Growth Masters: Stand out from the Crowd

Tip #1 – Explain what growth means at your company

What metrics are you using to measure growth, and what have you done to meet those goals?

Growth can mean incremental sales, higher reach, improved customer acquisition, better ROI, increased customer lifetime value, a boost in brand equity, and a host of other things. It can be linked to brand or performance metrics, or to short-term or long-term goals. It can even relate to newfound process efficiencies. In the words of longtime Genius Awards judge Gayle Fuguitt, formerly the Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation at Foursquare, as well as CEO of ARF, “We’re looking for solutions that hit the top line and the bottom line of the business, even if it’s through efficiency. A lot of the solutions that we come up with in analytics are process management solutions. Better, faster, cheaper—that’s growth too.” Our judges won’t know how to assess your entry if they don’t know what growth means for you.

Tip #2 – Tell us how you’ve achieved those results

Be specific and avoid buzzwords

Our judges are well versed in the language and techniques used in marketing analytics. You don’t need to explain to them what marketing mix modeling means. But they’ll need to understand why yours is special. Avoid buzzwords and vague statements—saying that you used AI without spelling out what you did exactly will not earn you any points. But don’t assume that your solution has to be incredibly sophisticated either. The biggest breakthroughs sometimes occur with very simple solutions that, for one reason or another, had been ignored or overlooked up to that point. Our judges will be more impressed if you’ve deployed a simple solution in a hostile environment than a complex solution in a friendly environment.

Tip #3 – So What?

Put your project in context. Why is it a big deal?

Help the judges understand the impact of your project, and why your results are a big deal. For a multi-brand organization, a 5% boost in incremental sales to one of the top brands in the portfolio means more than a 10% boost to one of its smallest brands, at least in the short term. It’s also more impressive if you’re outperforming your peers than if every brand in your sector benefited from an improved economic outlook and rose by the same 5%. An excellent way to make your case is to secure quotes and endorsements from your key stakeholders. Have senior leadership, solution users, even customers vouch for you. As Fuguitt puts it, “You don’t always have to tell your own story. Others can tell it for you.”

Tip #4 – Now What?

Tell us what doors you’ve opened, and what you’re going to do next

You’ve invested heavily in people, time, and money to deliver the goods. Now that you have better tools, more streamlined internal processes, and more efficient partnerships, what are you planning to do with that power? Large marketing analytics projects rarely fulfill their full potential if the company’s culture doesn’t evolve with them. And with the right culture in place, more success is bound to follow. Show the judges that you’re seeing the big picture. Tell them how your project has transformed the way you work and connect with other teams at the company. Beyond KPIs, the best Genius Awards entries describe how they gained support among senior leadership, and helped raise the profile of data-driven marketing in their organization. Call it organizational growth.

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