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BtoB's Best Marketers: Kathy Button Bell, Emerson Electric Co.

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Kathy Button Bell, who has served as CMO at Emerson Electric Co. for 13 years, this year oversaw the launch of new ads in the “Never Been Done Before” campaign and expanded the company's digital marketing efforts. In April, Emerson introduced two new TV spots featuring customers Lukoil Group, a Russian oil and gas company, and NBN Co, an Australian telecommunications company. The ads were created by DDB Chicago and the budget estimated at $12 million. The spots show how Emerson is providing solutions for network power, climate technologies and infrastructure support in remote areas of the world. Emerson is automating Lukoil's Varandey facility, the world's northernmost continuously operating oil terminal. For NBN Co, Emerson technology supports the building of a broadband network across Australia—the country's largest infrastructure project ever. “The campaign is an expansion of the stories we're telling, as well as a geographic expansion of where we tell them,” Button Bell said. The effort also includes print, online and outdoor executions. “One of my marketing priorities was to have a much smarter digital strategy this year,” Button Bell said. “We're integrating the "Never Been Done Before' ads with video feeds online—a combination of TV commercials with videos of our business leaders, animated videos and customer stories. The combination of those gives us a much bigger and thorough picture of Emerson.” The videos are running on Emerson.com as well as YouTube and have generated more than 1 million views. Button Bell said traditional media, such as TV, print and outdoor ads, are still necessary despite the company's expansion into digital. “The explosion of social media doesn't mean you can take your eye off the traditional media ball. It's not one instead of the other,” she said. “The trick is to integrate them so you can make them both work harder.” Button Bell is also spearheading a project called High Impact High Pots, which will feature 100 high-potential employees under the age of 30 in Emerson's annual report, on its website and in internal events.
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