Marketing publication, Advertising Age, recently chose its 2008 marketer of the year. Finalists included such familiar and prodigious brands as Apple, Nike, and, for its turnaround, Coors. Accomplished as the contestants were, the winner overshadowed them. It grew his brand from obscurity to ubiquitous name recognition in the US and wide recognition globally.
We could dismiss Ad Age’s choice. What cannot be dismissed are the accomplishments of this marketer.
- The product rose to category dominance over a dozen competitors, many of which were initially better known and funded.
- A self financing MARCOM budget exceeding half a billion dollars
- A dominant market share of 53% with November sales exceeding 65 million units.
- A devoted group of product fans and evangelists.
- A multi-channel affiliate network.
- Integrated inbound and outbound marketing campaigns through families of web sites, blogs, text messages, newsletters and email. Online media were matched with massive national and locally targeted TV advertising (this may have appealed to Ad Age). Paid media coverage was dwarfed by news coverage of product development and launch.
- Leading in every age category except for those 65 and over.
- Mastery of new media, word of mouth and viral marketing as shown by having more than:
- One hundred thousand followers on Twitter
- 150,000 results on Flickr
- 900,000 results on MySpace
- 3 million supporters on Facebook
- 400,000 videos on YouTube
- 90 million results on Google
This brand is still in the early stages of its life cycle.
If you haven’t guessed already, the marketer of the year is Barack Obama