The Secret Marketer nominates his own Marketer of the Year


May I first wish all Marketing Week readers a very happy, healthy and hopefully even a little bit prosperous 2012.

Looking back to last year, I enjoyed the run-up to Christmas greatly. At last some sentimental feelgood to soften the year end. That wonderful John Lewis TV advert accompanied by the inspirational composer Gareth Malone and his choir of military wives are worthy of mention. Both should receive every marketing award going for truly tapping into consumer psyche for the festive period.

Christmas is, of course, a time for giving and as a marketing director I rather fancy my chances of making good brand choices when it comes to my gifting selections. A couple of years back, I bought my parents an iPod Nano, doing my best to help them stay young and enjoy their music more conveniently.

His advertising will not win any awards at Cannes, but it will sell a lot more product than those who do

It was an unmitigated disaster. Despite the polite thank yous and initial looks of wonder, they have never really got to grips with this gifted technology. The display is too small, the buttons too fiddly and don’t even mention the dramas around computer-to-device synchronisation.

For this Christmas, I tried again and, seduced by a good old- fashioned product demonstration-style TV ad, bought a music device made by Brennan. It does not require a computer interface, has only one button that matters for random playback and nice big graphics. It looks like a stereo and if you really want you can download your old vinyl, cassettes and even send things the other way to an MP3 player.

I am delighted to say that this time I scored. The parents are in love with their new piece of kit and I am back in their good books.

So I would like to nominate entrepreneur Martin Brennan as my own Marketer of the Year. Brilliant product innovation against a clearly defined market segment supported by great marketing communications that demonstrate his product and why it is superior.

His advertising will not win any awards at Cannes, but it will sell a lot more product than those who do (and not all of them will be to silver surfing empty nesters).

This is proper old school marketing done properly and will be one of the first case studies I shall be sharing with my team when the working week gets into full swing.



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