-to-reach consumers to maximize the brand’s media spend.
Legoland centralized the company’s business analytics at the regional North America level to create a consistent use of these resources and tools across teams, and "to allow for the larger business to tap into more holistic and integrated insights to drive brand strategies forward" the brand explained in its Genius Awards entry. Unifying data and analytics has proven to be more cost effective and has resulted in more actionable information for the business. As a result of this change, Legoland can now track how aspects of the park experience drive overall visitor satisfaction ratings and repeatability enabling the parks to improve and evolve faster than ever. Legoland shared that in one example of having more actionable insights, the company was able to develop a new ride concept that increased likelihood of visiting by almost 50% compared to the initial idea the creative team had proposed.
Pepsico built a proprietary engine for inflight media optimization decisions, the Real Time Optimization Engine (RTOe), to be able to evaluate top indicators of success for the brand’s digital marketing efforts to strengthen execution efforts when it comes to planning as well as in-flight to achieve greater ROI. This is of increasing importance as over the past several years, Pepsico shared it has seen a drop in linear TV viewership and a significant uptick in the fragmentation of its audience across the digital landscape. As the brand invests a bigger share of its ad budget in digital, the team plans to use the RTOe to ensure those meet to the same standards as traditional media and to maximize the results those investments deliver.
Hilton’s previous unified measurement program lacked the granularity and actionable insights to drive adoption. To turn things around, the company and its agency teams prioritized building out what the brand described as "a new comprehensive global program to measure the drivers of the entire business." By creating a platform that generates recommendations for media flighting and budget reallocation, Hilton has seen strong growth in year-over-year ROI, up 33% at the end of 2021 compared with the year before.
Data and Analytics Growth Finalists
McDonald’s, SharkNinja, and Prudential earned top recognition in this category, selected as finalists for their outstanding achievement in moving the bottom line for their brands and driving business performance by using marketing data and analytics in specific and demonstrably impactful ways.
McDonald’s and its agency partnered to develop a powerful measurement program to serve McDonald’s commercial needs, address unanswered business challenges, and help the company deliver consistent growth over the past five years. This measurement framework has empowered McDonald’s to pivot quickly in response to change and has delivered a 78% ROI.
SharkNinja worked with its agency to build a holistic analytics program to assess the effects of each investment and to draw connections between the brand's portfolio and product messaging and unit sales across retail channels. Since implementing this analytics program, SharkNinja has improved the company’s marketing ROI by 95% and has generated an extra +$40MM in revenue growth thanks to recommendations resulting from the new marketing measurement and optimization program.
Prudential’s marketing analytics team, in alignment with the company’s finance and business teams, established a powerful, standardized framework for measuring customer experience (CX) ROI that can be put to use across various business lines. The company’s analytics finds the link between CX and NPS and financial outcomes, allowing Prudential to quantify, for instance, that promoters and passive customers generate 135% and 211%, respectively, to the company’s top- and bottom-line profits, compared to detractors. This key resource is now guiding the organization in reexamining CX prioritization, and is essential for optimizing the company’s annual CX budget. Based on learnings about the impact of CX, the team is currently considering increasing the company's annual CX and brand investments by as much as 3X.
Data and Analytics Innovation Finalists
This is the category that received the most entries this year, with Pepsico, Twitter, Adobe, and LabCorp being selected as finalists for pushing the envelope on what can be done with new and interesting data, and for their use of new and novel techniques and applications of data science.
Pepsico’s RTOe platform is improving communication among both internal teams and the brand’s agency partners, fostering alignment around which metrics matter. This in turn has enabled the agency teams to react faster, optimizing in real-time with the confidence that all stakeholders are on the same page about moving forward with a particular plan of action. Teams can use this capability to guide media planning and creative personalization in ways previously not possible. The RTOe program, a joint effort of the brand teams, insights teams, media teams, and media agencies all working collectively to monitor digital campaign performance in flight and adapt faster, is expanding and other markets will be adopting the program outside the U.S., such as in Mexico and the U.K., in 2023.
Twitter broadened the company’s use of analytics beyond focusing on B2C customers using the platform to gain insights for a B2B use case. The team conducted a brand health analysis to measure what was once unquantifiable—to see which brand health metrics could help predict advertiser revenue. As a result of this analysis, the team is able to measure the impact of marketing on sales enablement and how owned, earned, and paid marketing influence advertiser spend and the growth of the platform.
Adobe developed a way to determine how many subscriptions resulted specifically due to the company’s demand creation media campaigns. The results of this new method are being used to evaluate Adobe’s upper-funnel marketing campaigns and guide decision-making on quarterly campaign budget across markets in America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
LabCorp designed a new proprietary platform, GAP, an account-based strategy tool for the drug development team to collaborate more effectively to address the gaps in the existing account-based planning and strategy, and get to know LabCorp’s pharma customers better by analyzing the customer funnel and pinpointing key pipeline opportunities. LabCorp explained in its submission that the three prongs of GAP are to gather data by connecting different sources together, analyze a 360-degree view of the data by breaking down silos to review the data holistically, and prioritize the company's customers, therapeutic areas, and business units based on what the data trends reveal. As a result of this program, LabCorp has aligned the entire global commercial marketing team on the accounts that should be prioritized.
Data and Analytics Storytelling Finalists
We’re pleased to announce Prudential, Sanofi, and Nextdoor are this year’s finalists in this category that recognizes brands for telling stories that help drive actionable decisions and insights for their organizations.
Prudential is using comprehensive data sets to rethink how the company tells stories and engages with audiences via marketing and communications campaigns by bringing together insights across 1st- and 3rd-party data, both qualitative and quantitative research, and open-source insights. The brand has taken a multidisciplinary approach to tackling this project, pulling in insights from market research—including diary studies, recall, and in-depth analysis—along with open-source intelligence and data, such as competitors’ social media posts across channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube), publicly available comments and reactions, and search engine data to create an actionable marketing campaign playbook that can be used to inform content and messaging strategies across channels.
Sanofi worked with a technology partner to bring together disconnected data sources, add business insights, and create out a robsust suite of solutions to fuel smart business decision making, optimize media faster, become more efficient with using data, and improve how the organization connects signals from efforts Sanofi controls with business results. The team has connected over 200 data sources—including online and offline media, web, eCommerce, audience, and verification data—and has driven KPIs around time saved on data management, website performance, media performance, sales, and coupon signups.
Nextdoor launched a brand new analytics storytelling program, InsightsHub, a destination for consumers and brands to uncover all of the latest trends for a given neighborhood. These insights provide an unmatched look at neighborhood trends to help Nextdoor’s B2B and B2C users get informed and encourage data-driven decision making. This effort is a collaboration between the marketing and strategy group within the revenue organization along with various cross-functional groups, including SEO, communications, and customer analytics, and has enhanced Nextdoor’s enterprise, mid-market, and small business sales teams' efforts, providing a key destination for the company's prospective partners.
2022 ANA Genius Awards Winners
As announced at the 2022 ANA Masters of Marketing conference, this year’s ANA Genius Awards winners are:
Data and analytics adoption: Hilton
Data and analytics growth: Prudential
Data and analytics innovation: Pepsico
Data and analytics storytelling: Sanofi
Congratulations to these winners, and thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s program!
Final Thoughts About This Year’s Award-Winning Marketing
If there’s one thing marketers should take away from this year’s finalists and winners, it’s that collaborating with internal teams and external partners is key to successfully implementing data-driven marketing strategies—a consistent theme we saw across this year’s entries.
Once again, we’re so proud of all of this year’s ANA Genius Awards finalists and winners! We look forward to seeing who rises to the top in 2023.
To learn more about the ANA Genius Awards, and to find out more about the finalists and winners and how to enter next year, please visit GeniusAwards.com.