(Or up your chances, at the very least…)

You’ve developed a world-class analytics program. Now comes the time for getting the recognition you deserve: enter now to participate in The ANA Genius Awards for Excellence in Marketing Analytics, presented by MarketShare. Marketers worldwide will compete for top honors—and for a share of the $100,000 prize pool donated to charity. Winning a Genius Award puts you in highly prestigious company: prior winners and finalists include C Spire, Citrix, Intel, Fidelity Investments, Lego, and USAA.

But how do you stand out amongst the best and brightest? We’ve culled through what’s worked for prior winners to offer some clear advice on what to include in your Genius Award entry. The examples below are taken from publicly presented voting materials and subsequent write-ups in industry publications—but they’re representative of the best-received submissions overall.

The insights below are not exhaustive by any means. But they should help get you started on a great entry that’s a first step toward recognition as a true Genius.

1. You Build Outstanding, Scientifically-Driven Analytics Models.
That, first and foremost, is the question the program will look to answer. How insightful is the math? How sophisticated are the approaches? (But there’s no need to reveal your “secret sauce.”)

2. You Make Unprecedented Connections
Top analytics programs draw connections from one business group to the next—or one business to the next. “We were surprised at the level of cross-channel and cross-product interaction uncovered by the analytics,” Citrix wrote of its analytics program. Intel, meanwhile, uses advanced marketing analytics to understand its impact as an ingredient brand—which necessarily means understanding the complex interplay between Intel’s marketing and partner companies’ sales. Finally, C Spire integrates its analytics program into every customer touch point, including, writes ANA Magazine, “the 1-800 self-service line, email and text marketing, mobile apps, and retail point-of-sale.”

3. You’re Not Afraid to Follow the Data
Genius Award recipients are bold enough to transform their approach to marketing based on a belief in the power of data. “We felt there was more in the data, more untapped opportunity that we couldn’t quite put our finger on,” Justin Croft, former Manager, Brand Platforms & Analytics C Spire told ANA Magazine. “That’s what started us moving toward a more scientific, analytic approach to marketing and the customer experience.” In Citrix’s public overview of its submission, the company wrote: “Keeping our analytics in a cycle of model/test-learn-pivot gives us the confidence to challenge ourselves even if we are uncomfortable” [emphasis added].

4. You Take People With You
Genius Award winners don’t operate in a vacuum. They understand that great analytics relies on the input, feedback, and buy-in of the much larger organization. Recognized Genius brands clearly demonstrated how they included broader teams and senior management on their companies’ analytics journeys.

In Intel’s public overview of its submission, for instance, Intel wrote that its marketing analytics group (MROI@Intel) “provides clear and simple presentation materials in customized packages targeting one senior Marketing and Finance executive at a time. In addition, the team reached Intel’s marketing community through integration of MROI content in executive keynotes, short videos, and training sessions.” Finally, the MROI team “engages with key marketing stakeholders to ensure their questions are addressed as the models evolve.”

Citrix, meanwhile, created a cross-functional, global team that meets regularly to discuss the marketing analytics program progress, reviewed the data, and advised next steps.

5. You Get Results
The ultimate proof of great analytics is in great results. Here are some of the results that recognized Genius analytics programs have achieved:

  • Acting on insights from its analytics program, C Spire increased the effectiveness of its customer retention campaigns by 50%, and was able to drive upsell that yielded the equivalent of an additional 3% of sales with no added distribution costs or employees.
  • Within six months of its new analytics program, Citrix saw a 5 percent lift in sales and a 465% return on its investment.
  • Through Intel’s MROI, incremental marketing investments in 2013 generated more than $100 million in revenues for Intel. The marketing mix optimization that it drove generates from 1% to 3% increase in sales contribution from marketing.

Now it’s your turn. Have what it takes to be named a Genius? Enter today.