(Image: SAP)

Earlier this month, New York-based association The CMO Club announced the first ever winners in its new CMO Awards that include categories for leadership, officers, rising star, programmatic marketing, president’s circle, and marketing innovation.

The American association is recognizing American business leaders and chief marketing officers for their work, of course. But it’s worth Canadian-based marketers to take heed of what programs are being celebrated. The awards program is peer-judged and winners selected by an awards panel made up of members.

Of particular interest to us are the marketing innovation award winners, and how each used technology to deliver better return on investment, customer engagement, and bottom-line results for their firms. The inaugural award winners were: Jonathan Becher at SAP, Louise Camuto from The Camuto Group, Geoff Cottrill at Converse Inc., and John Hayes at American Express.

Jonathan Becher, CMO at SAP, is recognized by The CMO Club for marketing innovation.

So what does it take to win an award from The CMO Club? Becher, from enterprise software firm SAP, says he transformed his marketing organization into one that fit an evolving business model at his organization. It involved a five pillar plan:

  • Simplify marketing: simplify SAP’s operating platform to become more efficient and productive.
  • Humanize SAP brand: reach new audiences and deliver tangible benefits and build trusting relationships while inspiring advocacy.
  • Invest in people: developing enthusiastic marketers with the tools and knowledge to succeed
  • Develop pull marketing: Shift mentality from helping the field sell to helping people buy – when, where, and how they choose.
  • Tighten links to business: work closer with development and Global Customer Operations departments and run marketing as an ROI-driven business

Becher also discusses how he reworked SAP’s marquee event, Sapphire Now, into a more open and intuitive format that would focus on customer applications of SAP. I attended the Orlando-based Sapphire show myself back in May and must say it was unlike any other tech conference I’ve attended. The key note hall and session hubs were all open to the show floor so you just had to wander over and start participating in the program. Even though everything was open, it was somehow spaced out enough with strategic sound dampeners hanging from the ceiling of this massive show floor that it never seemed to distracting or noisy.