Analytics Advocates: Show How You Got Buy-In

Tip #1 – Explain what you did to encourage analytics adoption

What did you do to ensure buy-in from your user community?

It’s one thing to develop innovative solutions to vexing business problems. But it doesn’t mean that it will automatically be embraced and used as intended. Who are your end users? Are they all internal stakeholders, or do they also include outside partners and agencies? Tell the judges what steps you took to ensure adoption. Marc Vermut, VP of the Knowledge Lab at Neustar, points out that, “This isn’t just about the work you did, though that’s critical, but also how you encouraged participation along the journey, and built a compelling case for people to use the new capabilities you developed.”

Tip #2 – Quantify the benefits of adoption

To what extent did adoption impact business outcomes?

There are two sides to adoption for a marketing analytics solution: adoption of the tool’s features and capabilities by the end-user community (like data scientists, financial planners, media buyers, or creative agency partners), and adoption of the tool’s insights by your company’s senior management. Both are needed, and there’s little chance that your tool will last if it doesn’t align with the way that your senior managers measure success. Tell the judges what business outcomes are most critical at your company, and how your solution is helping senior leadership make all the right decisions.

Tip #3 – Illustrate how your solution transformed how you work

To what extent did your organization need to be restructured?

A clear sign of adoption success, according to longtime Genius Awards judge Gayle Fuguitt, formerly the Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation at Foursquare, as well as CEO of ARF, is when “jobs and organizational structures are being redefined or reinvented.” When they review entries, the judges pay particular attention to the solution’s impact outside of marketing. They take a view of stakeholders that extends beyond marketing to sales, distribution, IT, finance, R&D, even legal. “As judges, we speak as much about change management and collaboration as we do about the exact research techniques,” Fuguitt points out. Help the judges understand how your project changed your organization’s data and analytics culture, and how it unlocked new cross-functional efficiencies.

Tip #4 – Tell us what resistance you encountered

How difficult was it to get your solution adopted?

The Genius Awards reward marketing analytics initiatives that are big, bold, and original. But those are difficult to pitch. Newton’s third law applies here—big action always triggers a big reaction. It takes courage to step up to the plate, and persistence to hit a home run. Everyone loves a tale of adversity, so tell the judges what roadblocks you faced along the way, and what steps you took to overcome them.

(Interested in tips for the other award categories? Click on the associated links here: GrowthInnovation, and Storytelling)