Marketing Strategists at Bugaboo, Fiat and mobilkom austria Win “CMO of the Year” Awards

An international jury honours the Champions League of European Marketing Customer orientation is the key pre-requisite for successful Marketing

Munich, September 24, 2008 – Madeleen Klaasen, Luca de Meo and Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter are this year’s winners of the “CMO of the Year 2008” awards. The international strategy consultants Booz & Company, together with an international jury, selected these three outstanding heads of marketing from a total of 38 nominees. The prize-winners received their awards at an exclusive gala evening in Frankfurt.

In only its third year, the prize is already the most prestigious award for European heads of marketing. It highlights the growing importance of strategic marketing and innovative marketing communications.

Gregor Harter, jury member and managing partner of Booz & Company commented: “The three winners represent an international benchmark for outstanding strategic marketing management and customer orientation. Their contribution to corporate success is impressive proof of the vital importance of marketing.”

Each of the three prize-winners stands for an exceptionally successful marketing strategy and its consistent implementation. Within a short period of time, Dutch-born Madeleen Klaasen transformed the Bugaboo buggy – using iconic, creative and innovative marketing tools from a design study to a global mobility brand appealing to modern parents on all continents.

Italian Luca de Meo rejuvenated the traditional Fiat brand. Using an innovative, largely digital, marketing strategy, he established the basis for the impressive turnaround in the Italian car group.

The third prize-winner, Austrian Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, responsible for marketing at mobilkom austria and Telekom Austria, is orienting both companies and their product portfolio more closely to the needs of their customers and in a more consistent way than their domestic and European competitors. As a result, he has succeeded in gaining significant market share in a saturated market.

A high-quality jury with an international membership selected the prize-winners from the 38 nominees via a four-stage process. Jury members were:

  • Hugh Burkitt, CEO, The Marketing Society
  • Jürgen Gallmann, Managing Director, Avaya Deutschland
  • Markus Gotta, Member of the Executive Board, Deutscher Fachverlag
  • Dr. Olaf Göttgens, Vice President Brand Communications, Daimler AG
  • Karen Halpert, Vice President Marketing at MasterCard Europe
  • Matthias Hanssen, International Director Brand, Advertising & Olympic Marketing, General Electric
  • Hermann-Josef Knipper, Deputy Editor in Chief, Handelsblatt
  • Ewald Manz, Senior Client Partner, Korn/Ferry International
  • Massimiliano Magrini, GM, Google Italy
  • Laurent Maruani, Professor at the HEC Graduate School of Management
  • Helmut Sendlmeier, Chairman & CEO McCann Worldgroup GSA.

In addition to strategy and organisation, they also deliberated in categories for brand and marketing communications, product and price design, and customer relations.

Along with the three prize-winners, five other candidates were shortlisted:

  • Elizabeth Chambers, Chief Marketing Officer, Barclaycard
  • Jan Hillesland, Vice President Group Sales & Marketing, Carlsberg
  • Mads Nipper, Executive Vice President Markets and Products, Lego
  • Gerhard R. Schöps, Chief Marketing Officer Western Division, McDonald’s
  • Astrid Schulte, MD, Bellybutton.

Further details on the 2008 prize-winners:

Madeleen Klaasen, Marketing Director at Bugaboo, stood out for her consistent implementation of an unconventional but logically coherent marketing strategy and for the successful market launch of the innovative strollers. Bugaboo strollers were positioned as a “must-have” lifestyle product for modern parents who place particular value on functionality and freedom of movement. With this premium price strategy, the design-aware clientele with strong purchasing power is targeted.

Bugaboo’s marketing campaigns are bold. The focus lies on product performance and integrated design. This ultimately ensured the international break-through for the Dutch company that celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2009. This entrepreneurial achievement impressed the jury, which has honoured it in awarding the “CMO of the Year 2008” title to Klaasen.

Luca de Meo, CMO for the Fiat Group and now CEO at Alfa Romeo and Abarth, rejuvenated the tradition-rich Fiat brand and implemented a consistent public face for the brand during his tenure there as CEO. With the successful market launch of the Fiat Grande Punto and Fiat Bravo, he established the basis for the impressive turnaround in the Italian car manufacturer. However, his true master-stroke was the marketing campaign for the re-introduction, in 2007, of the classic Fiat 500. For this, De Meo did not simply rely on the successful retro trend, but was able to invest the Fiat brand with emotional appeal through unconventional measures, making more successful and more consistent use of digital tools than its competitors in its customer management.

Five-hundred days before the launch, fans all over the world were invited to participate directly, through the “500 wants you” website; an interactive multimedia platform which touched all sectors of communication: from advertising and viral marketing, to fashion and photography, as well as asking customers to express their wishes for the new car. This success story is now being rewarded in the “CMO of the Year 2008” title for Luca de Meo.

Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter is the single post-holder responsible for marketing, sales and customer service for the mobile phone provider mobilkom austria and its fixed network sister company Telekom Austria. In his role as CMO he shapes the extremely successful corporate and brand strategy, market positioning and organisation of mobilkom austria; at Telekom Austria he facilitated a marketing-driven turnaround. On the product side, within the holding company he drove forward the progressive merging of the fixed and mobile networks, the development of IPTV offers and the market launch of the discount brand bob.

Ametsreiter also achieved growing revenues from the rapid expansion into Eastern Europe. His successful marketing strategy included breaking down barriers between marketing, innovation and development processes. For this outstanding achievement, the jury has awarded Dr. Ametsreiter the title “CMO of the Year 2008”.