by Kirstie Satchwell & Layla Romero
Since 1971, the BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association (BCAMA) has honoured BC-based organizations that have demonstrated the excellent quality and care that goes into their marketing strategy efforts. Each year, the BCAMA presents the winning organization with the Marketer of the Year award at a gala reception, which provides the opportunity for the winning organization to be recognized.
The BCAMA is accepting nominations for the 2013 Marketer of the Year award, but only until 5 pm this Friday – hopefully you’re considering nominating a BC-based organization, or perhaps you’re thinking about nominating your own firm. If so, you might be interested in hearing about the experiences of some past winners.
For the 2011 Marketer of the Year winner, the Pacific National Exhibition – or, as known by all, the PNE – 2010/2011 was a period that marked some big changes in marketing strategy. As explained by Kim Madu, Director of Marketing at the PNE, promoting the organization became “creating awareness about a destination where people felt ‘I was there as a kid. Why would I go again?’ ”. She noted that attendance had been dropping as people lost interest in coming to the Fair at the PNE, and the PNE knew that they “needed to pull at people’s heart strings and make them want to come back again”.
Kim explains that 2010 marked the PNE’s 100th anniversary, which provided a notable occasion for them to promote and celebrate the Fair’s attractions. With the help of the 100 Years of Fun campaign, their efforts resulted in great turnout and a definite increase in sales.
“We were able to ensure that everyone in Vancouver knew it was our 100th anniversary, so we had great stats as to why we thought we thought we should win the BCAMA’s Marketer of the Year award. It was a campaign that paid off for us, and we were able to prove that in the results.”
In hindsight, Kim notes that the anniversary celebration provided an ideal occasion that not only focused but also motivated their efforts. She adds, “The TV spots, posters and outdoor marketing for the Fair and the rides were catalysts that were real, timely and moving.”
Ultimately, were their efforts successful? In one word, yes!
In recognizing their successes, especially as the winner of the 2011 Marketer of the Year award, some questions arise regarding the challenges that come with such a feat. Most notably, how difficult was it trying to win the Marketer of the Year award?
Kim says, “I nominated the company for Marketer of the Year. It was a campaign we worked so hard on, so I felt that if there was any time for the PNE to win, this would be the year.”
“The nomination process was not easy. The first round wasn’t too complicated, but then there was another round, then another – which was difficult because you’re doing your day job too. I didn’t realize how much was involved in it. It is a great report now that we have it, but I just want to say to anyone who is going for it: be prepared to put in the work to make it a successful nomination form.”
When asked for her advice for future nominees, Kim points out the amount of commitment and time involved, since the winners are greatly responsible for contributing to the final production and making sure that the Marketer of the Year gala itself is a success. “Be aware of what you’re getting into and know that it is a lot of hard work – but it’s a huge opportunity!”
The results of that hard work were immediately tangible. Kim observes that securing sponsorship deals or even making sales calls became easier, as they were suddenly much more recognizable as a brand. She also notes, “Many of our business contacts were more receptive after we won the Marketer of the Year award, since they were able to clearly see the quality of our efforts and our attractions.
Kim notes that their winning campaign was refined and powerful, and that it promoted change in consumer decisions. She adds, “The best part of winning the Marketer of the Year award is getting recognized for a lot of great work, and for that, we can really be proud. We accomplished a lot during this time, which brought a lot of people in our company together, because everybody knew that we had won. This really brought to light the whole campaign to light and gave all us something to be proud of.”
Thanks for your time, Kim!
Interested in nominating your firm or another BC-based firm for the 2013 Marketer of the Year award? You’ll need to fill out a quick and easy form to start the process – don’t delay, as nominations close at 5 pm on Friday, March 15, 2013!
Inspired by authenticity and sincerity, Kirstie Satchwell (@warroominc) focuses these elements into her work with people, communication and her work process itself at War Room. Her working life is formed by the belief that it is important to pair quality with practicality, people with the environment, and the individual with the communal. Kirstie is a member of the BCAMA Marketline Committee.
Layla Romero (@laylayuki) is a member of the BCAMA Marketline Committee. Aside from a variety of marketing gigs, her principal job has only been revealed to a few and is yet to be discovered by the general public. (Editor’s Note: Really – you’ll never guess!)