40 Under 40 2018 | Geeta Patel

Since joining Golin as an analyst in 2013, Geeta Patel has been solving first-of-its-kind analytics and measurement challenges for clients such as Unilever, Sargento, Tylenol, Nintendo, Discover, and McDonald’s.

Now executive director and head of Golin Chicago’s explorer community, Patel is an instrumental team member to the entire Golin digital and analytics network. When misperceptions about McDonald’s food spread like wildfire across social media, news sites, and dinner tables in America in 2014, Patel led a team of digital analysts through a massive social listening audit to address critics head on. In just five months, Golin answered more than 40,000 questions about what was in McDonald’s food, resulting in a 47% increase in social conversation and 21% increase in positive brand sentiment.

In 2015, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops came to Golin to lead the real-time engagement strategy for Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. Under Patel’s leadership, the team identified stories before they happened, created relevant content, and analyzed more than 10 million mentions of the Pope to find the most influential voices. Golin engaged one-on-one with 1,300 fans, generated a 75% response rate, and distilled more than 73 billion Pope mentions into clear, concise insights that prepared the client for nearly every question posed during daily press briefings.

Patel was instrumental in helping Golin launch its proprietary accelerators of relevance approach, which combines media and influencer relations for the first time to determine who can spread stories quickly and to the most relevant audiences.

For Wal-Mart, she developed a new strategy to analyze social customer data and deliver business intelligence and competitive insights to help companies make business decisions. She also re-engineered the technology powering Wal-Mart’s social care, enabling it to prioritize and sort 6 million conversations a year.

Colleagues praise her "ability to provide business advice and untangle extremely complicated questions by creatively leveraging data" and "desire for constant innovation." 

- Patel launched her career as a data scientist working for market research leaders including Nielsen and NM Incite.

 - She formerly worked with Bright Pink, the only national nonprofit organization focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in women.

- She serves as guest lecturer for a number of courses for rising digital and communications professionals.

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