Lessons Earned

So here is the secret of the below 10 Marketers of the Year ... know yourself. That's it. 

Asking your customers what they think about you is scary but necessary. Our clients use a three step "Positive Positioning Process" ...
Step 1: Clarify who your company really is in the minds of your customers.  
Step 2:  Focus all your communications on simple confirmation of your best stuff.
Step 3: Earn your place as a better company by openly fixing your less positive issues.
Sometimes it helps to outsource to trusted assessors and advisors who will give it to you straight. Prepare to listen and react with the help of efficient Social Media services like Readian6 and  Awareness Networks.

Get help says Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer, Procter and Gamble, "Innovation, especially as fast as the world changes, can't always come from within. You have to build and sustain a great internal team and the team has to know the power and skill in building the partnerships that keep us at the forefront of what's next."

Admitting that your company needs to re-evaluate your position with your customers (and employees) seems to be the first step towards great marketing and sales results. Everything is changing and you must change with it. Authenticity and transparency are easy to say but really hard to admit, evolve and implement... I recently summarized a report on Adaptability here.

As you learn what you are, you can create campaigns to accentuate the positive. Finding out what you are not will challenge you to fix it. Read on below and consider the guts that Russ Wiener at Domino's needed to admit that they had to change their recipe!

Here is Brandweek's CMO Special Issue and the 2010 winners... you can apply these lessons earned to any size company in any industry.

Grand Marketer of the Year 2010: James Moorhead, Old Spice

By Jim Edwards on Mon Sep 13 2010
In the 1970s, an Old Spice TV commercial opened with a shot of a woman lounging on a corner-unit sofa covered in garishly patterned cushions, surrounded by a jungle of potted palms and ethnic statuettes—a fading hippie paradise. The brunette, wearing a one-piece catsuit with bell-bottoms two feet wide at the ankles, pages idly through a magazine. "Old Spice," the woman muses in a breathy internal monologue. "It's a nice smell to snuggle up to." The scene cuts to a younger woman walking through a city park with fountains—she's the classic NYU student type, once a staple of Woody Allen's movies back when Woody Allen's movies were funny. "That Old Spice—wow!" she thinks aloud. "He sure knows what he's doing!"
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Steve Jobs, Apple

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Sep 13 2010
In 2010, the standard advice for marketers is: Be transparent. Embrace social media. Start a dialogue with your audience.
  Apple CEO Steve Jobs is having none of this. As everyone knows, Apple's success is based at least in part on opacity. The brand has no Facebook or Twitter page, doesn't respond to media requests (including one from this publication) and sometimes uses heavy-handed tactics to censor information. Apple's mania for secrecy reached its apogee with the iPad.
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Geoff Cottrill, Converse

By Rebecca Cullers on Mon Sep 13 2010
Geoff Cottrill, whose name is synonymous to many with digital marketing, says he draws much of his inspiration from a decidedly pre-Internet document: The 1913 Converse Catalog.
  One passage in particular has resonated: "Our company was organized in 1908 fully believing that there was an earnest demand from the retail shoe dealer for a rubber shoe company that would be independent enough not to follow every other company in everything they do."
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Justin Lambeth and Gannon Jones, Frito-Lay

By Elaine Wong on Mon Sep 13 2010
Frito-Lay knew it had a problem when it asked some of its consumers what its Lay's potato chips were made of and most had to give the question some thought.
  Instead of spuds, consumers thought of the factory. They deemed the product "heavily processed, full of preservatives and one-third of Americans didn't realize it was made with potatoes," recalls Frito-Lay marketing vp Gannon Jones. "When we heard that point, we were like, 'Wow! I can't believe that!'"
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David Webster, Microsoft

By Janet Stilson on Mon Sep 13 2010
Creating a fresh pitch about an established product is a hard enough job. But what if a billion consumers already own the previous version of it? For David Webster, general manager and chief strategy officer for Microsoft's central marketing group, that was the key sticking point as he and his team figured out how to market Windows 7.
  Well in advance of the operating system's October 2009 launch, Webster's team knew the campaign would need both a high-impact message—and one that would build on the existing perceptions so skillfully set up by the now-legendary "I'm a PC" campaign. That series of TV spots via Crispin Porter + Bogusky effectively deflected Apple's poison darts with the message that PC users weren't just average joes, but in fact millions of highly creative people all over the world.
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David Lauren, Ralph Lauren

By Robert Klara on Mon Sep 13 2010
As indoctrinated shoppers know, setting foot inside a Polo Ralph Lauren retail store is a bit like getting invited to one of Jay Gatsby's parties, minus the gin. Persian rugs, varnished mahogany paneling, gilt-framed oils of thoroughbred horses—it's all part of Ralph's world, an ivy-covered, Polo-scented sanctum where the cuffs are monogrammed and the latest fashion is tradition.
  Which is why some did a double take three years ago, when select stores in New York and London cleared the baronial trappings from the front windows to make room for interactive touch screens—67-inch projections that invited passersby to browse the collections simply by pressing their fingers to the glass. Fancy that $425 cashmere V-necked cardigan? A quick swipe of your camera phone captured the corresponding QR code, and the sweater was on its way.
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Russell Weiner, Domino's

By T.L. Stanley on Mon Sep 13 2010
In many ways, Russell Weiner was the target customer for his own ad campaign. After all, Weiner, who became CMO for Domino's two years ago, says he ate a lot of the Domino's pizza in college but felt he had outgrown it in the years after school.
  His palate had changed, as had the American consumer's, and the product itself had to evolve, Weiner says. But the marketing also needed refreshing, especially after a 2009 incident in which rogue Domino's employees posted a video of themselves doing disgusting things with the pizza on YouTube. The spectacle showcased social media's power to quickly unravel a brand and gave consumers one more reason to get their pizza elsewhere.
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Tim Mahoney, Subaru

By David Kiley on Mon Sep 13 2010
When Tim Mahoney returned to Subaru in 2006 to become chief marketing officer following a nine-year stint at Porsche of America, he hardly recognized the place he had left in 1997. The company had served up five separate ad slogans and strategies in six years from two different ad agencies, and had five radically different print ad layouts in the previous year.
  No wonder the company was languishing at around 180,000 sales a year, while brands like Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia were climbing. Even Subaru loyalists had lost the plot.
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Martine Reardon, Macy's

By Alex Palmer on Mon Sep 13 2010
Martine Reardon still remembers the point that's every marketer's worst nightmare: The brand's in trouble, and all eyes turn to the marketing department to do something. It was the end of 2008, and Macy's, the legendary retailer that's virtually synonymous with "department store," was indeed in trouble. The recession had turned shopping into browsing. Those Americans who were spending money trooped off to big-box discounters instead of the fancier aisles of Macy's.
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Tony Hsieh, Zappos

By Karen J. Bannan on Mon Sep 13 2010
On June 7, a new book by Tony Hsieh titled Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose hit the stores with a retail price of $24. There's no readily available data on how many readers plunked down that much, but what we do know is that 1,678 readers did not. Those people were subscribers of the crowdsourced discount site Groupon, which carried the book as a discount special in the middle of May—10 bucks, including shipping.
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