New York—Tom Haas, CMO at Siemens Corp., was recognized as BtoB's Top Marketer of 2012 at BtoB's Best luncheon held today in Manhattan. Garnering top honors as Best in Show was agency Eric Mower+Associates for its “Valve Animals” global print campaign on behalf of GE Energy Masoneilan and Consolidated Products.
Haas was tapped as BtoB's annual top marketer in recognition of the “Siemens Answers” campaign as well as a continuing focus on what he called “agile marketing.”
“For a company like Siemens, being agile is sometimes difficult because we're so big,” Haas said. “We're always looking for opportunities with relevant, topical campaigns. Sometimes it's a matter of anticipating and having the creative in the can.”
For Siemens, agility was epitomized by its congratulatory print ad when NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August—NASA had, in fact, used Siemens' product life-cycle management software to help design the rover. Siemens also used a social media campaign to promote its involvement with the spacecraft and to share images of the rover landing on Mars.
In support of its healthcare diagnostic imaging and testing business, Siemens sponsored TedMed, a healthcare conference produced by Ted Conferences. Siemens exhibited at TedMed, sponsored live video feeds and ran Facebook and Twitter campaigns during the event. And last month, Siemens promoted National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, highlighting the need for testing on its Times Square signage.
“It's very possible to be agile by planning for agility,” Haas said. “We're always looking for opportunities.”
Showcasing a product in an unexpected manner is one way to grab the audience's attention, and the campaign devised by Eric Mower+Associates on behalf of GE Energy Masoneilan's control valve business is a prime example.
The campaign, launched in September 2011, features animal shapes formed out of control valves with witty headlines tied to each “animal.” For example, in a print ad featuring a charging bull made up of valves, the headline was: “Valve solutions that take charge.” An ad featuring a similarly composed owl sported the headline: “Digital field instruments to help you make wise decisions.”
Copy blocks explained how GE provides advanced valve solutions for difficult energy challenges. Arresting visuals, lots of white space, relevant headlines and sharp, brisk copy characterized the campaign.
“One of the disadvantages is making a product like valves interesting and relevant,” said John Favalo, managing partner, b2b group, at Eric Mower+Associates. “It's easy to fall into 'facts and figures' and 'features and benefits.' We tried to use rational appeal along with emotional appeal, bringing the human element into our work.”
Favalo said b2b marketing must focus on that emotional appeal. “People are always involved, and we always position our clients as problem-solvers,” he said.
Overall, BtoB's Best honored 25 marketing executives and 46 campaigns in such categories as integrated programs, print, direct mail, TV, online video, online, out of home and trade shows.
During a question-and-answer period, most of the Top Marketer honorees agreed that 2013 would be characterized by a more personal, “humanized” approach that will focus on customers' problem-solving and success.
“In the past, we've talked about how wonderful our equipment is; but we hadn't been talking about how our instruments change lives,” said Barry Bruno, director-marketing, U.S., at Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Clinical Diagnostics division. “Now, we're focusing on the emotional connection, which has been a huge change for us, connecting with customers in better ways.”
Scott Coleman, VP-chief marketing and sales officer at DuPont, agreed.
“Many people have viewed us as a chemical company, but we'd like to be known as a science company, collaborating with open arms to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems.”
Some of that human element is focused within, according to Phil Clement, global chief marketing and communications officer at Aon Corp.
“Two years ago, during all the financial tumult, we were an entrepreneurial shop,” Clement said. “Now, we're building a wonderful marketing department through lots of training. Before, we were exclusively dedicated to the work itself, rather than how we're doing the work. Forty percent of my time now is devoted to this.”