BtoB's Best Marketers: Tom Haas, Siemens Corp.

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Tom Haas has staying power, and he likes marketing campaigns with the same quality. Haas has been CMO of Siemens Corp. for 19 years. That's an eternity for a corporate CMO, a post where job tenures typically resemble the life expectancies of goldfish. The Siemens “Answers” campaign has been running for five years—something of an endurance record for a marketing effort in the Internet era. “I'm trying not to change it like you change your socks every day,” Haas said. The campaign, he added, “continues to evolve. We continue to tweak it and make it fresh. ... What we've done is take the "Answers' campaign and evolved it into "Answers That Last.' ” The campaign is highly integrated, featuring print, broadcast, online and out-of-home. “I don't think any one thing has shined more than the others,” Haas said. “It's a nicely honed machine that is working on all cylinders in terms of media.” But Haas understands that the campaign is just the beginning of the communications process. “You can't really explain what we as a company can do in a 30-second spot,” he said. The ads are a gateway to a conversation about Siemens and what the company can offer. To explain Siemens requires content marketing and lots of it, and the company has used many different forms of custom content to get its message across. Haas said custom events showcasing the company's high-speed rail and smart-grid technologies have performed well. One event drew about 2,000 of its 3,000 attendees from Facebook, he said. Siemens has also used research from The Economist and Wired to generate content that became part of the company's communications with readers of the magazines. The Siemens corporate website is also a cache of case studies and other content. With increasingly relevant content—and improvements to search engine optimization and paid search—Haas said Siemens' website has boosted its traffic by 89% this year. “Overall, the campaign is going very well,” he said. —S.C.
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