Adobe Takes Home the ANA Genius Award for Analytics Innovation

Today at the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, Adobe was honored with a 2017 ANA Genius Award for Project Relay, our homegrown model for measuring how paid media moves customers toward free trials, and then paid conversions. The Genius Award recognizes companies and individuals using analytics to make sense of big data and prove the value of marketing, and we’re honored to be among the winners.

Project Relay: Finding the Real Value of Paid Media

Project Relay is the brainchild of our Marketing and Customer Insights team. They realized that, as many of our core customers converted to Creative Cloud, it was time to reach a whole new audience of potential users. And since free trials are a key strategy for attracting new users, we needed a way to measure how paid media impacted our intermediate success event—free sign ups—as a valuable step toward paid conversion.

To build this model from scratch, the team stitched together information about multiple touch points, from paid searches to display impression clicks, then evaluated how paid media contributes to free trial signups and paid conversions. As a result, we can evaluate two different key performance indicators—the acquisition of paid customers and free-trial customers—through the same measurement approach. We’re using Project Relay to reshape our marketing strategies to focus not only on paid conversions, but also on the free signups that can bring us value in the future.

“The tools do a lot of the reporting and ‘the what’ to help the business units. What we’re trying to focus on is pushing into ‘the why’, ‘the who,’ and the predictive part, to identify what’s next,” said Mickey Mericle, vice president of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe, in the finalist video. “We use our data to look forward and to look beyond report cards.”

Sharing Our Prize

Adobe will share a $100,000 prize pool for donation with our co-winners. We’re pleased to contribute our share to Urban Arts Partnership (UAP), which advances the intellectual, social, and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs. We’ve funded UAP’s Project Code, a rigorous computer science education program for high schoolers, through the Adobe Foundation’s Youth Coding Initiative. We’re thrilled to pay our ANA prize forward to the next generation of data analysts and high-tech innovators.

For more information, read about Adobe’s ANA Genius Award in 2015 for Project Iceberg, a look at the flaws in digital media attribution.