Interview with 2014 CMO Award Winner Lee Applbaum, CMO of Patron Spirits

CMO CMO
December 25, 2014

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Part One Excerpt: “Many CMOs make it their mission to leave a mark on their brand and take the company in an entirely new direction. This is not Lee’s mission. Lee Applbaum, CMO of Patrón Spirits, will be the first to admit that when he took over marketing for Patrón just last year he was sticking with a “don’t fix what’s not broken” model. In Part 1 of this interview, Lee discusses how he has been able to amplify what’s been working for Patrón while also showcasing his own talent — specifically with the Roca Patrón launch, which happened this past July. Lee shares his experiential marketing success story, “Roca on the Rails”, where he was able to create a retro experience in a world of digital marketing and explains the ever so trendy garden-to-glass movement to me. With a guy as innovative as Lee, it’s not wonder he was a recipient The CMO Club’s Creativity Award.”

Part Two Excerpt: “Stick with me here as I drift back momentarily to one of the more profound books I remember from high school – Murder in the Cathedral. In T.S. Eliot’s classic, the protagonist Thomas Becket contemplates martyrdom and the possibility that just thinking about becoming a saint could disqualify him. I believe that brands walk a similarly fine line with their Corporate Social Responsibility activities – it’s a great idea to do these things but celebrating them too loudly comes with some risk. One person who clearly gets this conundrum is Lee Applbaum, CMO of Patrón Spirits. When asked about CSR, Lee is very careful not to over sanctify Patrón’s activities and instead shares them with a matter of factness that is simply refreshing. At the close of this two-part interview (check out Part 1 of this interview), you will get a sneak peak into Lee’s plans for 2015, which include a keen desire not to “eff it up!” My guess? He has a really really good shot at it.” By Drew Neisser – Originally Published on thedrewblog.com

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