I had the great honor to meet Esther Lee last evening. Esther for those few who may not know her is nothing short of a giant in the vision business and by this I mean she has transformed countless companies through the power of ideas and communicating them passionately, intelligently, consistently – let’s say successfully – enough times and at the right times.
This takes a sense of purpose and being disciplined, her father would say in his proud introduction at the AMA Marketing Hall of Fame Awards last evening. He added “she is.. in a word, a nice girl”
Esther, having had her own successful agency; DiNoto Lee, went on to take the helm as Global CRO at Coca-Cola, then SVP Brand Marketing at AT&T and then EVP Global CMO at METLIFE in New York.
At each stop driving growth, significant growth by leveraging the value of consumer insights and taking action to build marketing Calls-To-Action. The legacy of her successes will continue to inspire generations of marketers & researchers alike.
There were two other honorees recognized; Mr. Seth Godin a stranger to few, author of 18 books on the nature of marketing and related topics. Godin is at heart a humanist. He seems to get what it is that makes people tick and has the innate ability to tap into it and deliver the right message or rather just take the right course and do a good job of letting the actions speak for themselves.
Godin talked about failing more than succeeding and how important it was to be able to have the fortitude to take risks with the right purpose in mind. It became clear from the start of his comments that his career was dedicated to these ideas: Marketing is not selling ads – it’s selling ideas – it is changing the culture.
The skyline of the city, the political landscape, the economies, the future.
Lastly we have Lee Clow who founded Chiat|Day and built iconic brands like Gatorade, Pepsi, Adidas and of course his 30 year run with Steve Jobs and Apple. We were treated to the 1984 Macintosh video ad where the athlete runs in and smashes the giant screen of establishment figure by throwing a giant hammer thus destroying the status quo. Wow
Lee reminded us that in the beginning it was easy – our job was to talk about our product. But then he mentioned something he had learned from Seth (the Humanist) – Today marketing is about everything we do. It is not only in the communicating everything well but the doing every well; the product, the customer, the support, the service, the employees, the community, the planet.
Maybe we have all raised our expectations from yesterday’s status quo – maybe that’s marketing and maybe that’s ok. No doubt