New York—BtoB named Kathy Button Bell, VP-CMO at Emerson Electric Co., as Top Marketer of 2013 at its annual BtoB's Best luncheon here today. Garnering top creative honors as Best in Show was BBDO, New York, and General Electric Co., its client, for the "Brilliant Machines" integrated campaign.
Button Bell was recognized for overseeing a digital transformation at the 123-year-old Emerson.
“Our world of b-to-b marketing is changing fast, and we're lucky enough to be sitting at the forefront of it,” Button Bell said. “It's a lot of responsibility, but marketing today is the best it's ever been."
This year Emerson entered a partnership with Dell Inc. to develop social platforms across desktops, laptops and mobile devices. The company has also overhauled its global website, adding more digital content, including videos, dynamic ads and social media ads.
ATTACK OF THE CLONES
BBDO's “Brilliant Machines” integrated campaign, launched in April, underscored how GE's technology is improving healthcare treatment in hospital settings.
The campaign includes a video of actor Hugo Weaving, reprising his role as the menacing Agent Smith from the “Matrix” movie franchise. In the video, he examines GE's technology at work in a hospital and comments on its groundbreaking effectiveness. Other elements of the GE campaign included social media, online advertising, additional TV spots and direct marketing.
Overall, BtoB's Best honored 25 marketing executives and 48 campaigns in such categories as integrated programs, print, direct mail, TV, online video, online advertising, out of home and trade shows.
During a question-and-answer period, the Top Marketer honorees agreed that the world of b-to-b marketing increasingly is characterized by consumerization.
“Ultimately, someone makes the decision to buy,” said Neal Campbell, senior VP-CMO at CDW Corp. “Increasingly we're asking ourselves such questions as, 'What is the CIO looking for? What is top-of-mind for the decision-maker?' We've exploited advances in social media to find out the answers.”
Linda McGovern, VP marketing at USG Corp., agreed.
“Marketing is about making personal connections,” McGovern said. “Ultimately you're selling to people. Whether it's through words, symbols or other tools, you have to emotionally connect with them to be successful.”
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.”
Here are complete lists of BtoB's Best Marketers and Best Creative
winners, runners-up and honorable mentions for 2013.