Hilton, Adobe Partnership Enables Students To Build Marketing Skills Using Anonymized Data

Adobe announced a partnership with Hilton on Wednesday that will allow students to learn in-demand marketing skills and a chance to win $60,000 in cash prizes.

Past partners include T-Mobile, Lenovo, Disney, Backcountry, Conde Nast, among others.

Adobe and Hilton this year will task college students with solving challenges using real, anonymized data from leading brands. The 2022 Adobe Analytics Challenge tasks teams to uncover insights using Adobe Analytics to provide recommendations addressing a pressing business challenge.

The Adobe Analytics Challenge, in its 18th year, asks students to identifying the differences between business and leisure travelers, as well as a growing trend called bleisure, where consumers add extra days to their business trips to relax and explore the cities they are visiting.

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More travelers are extending their business trips into leisure, but the concept is not entirely new. A report from 2019 shows 75% of respondents to a survey called it a “common practice” to extend their business trips. Some 44% agreed, at the time, bleisure trips are getting more common. And, these trips are typically taken alone.

Hilton will provide the data to students, who will look at how the hotel chain can innovate to customize content and experiences for different types of guests and travel needs.

Since the information provided by Hilton is anonymized, no personal information will be shared with Adobe or the students as part of the competition.

Teams will need to meet four criteria to participate in the semifinals. These determine how presentations are scored. 

  • Establish key objectives and success metrics – 15%
  • Analyze factors impacting success metrics – 35%
  • Recommend opportunities for business improvement – 35%
  • Professionalism and communication skills – 15%

With a portfolio of 18 brands and more than 7,000 properties worldwide, Hilton has supported more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history and has experienced a strong rebound in travel of all types following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list of judges is diverse, including some who are not from the travel industry. They include:

  • Matthew Alexander, Senior Director Channel Analytics, Hilton
  • Teri Guill, Director, Digital Analytics, Hilton
  • Sylvester Obafunwa, Business Consultant, Digital & Channel Analytics, Tata Consulting Services
  • Frederik Werner, Senior Specialist, Digital Analytics, DHL
  • Mary Owusu, Founder & CEO, Digital Marketing & Analytics, Sprint Marketer

Students will also deliver recommendations on how Hilton can drive personalization campaigns across different touchpoints, from its website to mobile app. Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics, will play an important role by allowing teams to analyze entire customer journeys across multiple channels.

Adobe noted it has received thousands of applications this year, spanning more than 700 colleges and universities in 22 countries.

Six teams made the final round: Université d'Angers in France, the University of Chicago, the University of Maryland at College Park, Utah State University, the University of California at Davis, and Brigham Young University.

This year’s finals will be presented virtually on November 16

Finalists will compete in front of a judging panel including Hilton representatives and other industry experts. The teams presented virtually at 12 PM ET. Winners winners will be announced publicly on Monday, November 21.

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