2023 Women of Excellence, Innovator

Profiles of Innovator winners Genna Carlson, Emily Gibbons, Amy Hintz, Julianne Hudson, Steffanie Magnus and Kylissa Ward.

Genna Carlson

Senior Vice President, Account Director
Arc Worldwide

Genna Carlson joined Arc Worldwide in June 2021 and led the development of a proprietary e-commerce content audit that drives strategy across many of the agency’s clients, giving them a tool to increase conversion through a commerce lens. She has also identified new opportunities for evolution in the way Arc services its e-commerce client partners — and the entire Publicis Groupe umbrella — and has created new connections among Publicis entities.

Working across agencies such as Sapient and Razorfish, she identified resources, best practices and talent in order to build new functions for Arc. Teams are now structured to deliver on the needs for constant innovation within e-commerce, while building the training on metrics and methodologies to ensure they have access to the same ever-evolving knowledge base.

In 2022, Target wanted to refresh a seasonal tentpole program. Carlson drove the efforts to shift from seasonality to a program rooted in gender neutrality. This first-ever execution for client Unilever at Target married both companies’ values, led to double-digit ROI and became an annual platform.

Untold Beauty is an award-winning program she also spearheaded for Unilever at Walgreens that drove increased positive sentiment through representation and the amplification of multicultural voices who share their love for Walgreens, Unilever products and the importance of celebrating every kind of beautiful. Resulting in double-digit growth in core subcategories, the platform will expand over the next three years to include all Walgreens categories and brands.


Emily Gibbons

Vice President, Science & Technology, Commercial Insights & Loyalty

Emily Gibbons manages the commercial insights product portfolio and roadmap, and she leads the technical delivery for commercial insights products across the agency’s product, engineering and data science teams. She oversaw the building of a data science package library along with APIs that deploys the packages into 84.51 Collaborative Cloud for client use and were paired with resources designed to meet the needs of novice data science teams.

This supports the growth of 84.51’s Cloud proposition, which the agency expects to more than double in size this year, and can be linked to the increased speed-to-value creation and improved ability for CPGs to capitalize on the expanding applications of data science to support business strategy.

Gibbons also led the charge in the development of Kroger Precision Marketing’s Audience API, which enabled companies to drive insights to activation. She is passionate about helping CPG companies embed data science into their organizations, and she consults on how to transform their use of data and science to influence decision-making, creating a culture of measurable ROI around the use of data.

Gibbons advanced 84.51’s consulting solutions by driving scalability of its insight platforms, resulting in a savings of 2,000 hours of data science resources through automation efforts and an expected time savings of 2,400-2,600 hours in coming years.


Amy Hintz

E-Commerce Marketing Manager, Retail Media
Jack Link’s

Amy Hintz has been instrumental in helping build and execute Jack Link’s vision for an integrated approach to retailer media, shopper marketing and omnichannel customer programs in the past year. Several of her programs included always-on sponsored product campaigns, drive-time on-site and off-site display, and beta-driven cross-category campaigns.

A co-branded media campaign activated on Instacart with the Jack Link’s brand and an alcoholic beverage brand was created to build cross-category display and product ads on Instacart. The blending of a highly regulated category (BevAlc) with the high-growth meat snacks category to reach a very closely aligned consumer target was a recipe for success.

Hintz brought teams together across the brands and Instacart to help build new capabilities for cross-category measurement on the platform. Targeting was not only accurately leveraged, but data could be measured and reported post-campaign. Results showed that blending complementary cross-brand terms led to a 54% lift in new-to-brand across the campaign for this first-ever cross-category/cross-brand campaign with alcohol and food that was tested on Instacart. 

She also led the development of the company’s digital/omni-analytics, which includes tracking online ad attribution with in-store attributed data modeling for Walmart and Amazon activations. Jack Link’s has deployed retail media strategies across 18 of its largest customers, with positive ROI/ROAS across all campaigns.


Julianne Hudson

Senior Vice President, Marketing Science
VMLY&R Commerce

With a research background, Julianne Hudson joined VMLY&R Commerce in June 2021 as a strategy director. She helped lead the revamp of its research practice with the delivery of turnkey, human-centered learnings applied to shopper behaviors at speed and scale. She was then tapped to co-lead the department and support the integration of the agency’s strategy and research practices across the U.S.

Hudson now supports all VMLY&R Commerce’s U.S. clients. She leads efforts to accelerate adoption of its proprietary Growth Audience and Moments Mapping products across traditional CPG and service categories, hospitality and automotive to enable greater personalization with the agency’s creative output, leading both strategy and data. Her multidisciplinary approach enables brands to right-size their investment by calibrating the specific opportunities across all commerce levers, while also assisting with sell-in to retailers.

Hudson and her team wanted to drive repeat purchases for client Oreo by creating more special moments for the brand. Identifying a back-to-school opportunity and capitalizing on what sneakerheads have termed “Oreo sneakers,” they partnered with Target. Anyone wearing Oreo sneakers could scan for a coupon, redeemable at any Target location or online at Target.com. The result was an 85% conversion rate (scans versus redemption), and a 64% sales increase versus the prior year.

Hudson is also the architect and manager of an innovation task force, and led the advancement of a new trend-spotting innovation tool that enables more unique category- and brand-specific insights for clients to harness in strategic planning.


Steffanie Magnus

Director of Commercial Strategy, Shopper Marketing and Digital Transformation
Froneri U.S. – Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream

Steffanie Magnus has been the director of commercial strategy, shopper marketing and digital transformation since May, charged with providing the structure and vision of key initiatives while offering direction for her teams. She has the ability to dive into large amounts of data, extract the most meaningful pieces and draw insightful conclusions. She is incisive, pragmatic and processes information in an external way, which offers others a window into her line of thinking and elevates the collective knowledge of the broader team.

Magnus also understands how to leverage the expertise of different functional areas from brand marketing to sales, digital and beyond. She ensures collaborations between teams by “telescoping up” to connect the dots between different areas and align individual efforts behind a shared vision and goal.

Her commitment to taking business challenges seriously, without taking herself too seriously, makes for a good innovator and leader. She delivers business results and expands the definition of omnichannel marketing across the industry.

Magnus spent time at Google, Livescribe, Procter & Gamble and Nestle in marketing, brand management and innovation roles before joining Froneri U.S. – Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream in August 2020 as head of sales, e-commerce and retail marketing. She most recently served as the company’s director of e-business and digital transformation.


Kylissa Ward

Senior Director, Shipt Media Operations

With more than 15 years of client and agency experience, Kylissa Ward has evolved Shipt’s retail media presence from the ground up. Her strategy fuels business growth for the company’s brands and advertisers, and she has helped make Shipt an established retail media network and partner of choice.

Ward collaborated with the company’s engineering and product teams to develop key Shipt innovations, such as its machine learning algorithm that powers sponsored products, allowing the dynamic placement of CPG-sponsored product ads using purchase signals to optimize ad placements. The result is helping brands maximize spend, drive higher conversion by more than 55%, increase engagement and show consumers more relevant content.

By leveraging third-party integrations with partners such as Criteo and CitrusAd, Ward has grown display capabilities by 300%, doubled on-site search inventory and launched off-site ad placements, increasing engagement by more than 24% for brand partners and driving 25% incremental revenue for Shipt.

She has built relationships with Meta to launch its first off-site ads, leveraging Shipt’s first-party data to serve personalized ads and help brands reach consumers with the right messaging at the right time.

Through the implementation of ad-tech solutions, Shipt has fully modernized its retail media network to scale with the business’s future and deliver long-term growth. Her leadership in these efforts has made Shipt a trusted source with brands and the retail media industry.