MarketingSherpa Announces 2016 Award Winners

Optum Named Best-in-Show; Sunrise Senior Living Garners Readers' Choice Award

Nov 11, 2015, 08:30 ET from MarketingSherpa

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Optum and Sunrise Senior Living are the winners of this year's MarketingSherpa Best-in-Show and Readers' Choice awards.

Optum, a health services and innovation company, received top honors as MarketingSherpa's Best-in-Show award winner for its multichannel content marketing campaign which produced over 1,000 pieces of unique content, generating 8,500 downloads and nine million impressions in less than 18 months with a team of four people.

For the second consecutive year, MarketingSherpa's blog readers had the opportunity to vote for the best digital marketing campaign among four outstanding programs that were finalists for the award. The voting period took place Oct. 2 - Nov. 10. Sunrise Senior Living, a global senior living provider, was chosen by MarketingSherpa's blog readers as the Readers' Choice award winner for its business-to-consumer (B2C) campaign that successfully tailored Sunrise information to meet the specific needs of seniors driving a 12 percent increase in online leads within a year.

The winners will be honored at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 on Feb. 22-24, 2016 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where they will present their award-winning campaigns. MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 showcases some of the most successful marketing campaigns and best practices in email marketing, social media and digital.

"We've received hundreds of excellent submissions this year, and our judges selected the program that best illustrates an innovative and transformative digital marketing campaign that puts the customer first while achieving bottom-line results," said Daniel Burstein, director of editorial content at MECLABS, parent research organization of MarketingSherpa. "Optum's campaign exemplified how a campaign that begins with research about how to best help customers, and then delivering on those discoveries, can transform C-suite thinking while achieving substantial ROI."

MarketingSherpa Award-Winning Programs

"The real business need for this particular campaign was educating the market to something new to them and the power of it," said Karen Thomas-Smith, vice president of provider marketing and reference management, Optum. In an effort to educate her company about the potential of strategic marketing efforts and to educate the market on the importance of health care analytics, the marketing team at Optum launched a multichannel content marketing campaign that produced over 1,000 unique content pieces and generated over 8,500 downloads in less than 18 months with a team of four people.

Thomas-Smith and her team decided the best way to show off the power of strategic marketing was through a hands-on approach. "One of the ways that I knew that we could accomplish that was to show Optum executives the power of marketing when it's led by content and it's led by educating the marketplace," she said. Through this content marketing campaign, the marketing team increased Optum's engagement, introduced more marketing leads into the sales pipeline and built a content marketing strategy that achieved long-term sustainability. 

Their success was measured by securing $52 million in new contracts for its new product offering in under one year, generating nine million impressions and closing almost $6.7 million in new business.

Sunrise Senior Living

As the recipient of the Readers' Choice award, Sunrise Senior Living, a global senior living provider, impressed MarketingSherpa readers with its business-to-consumer campaign centered on an online questionnaire that allowed Sunrise to capture the specific information that seniors were seeking on immediate care options. This resulted in a 5.8 percent conversion rate by questionnaire takers, and an overall 12 percent lift in online leads within a year.

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, Sunrise Senior Living's marketing team learned that the website was confusing and important information that users needed was not easily accessible.

To address the consumer demand for understanding their care options, the marketing team developed the Care Questionnaire to help patients determine the type of care they need; the type of care environment they most prefer; where to find a Sunrise community near them; and serve as a connection point to a Sunrise Resource Counselor.

Since the launch in September 2014, the questionnaire has been completed by more than 19,400 users, resulting in a 12 percent lift in on-site leads and a four percent lift in total site conversion rate. In addition, there have been 70 people who directly used the questionnaire and moved into a Sunrise Senior Living facility.

"A key component in successful digital marketing campaigns is ensuring that customers' needs come first. The Sunrise Senior Living campaign is a prime example of customer-centric marketing and this really resonated with our readers," Burstein added.

A panel of five expert judges reviewed more than 300 submissions for the 2016 MarketingSherpa Awards. The judges were looking for campaigns with strong results that were customer centric, transformative, innovative, and offered transferable lessons for the MarketingSherpa audience.

To see the marketers behind these award-winning campaigns speak on what went on behind-the-scenes, register for MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 at

About the MarketingSherpa Summit 2016      

MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 has expanded from its original email marketing orientation to become a showcase of research-based best practices in digital marketing programs for a broad spectrum of global marketing leaders and practitioners. Building off of Email Summit's 10-year heritage, the three-day 2016 Summit will highlight some of the most successful digital marketing campaigns using email, data, mobile, social media and content, including award-winning case studies presented by brand-side marketers. There will be breakout sessions that offer interactive roundtables for marketing technology tips and advice from industry experts and brand-side marketers, as well as networking opportunities to exchange experiences.

SOURCE MarketingSherpa