Congratulations to the FORGE 2022 Torchie Awards Winners
Brand of the Year: Burger King
This category recognizes industry leaders who have made the most innovative use of Braze, forging meaningful connections between people and the brands they love.
Burger King (BK) wanted to motivate their guests to use the BK mobile app to earn points toward their next purchase, both driving app engagement and incentivizing future visits. To creatively accomplish their goal, they built a fully interactive game within an in-app message (IAM) using custom HTML. Additionally, once a user had played the game, they were served a CTA that deep linked to BK’s offer page so they could redeem a prize.
Burger King also utilized Braze to implement push notifications and email reminders to notify users of the game itself and to remind users who had won a prize or offer to redeem it. The way Burger King wove together connectivity, gamification, and engagement (both strategically and tactically) in this campaign exemplifies innovation in mobile marketing.
Torchie Team of the Year: Majid Al Futtaim
This category recognizes teams who work across disciplines (data, engineering, marketing, leadership) to collaboratively create best-in-class campaigns for their users.
Sereen Hindawi, Senior Manager of Customer Engagement at Majid Al Futtaim would like to recognize her colleagues on the SHARE Customer Engagement and Martech Product Teams, which she proudly told us are made up incredible marketers with strong backgrounds in lifecycle, product, and tactical marketing working for some of the largest and most renowned brands in their region: Dalal Haidar, Fakaiha Arshad, Imen Azzabi, Maxime Delcourt, Lojain Alsaif, Jade Okba, Tanaya Priya and Majd Arzouni. Having switched to the Braze platform at the start of 2022, Sereen says her team embraced the challenge and hit the ground running. Expectations were high—on their previous platform, the team was churning out 100+ impactful communications monthly, with open rates averaging an impressive 40%-50%.
Once the team had familiarized themselves with Braze, they created a new email design system—a series of frameworks, components, and elements that allows them to leverage the variation Braze allows for while maintaining efficiency. Sereen told us that the email design system grew and flourished, allowing the team to reduce the amount spent per campaign without compromising quality. Email open rates grew even higher than previous years, and at larger execution volumes of 100K+ to 300K+, the teams continue to see higher than average open rates of 61% and 40%, respectively.
Campaign of the Year: KFC Mother's Day
This award recognizes a specific campaign that demonstrates strategic leadership and technical proficiency in the pursuit of stronger consumer/brand relationships.
For Mother’s Day this past May, KFC partnered with Proflowers to offer a free bouquet of flowers with a qualifying purchase of a KFC Sides Lovers Meal. The most challenging element of the campaign was a highly-technical one: They needed a solution for tracking purchases and distributing promotional codes without a promotions engine. To execute the campaign, KFC utilized a handful of Braze features to support the end-to-end user experience, including Braze Promotion Codes, our Braze Currents high-volume data export feature, and webhooks.
The campaign was a massive success: They sold out in just eight hours and had their second-highest Mother's Day turnout in 70 years of business.
Rising Star of the Year: Joel Debus, Marketing Automation Manager at Klarna
This award recognizes an exceptional new user of the Braze platform whose work leverages technology in thoughtful, effective ways to support better user relationships and stronger business outcomes.
The Klarna App, which has over 23 million monthly active users globally, provides a shopping browser with a broad range of features that makes shopping easier and more enjoyable. To elevate the app experience, Joel Debus, Marketing Automation Manager at Klarna wanted to create personalized journeys to retarget users. Historically, the marketing team had very little insight into what users were interested in aside from purchase history. Enter Joel.
Marketing MVP of the Year: Brian Munn, Senior Lifecycle Marketing Manager at Meetup
This award recognizes a veteran Braze power user who leverages technology in creative, thoughtful, and effective ways to forge meaningful relationships with users and drive stronger business outcomes.
In late 2020, Brian began a project across Meetup’s marketing, data, engineering, and product teams to re-architect their setup. Together, they built an ecosystem of automated and recurring notifications across channels that layers on top of the Meetup platform to create engagement, then migrated their product triggered sends to Braze, and enhanced and optimized those sends. This past summer, they completed the last element of the migration from their earlier setup by migrating legacy email IPs into Braze.
“We scaled empathy through personalization, utilizing Braze tools for smarter sending, and creating a cross-channel experience,” said Brian. “The past two years we've come a long way with how Meetup utilizes Braze to enhance our relationship with our customers.”
Through their initiatives, they were able to drive 426K RSVPs, over 1 million events scheduled, and 12,200 groups started, all while navigating a pandemic sweeping through the world. Against all odds, they’ve remained profitable and growing since 2020, continuing to help communities grow and spark connections.
Best Data Application of the Year: Blinkist
This award recognizes a team that has leveraged Braze data to measure campaign performance, and used those analytics to inform business decisions in line with company goals.
Blinkist recognized that while new subscribers to the platform tend to be highly engaged, as they progress further down the lifecycle, they often become more casual users—or worse, dormant. User research showed that users have a healthy appetite for content related to current events and news topics, and that if the recommendations they receive are the right ones, users are more open to receiving more communication from Blinkist. Based on their findings, the marketing team worked with the data science team and an AI copywriter called GT3 to build a fully-automated campaign called the Blinkist Signal that recommended news-based, localized titles from their library personalized by user location, trending local news, and user behavior.
The AI would write the copy used in the campaign to explain and contextualize why a certain book was relevant to a certain event, after which they’d use Braze Connected Content to draw data about the title from their backend and populate the information into the email. This was set up within Braze Canvas, with users being sent daily recommendations based on the built-in logic. Blinkist says such localized, personalized, and unique recommendations would not be possible for their large user base without the use of this technology. And while the campaign is still entering next steps and iterations, initial analysis suggests it’s effective—its results even outperformed those of human-made recommendations within a control group. Early data indicates that it’s especially useful for dormant users, who are showing strong reactivation rates. The team is excited to explore and apply this innovative, data-driven approach further.
Agency Partner Story of the Year: CACI and Domino’s UK/Ireland
This category recognizes a customer that worked with a Braze Alloys agency partner to unlock innovative and creative campaigns for some of the most admired brands in the world.
At the height of the pandemic in 2020, takeout and delivery were king. Demand was high, but so were competition and customer expectations. Domino’s UK/Ireland found themselves facing marketing challenges that were interfering with their ability to stand out from the crowd by providing a strategic, personalized, and seamless customer experience. They had a strong sense of what they wanted to accomplish but were handcuffed by their outdated CRM technology. They weren’t harnessing an abundance of data, they were dealing with a time lag that made responsive customer communication impossible, their platforms were disjointed, there were barriers to segmentation—the list goes on. Then Domino’s made the transition to Braze so they could manage all email, push, and in-app marketing campaigns in one place.
In selecting a mobile-first platform that multiple channels could operate within, Domino’s used channel optimization and send-time optimization to talk to customers on the channel they prefer at a time they’re most likely to be receptive—a process that just wasn’t possible with their previous CRM. They say the switch to Braze also allowed for easy integration with a suite of creative tools, such as Movable Ink, that make content customer-specific and help bring it to life. Once Domino’s had made the move to Braze, they needed a partner that understood the features and functions inside out. Enter CACI, pioneering problem solvers who came highly recommended by Braze.
In recommending CACI, we were confident in their specialist knowledge of the platform, along with being industry-leading experts in data. CACI’s personalization project team began assessing existing campaigns and journeys to understand customer behavior and identify personalization opportunities. Then came experimentation, testing, and ultimately, implementation of personalized messaging processes that put Domino’s former CRM to shame. Domino’s says the agility of this process, attributable to the Braze platform’s core functionality and ease of use, ensured testing could be adaptive, data-driven, and insight-led, guaranteeing more effective outcomes.
Tech Partner Use Case of the Year: Hibbett Sports
This category recognizes a brand that uses Braze in tandem with one or more Braze Alloys technology partners to support a customer engagement ecosystem that delivers exceptional experiences to their users.
While running a raffle campaign, online retailer Hibbett Sports wanted to ensure that finding and downloading their app, then navigating to the specific raffle of interest made for a seamless experience, eliminating friction and barriers to long-term app adoption. They also wanted to leverage their wealth of customer data to enhance personalized messaging for customer marketing.
To accomplish these goals, Hibbett Sports implemented three Braze Alloys technology partners, including Branch, which allowed them to provide a unified, cross-channel experience. They also created relevant messaging powered by Braze and Movable Ink, and improved their customer data flow with mParticle. The results were outstanding: A 46.4% Click-to-Install rate, a 69% increase in Monthly Active Users, a 228% increase in Daily Active Users, and a 51% increase in New Users.
Marketing Leader of the Year: Annabella Goff, Senior Director of CRM at Peacock
This award recognizes a marketing executive or executives who manage a team that builds innovative, personalized, customer-centric campaigns in Braze.
Since launching in 2020 in a long-competitive market, streaming service Peacock’s path to success has come with an ever-growing team and changing expectations from consumers. At the start of 2022, Annabella Goff, Senior Director of CRM, reorganized cross-functionally to form a retention strategy and fan engagement team that would work alongside Peacock’s existing email, mobile audience, and analysis teams. It had become apparent that Peacock was growing so rapidly within the industry that they needed more robust resources and structuring to serve subscribers in meaningful and engaging ways. With a new team structure in place, Annabella’s leads were able to thoughtfully level up Peacock’s campaign work and audience segmentation.
The CRM team worked closely with data partners to build the right set of targetable events and attributes, built out systems that would allow for mass personalization at scale, and dug into fan engagement as a means to connect with the Peacock audience through content communities. Peacock says this freed up time for the growing email and mobile teams to innovate, finding new ways to implement campaigns through Braze Canvas and dynamic Content Blocks, streamlining the process.
Annabella continues to work cross-functionally within Peacock, partnering with a variety of teams through the company to strengthen engagement and retention efforts and champion a customer-first approach. Peacock says Annabella’s guidance has pushed them toward a higher customer lifetime value and double-digit lifts in key metrics.
Congrats to all nominees and winners, and thank you to everyone who attended this year’s FORGE.