These 4 women are changing the game in marketing

These women are leading the way with smart, bold marketing strategies.

4 women changing the game in marketing

Women dominate the field of marketing. That means female leaders wield incredible power in shaping how customers – and even the wider culture – view the products and services their organizations offer.

That doesn’t mean the road has always been easy for women in the industry. There are still glass ceilings to break, old prejudices to overcome and the challenge of balancing family and career – all while being exceptional practitioners of their craft.

The 2023 winners of PR Daily’s Top Women in Marketing have overcome these challenges with skill, determination and grace. The 2024 honorees will be no exception – will you be among them? Your last chance to enter is March 22, 2024.

While we wait to celebrate this year’s crop of marvelous marketers, let’s take a year back at just a handful of last year’s winners to see what landed them on the awards list.

Lainey Johnson, EY Americas head of brand and paid media

Lainey Johnson manages marketing investments exceeding $30 million annually and that incorporate creative ideas into the marketing mix, including “Real Time Insights,” a series of 90-second news-segment-style episodes. These episodes, hosted by CNBC’s Caroline Woods from an EY-branded set at CNBC’s Headquarters, feature EY thought leaders and strategic partners. The series integrates into news programming, demonstrating EY’s expertise while boosting brand consideration.

Additionally, Johnson spearheads “Leadership in Action,” a master class series in collaboration with the Wall Street Journal, featuring prominent CEOs discussing decisive moments in their companies. The series not only resonates strongly with EY’s target audience but also demonstrates impressive engagement statistics, with users spending over four times above benchmark engaging with the content.

Johnson also introduced “Real Time Business – Financial Services Edition” in partnership with Reuters, aiming to humanize EY and shed light on the financial services industry. The program featured 10 digital videos and audio cut-downs that garnered exceptional engagement, surpassing Reuters’ overall benchmarks with 544K LinkedIn video views and 12.4M audio listens.

Her commitment to creating engaging content that serves audiences as much as it serves the brand earned her place among the Top Women in Marketing 2024.

Read more about Johnson.

Barrie Gruner, executive vice president of Hulu marketing and publicity

Under Barrie Gruner’s leadership, Hulu’s have achieved remarkable success, setting new records in the streaming industry.

One standout example of Gruner’s expertise is her work with the critically acclaimed “Only Murders in the Building.” Leveraging innovative tactics like TikTok Branded Effect, Digital Ambient Rooms and a pop-up museum activation, Gruner’s team celebrated the series and deepened fan engagement, resulting in “Only Murders in the Building” becoming the most-watched comedy in Hulu’s history.

The launch of “The Kardashians” on Hulu also witnessed success thanks to Gruner’s robust marketing and social campaigns, including social media units, custom content, extensive out-of-home advertising, immersive press events, and influencer experiences. @KardashiansHulu gained one million followers on Twitter in just 48 hours, achieving the largest social footprint of any Hulu launch.

For the promotion of “The Handmaid’s Tale” season five, Gruner’s team made history by becoming TikTok’s first advertiser in North America to run a paid ad using the newly launched Story Selection Ad, leading to a 268% increase in average engagement.

Gruner’s commitment to new technology and storytelling set her apart among her peers.

Read more about Gruner.

Marissa Beck Viola, VP of global brand experience for M&M’s Ecosystem

Marissa Beck Viola’s bold approach to omni-channel storytelling and her dedication to creating new connection points for the next generations of consumers have positioned her at the forefront of the industry.

M&M’S introduced the world to Purple, a peanut-shaped female spokescandy who celebrated uniqueness and purpose. Beck Viola and her team executed a comprehensive digital and earned media relations campaign, anchored by engaging video content. Purple’s introduction generated more than 120 million social media impressions within the first 24 hours, along with over 9 billion global media impressions. This initiative led to double-digit sales growth year-over-year and cemented M&M’S as Gen Z’s favorite CPG brand, as recognized by Morning Consult.

Next, Snickers continued its successful Rookie Mistake of the Year campaign, emphasizing the brand’s core message: “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” This integrated program spanned the NFL season, featuring rookie hunger-related mistakes, and engaged consumers through TV, online video, social media and in-store activations. The campaign achieved a nearly 50% increase in social media entries, garnered over 1.5 billion earned media impressions, and resulted in more than 24,000 QR code scans on packaging, ultimately boosting sales for the brand.

Lastly, Skittles undertook a significant challenge by bringing back its lime flavor after a nine-year hiatus. Beck Viola orchestrated an apology tour that began with a live press conference and continued across various platforms, including Twitter, Times Square billboards and a post listing every consumer who had complained. The campaign generated over 5 million streaming minutes on Twitch, a 1,000% increase in searches for Lime SKITTLES, 27 million media impressions, and double-digit sales growth. This campaign earned two Gold Cannes Lions awards.

Beck Viola’s commitment to making a big splash while keeping customers front-and-center cemented her place as one of the Top Women in Marketing 2023.

Read more about Beck Viola.

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Abbie Griffith, Edelman managing director & US head of operations, Health

Abbie Griffith pioneers Black female leadership and helps people across the agency fulfill their own dreams of making it in the field.

In the last year, Griffith spearheaded the transition of Edelman’s U.S. Health sector away from working in siloed, centralized markets to a “One Edelman” approach, where teams pull in specialists and colleagues from across the country to deliver the best work possible. Under this model, Griffith served as a source and connector of more than 375 colleagues across the sector.

When preparing for the launch of new long-acting monoclonal antibody Evusheld, AstraZeneca engaged Edelman to develop a fully integrated, multimillion-dollar campaign to drive adoption and awareness of its importance in the fight again against COVID-19. The campaign, “Up The Antibodies,” was a multipronged effort involving celebrities, influencers, content and policymaker engagement. The face of the campaign was Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges.

Griffith is also a founding member of GRIOT, Edelman’s employee resource group for Black employees, as well as a founding and steering committee member of the Edelman Global Culture Committee, which ensures the company’s core values are reflected in all client programs and employees’ daily interactions.

Her work as a connector and advocate have placed her firmly among the Top Women in Marketing.

Read more about Griffith.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be on this list next year. Enter today.



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