Each year Ad Age honors a company that has demonstrated the killer combination of great product, smart innovation, marketing ingenuity and a relentless focus on the customer. This year, our shortlist contained several that filled the bill: Apple, Chick-fil-A, Domino's, Ford Motor Co., PepsiCo and Southwest Airlines.
Ultimately, our pick for Marketer of the Year went to Ford, a comeback story for the ages. But you disagreed, voting in Southwest for its commitment to customer service and making its free-checked-bags policy a rallying cry.
And then there was Apple, which seems to make our shortlist every odd year. But as we wrote in our profile of the tech whiz, its perennial powerhouse status leads to a certain amount of apple fatigue in our newsroom, and that seemed no different in your voting.
That said, it only seemed right to honor this groundbreaking company with a distinction we have never before given: Marketer of the Decade.
Each of these marketers offer key lessons for smart marketing in difficult times. Agree with our list? Disagree? Let us know.