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2016 MarketingSherpa Awards

The most innovative and transformative campaigns of the year

Want to be featured in next year's award book?

Click here to apply to speak at MarketingSherpa Summit 2017 and your campaign could be chosen for a MarketingSherpa Award.

The selection process for the 2016 MarketingSherpa Awards included 50 hours of pre-screening, followed by 15 hours of deliberation with five judges of varied marketing backgrounds and perspectives.

The following questions were deliberated when reviewing the campaigns of each of the 319 speaking submissions and case studies:

Was the campaign innovative? Did the campaign drive impressive results? Was the campaign customer-centric? Did the campaign display transferable principles that other marketers can learn and apply to their own campaigns? Did the results of the campaign transform its organization?

For the Best-in-Show and Readers’ Choice winners highlighted below, the answer to all of the above was "yes."

awards book




Even though Optum Health has helped over 74 million people and partnered with government agencies in 40 states, it had a large awareness problem.

In the wake of a company and brand transition, the company’s marketing team wanted to make the switch away from traditional push marketing toward a consumer-focused pull strategy. However, Optum lacked the automation capabilities and volume of content to run the integrated campaigns its marketing team wanted to.

The challenge was answered by investing in research, including an in-depth market study, extensive persona research and a push toward content creation. Within 10 months, the company’s marketing team developed more than 150 pieces of content using a variety of distribution channels, and its content library has continued to grow.

This content investment coupled with significant efforts from the sales and product teams resulted in Optum securing $52 million in new contracts for its new product offering in under one year. This effort also led to over six million impressions and almost $6.7 million in closed business.  

See full case study >>

Karen Thomas-Smith Karen Thomas-Smith
Vice President,
Provider Marketing
& Reference Management





Visitors to the Sunrise Senior Living website are often looking for immediate senior care options or are researching senior care providers for upcoming care needs.

Through user experience testing, the marketing team learned that most users who were seeking care options were not certain which care options were most aligned with their or their loved one’s needs, or that multiple options were even available. It also became apparent that this information was not easily accessible on the site without requiring the user to read through multiple landing pages or talk directly to a representative.

Since the launch in September 2014, the impact of launching a Care Questionnaire to foster meaningful off-site engagement has been measured by more than 19,400 users completing the survey, resulting in a 12% lift in on-site leads and a 4% lift in total site conversion rate.

See full case study >>

Abby See Abby See
Director, Online Marketing
Sunrise Senior Living


Sunrise Senior Living


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