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April 6th, 2020

The 2020 Genius Awards is Live: Here’s Why You Should Enter

Updated May 26, 2020

On March 6, the second to last day of the ANA Brand Masters Conference, an announcement was made with little fanfare to a much smaller-than-usual crowd: The 2020 Genius Awards competition for excellence in marketing analytics was open for entries.

Perhaps you missed the memo. As we’ve heard a lot these days: you’re not alone.

It would be understandable to think that an awards program is not a top priority right now. But after some consideration, we feel very strongly that now is, in fact, the perfect time to show us your Genius, especially for those of you who work tirelessly to analyze, measure and optimize your team's marketing investment.

So, with that, let me say this a little louder for the folks at home to hear:

The 2020 Genius Awards program – an annual recognition of the past year’s outstanding work in data-driven marketing – is officially open for submissions.

The Genius Awards program offers entrants the opportunity to promote last year’s great work, inspire fellow marketers, and win their part in a $100,000 prize pool to be donated to charities of the winners’ choosing – charitable giving that will no doubt have special significance this year.

Show us Your Genius

I want to encourage analytics-minded marketers to enter the 2020 program or to ask your agency partners to help you do so.

There are four Genius Awards categories for outstanding achievement:

  1. Marketing Analytics GROWTH
  2. Marketing Analytics ADOPTION
  3. Marketing Analytics INNOVATION
  4. Marketing Analytics STORYTELLING

Brands are encouraged to enter as many categories as they wish (but can win in only one). The deadline for entry is June 29.

Finalists will be announced Sept 23-25 at the 2020 ANA Data & Measurement Conference.

Winners will be announced Oct 20-23 at the 2020 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference.*

*Any changes to conference dates or locations that may impact the 2020 Genius Awards program will be communicated to all entrants.

More Reasons to Enter

The list of reasons to enter is longer than ever.

  • Winning a Genius Award is the single most prestigious way for brand marketers to gain widespread industry and national recognition for their achievements in marketing analytics.
  • Entry is open to any brand (not just ANA members), and brands may enter themselves or be nominated for entry by an agency. And for the first time, agencies may also submit an entry on their client’s behalf.
  • The program is free and easy to enter via the Nominate/Enter section of the website.

Meet the 2019 Finalists and Winners

This is my second year producing the Genius Awards for Neustar, in partnership with the ANA (the Awards were founded in 2013 by MarketShare, the marketing analytics company Neustar acquired in late 2015). It’s been a real treat for me to connect with and learn from a wide range of marketers about how they used marketing insights to solve business challenges, seize opportunities and, sometimes, bring transformational change to their organizations.

I loved traveling the country (oh how I miss saying that!) last summer to meet the finalists and (eventual) winners and shoot videos telling their Genius Awards stories.

Below are snippets from some of 2019’s winning entries:

  • Adobe recounted how they adopted Project Karma as an effort to identify the individual lifetime value of their customers in order to create more efficient and effective marketing.
  • USA for UNHCR, a United Nations refugee organization, talked about how they grew their charitable marketing efforts by creating a common measurement language to understand donor propensity and loyalty, grounded in data and insights.
  • LongHorn Steakhouse, part of the Darden Restaurants group, recounted how they leveraged an innovative new framework to understand the incremental lift of their display advertising on in-restaurant visits.
  • For the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, “data culture is decision culture.” Watch their story about their data-driven study that proved a ripple effect that first-time buyers to popular shows had on ticket sales across the Trust’s member organizations.

Finalists also had some terrific stories to tell:

  • STX Entertainment found a cost-effective, addressable way to use “durable identity” to reach moviegoers.
  • Using advanced techniques such as machine learning, biometrics, and others, LiveNation devised ways to provide their brand clients with insights about the quantitative and qualitative impact of the concert-going experience.
  • Team members at PepsiCo explained how their measurement approach has always been a journey of developing highly personal, highly emotional connections with consumers, and how data and analytics play a key role in driving personalization.
  • As an “ingredient brand,” Intel faces unique marketing challenges. Intel’s video offered insights into how the company uses analytics and advanced modeling to measure marketing’s long-term brand impact, along with shorter-term impacts.
  • Square – which offers payment, payroll, and other business solutions – provided lessons in using marketing analytics to forge closer, more productive relationships with other parts of the organization, such as Product and Finance.
  • Anheuser-Busch told a fascinating story about how they used data analytics to figure out how to create and market a beer for a younger generation of potential customers who don’t necessarily love the taste of beer.
  • When Pearle Vision made a decision several years ago to re-establish the company as the premier, neighborhood eye care brand, they needed to build a new measurement platform to gauge progress and understand feedback from consumers both qualitatively and quantitatively. The results were, well, eye-opening!

How Can We Help?

We made some updates to the Genius Awards site this year to clarify the process and simplify what’s expected from you. We also added the option for companies to submit video entries, if preferred. That being said, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and our team, at info@geniusawards.com with questions or for tips and guidance on best practices for creating a great Genius Awards entry.

As we all face difficult personal and professional challenges, I encourage you to reflect on the good things that you and your organization have done in your chosen field in the past year – and consider entering your achievements for Genius Awards recognition.

On behalf of all of us at Neustar, wishing you the very best.

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