Road to Fusion 2011: The ICSC U.S. MAXI Awards

(Image: MAXI jury chair Angie Leccese, SVP of corporate marketing and brand management at Cousins Properties.)

After years of calling the ICSC MAXIs the Oscars of the shopping center industry, the award ceremony will actually take place in Tinseltown later this month. The winners will be announced on March 31 in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa, home of the Oscars Governors Ball. But while the setting will bring an extra touch of glamour to this year’s presentation, the competition that preceded it was more about grit and guts.

A tough economy and shrinking budgets made it more difficult for shopping centers to develop MAXI-worthy entries in 2010. But many of them did, pulling together whatever resources they had at their disposal and calling on various partners to develop and implement strategies that were both innovative and profitable.

“Overall submissions were slightly down, but having representation from over 25 companies was pretty spectacular,” noted MAXI jury chair Angie Leccese, SVP of corporate marketing and brand management at Cousins Properties.
“This year, I expect probably more focus on campaigns that involve the integration of all marketing mediums instead of a single tactic, like PR, social media, traditional advertising or retailer/community involvement. For me, the interdisciplinary campaigns are the most exciting because they show the power of incorporating all internal disciplines to make a marketing campaign successful.”

To Leccese, limited staff to innovate remains the most challenging aspect of shopping center marketing today. However, she sees real opportunities for marketers in building corporate retailer relationships and getting tenants more directly involved in marketing programs. That is in line with this year’s Fusion conference theme: “Collaboration, Execution, Achievement.”

While marketers will have to wait a few more weeks to find out if they’ll need to deliver their MAXI acceptance speeches, we already have a good idea of where the lions ‘ share of shopping center promotional budgets has gone over this past year. The MAXI jury selected 66 finalists when it gathered in Atlanta, and these fell into the following categories: Cause-Related Marketing (15 entries), Public Relations (five), Traditional Media (two), Digital Media (12), Sales Promotions & Events (13), Grand Opening, Expansion & Renovation (three), Business-to-Business (seven), Alternative Revenue (two), Inter-Disciplinary Campaigns (five) and Visual Merchandising (two).

We’ll review the Fusion Conference and highlight all of this year’s U.S. MAXI winners in the April edition of Tactics, so don’t miss it.

And for those traveling to L.A., see you at the Oscars…I mean, the MAXIs.

Myriam Beaugé, Editor in Chief, Tactics Magazine

Tags: Posted in Road to... | 1 Comment »
  • Kelliann McDonald

    Looking forward to seeing which of the 66 finalists emerge victorious!

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