ad age marketer of the year

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At What’s The Idea? clients pay the bills. They do the hiring, provide the homegrown insights and share business data. Without clients there would be no brand consultancy.  But clients are not my customer. My customer is the brand. It is the brand to which I pay allegiance. It is the brand that is the object of my strategic desire. By being so focused it helps remediate politics from the equation.  

By putting the brand first and the people and clients second, it cleanses the process. Brands have no egos.  They just sit at the nexus of good-ats and care-abouts.  A brand doesn’t look to be promoted or aspire to Ad Age Marketer Of The Year. You can’t artificial intelligence your way around a brand. It’s a thing or service.

Don’t get me wrong, I need people to help navigate insight work. The stories, the human impact of purchase and use, the role of the product, can never be ably understood without people — be they brand and product manager or consumer and influencer.

But when all is said and done the brand must be the customer. At What’s The Idea? that pays the bills and provides the dividends.



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Eliza Esquivel, an executive marketing lead at Mondelez, spoke at Google Firestarters-NY earlier this week. This lady can ball. No marko-babble from her.

I really sat up when she used what seemed an inside term of art “Building Memory Structures.” It warmed my self-taught heart to hear this because I’ve built a similar framework but never put it so elegantly. I often speak and write of “building muscle memory” and doing so using “1 claim and 3 proof planks,” but these words from the Mondelez camp explain why it’s a company to watch. And why Ms. Esquivel will someday be Ad Age’s Marketer of The Year.

In this Fast Twitch Media world, filled with more Pasters than Posters, Google brand planners (planner who rely on Google only for insights), in a country where every business owner feels s/he is a marketing expert, it’s nice to know there’s are some marketing 30 somethings coming up with big eyes. A generation not smitten by shiny ephemeral tactics and automation technology. Ms. E has some serious vision and a lovely sense of control.

It’s going to be fun watching her career.





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In Mark Ames important Pando article “Shillers for Killers” he states tobacco killed 100 million people last century and is on track to kill another billion this century. The point of his article is that PR and third party advocates have greatly furthered tobacco’s cause – the shillers in the article’s title.

It was announced yesterday, CVS Pharmacy has decided to drop out of the Chamber of Commerce because the Chamber is against anti-smoking efforts outside the U.S.  This is freakin’ weeken’ awesome. Que huevos?

When CVS made the decision to drop butts from its store a while back, it no doubt calculated the loss of revenue. But the CVS brand idea “Health Means Everything” means nothing unless they walk the walk. And CVS has walked the walk. These are not only a brand strategy moves they are big ass, newsworthy proofs of claim.  And the payout over time, will way exceed the loss of a million Marlboro Lights sold.

The reality is, Walgreens and others will follow but CVS is doing the hard, dirty work and breaking the new ground. And they will continue to I suspect. The leadership at CVS and the head of marketing/public relations should win the 2015 Ad Age Marketer of the Year Award.



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