BtoB

Emerson's Button Bell, BBDO, GE win top BtoB's Best honors

BUDGET FOCUS ON BRANDING

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Marketers said budgeting goals for 2014 are focused largely on branding. “Branding is top of our list, but along with that, content is huge for us,” said Jamie DePeau, VP-CMO at Lincoln Financial Group. “With branding we'll be drawing people to our website, and they'll be needing that content once they get there.” Button Bell said Emerson will also be increasing its research budget. “Research is a marketer's sword and shield,” she said. “Everyone thinks marketing is so subjective. But if something negative comes up, with research you're bulletproof. It's your best weapon for survival as a marketer.” Emerson will also be spending more next year on hiring. “We're facing a hiring challenge, because it's hard to find great marketers,” she said. “Hiring great marketers is a critical pathway toward growth and success.” George Stenitzer, VP-communications at telecom equipment manufacturer Tellabs Inc., said his major push will be in website improvements. “We've tripled our traffic from a year ago with better content management,” he said. “And we want to make sure that our website is even more friendly to mobile visitors.” The top marketers also were asked to cite the “one word” that characterized the state of b-to-b marketing today. “The word is "fluid,' ” said Linda Boff, executive director-global brand marketing at General Electric Co. “When you think of "fluid,' you think of the challenges, the uncertainties and the complete spectrum of opportunities available to marketers today. Fluidity is daunting but exciting.” Phil Clement, global CMO at Aon Corp., voted for the term “bullish” as epitomizing the variety of opportunities for marketers today. “You can do anything you can think of,” Clement said. “"Multichannel' at one time was a concept, not a practice. Now you can do anything that is appropriate to the marketing idea.” Panelists also addressed the disruptive aspect of marketing. “New technologies are changing the market,” Stenitzer said. Marty Willis, CMO at OppenheimerFunds Inc., agreed. “We've moved from selling products to selling solutions, and the world is more complex as a result,” Willis said. “There's no longer just one decision-maker; on average, we're seeing up to five different people involved, and we have to target our messages accordingly.”

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