American Express OPEN's portal has been the centerpiece of the company's small-business outreach for several years. Last year, AmEx OPEN, CP+B and Digitas devised a new wrinkle with its “Small Business Saturday” campaign, urging consumers to patronize local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. “It was an idea that came up quickly, but very often those are the best,” said Charles Baumberger Jr., VP-account director at CP+B. “The results became a movement. Cities picked it up and it developed a life of its own.” Backed by a TV spot, social media and public relations, AmEx's Small Business Saturday—the day after Black Friday, which kicks off the holiday shopping season—was promoted with the slogan “Shop small.” The idea took hold, garnering the backing of mayors across the country. Consumers took to the new holiday as well, with small shop owners seeing a 28% increase in sales to customers using AmEx credit cards. “It supported the right things at the right time” Baumberger said of the effort that debuted during the slumping economy. BtoB's Best honored 25 marketing executives and 43 campaigns in such categories as integrated programs, print, direct mail, TV, online video, online only, out-of-home and trade shows. During a question-and-answer period, most of the Top Marketer honorees said the proliferation of media channels presented both a challenge and an opportunity. “We have to constantly tweak and adjust, and make sure the channels we're using to deliver our messages are integrated and are relevant,” said Tom Haas, CMO of Siemens Corp. “More important, today marketing is the new finance in that people are looking for real results. We'll be getting closer to sales to support their efforts.” Both Dan Collins, VP-corporate communications at Corning Inc., and John Kennedy, VP-corporate marketing at IBM Corp., indicated that a greater international focus was in the cards for their companies, and would be areas of future marketing investment. “Five years ago, we didn't even think about international,” Collins said. “Now, 75% of our sales are outside the U.S., which presents a great challenge in understanding cultures and intellectual property.” “We let market growth make a lot of our investment decisions,” Kennedy said. “We'll be diverting money to emerging growth markets, starting to do things in Africa, for example, and looking ahead 20 to 25 years for its potential.” Follow these links for complete lists of BtoB's Best Marketers, and BtoB's Best Creative winners, runners-up and honorable mentions for 2011.