February 27, 2008 — With nearly 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing, Debbie Oenning’s colleagues and friends already regard her as a winner. But now that title is official. Today, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced that Oenning will receive the most prestigious honor the DMA Business-to-Business Council has to offer — the 2008 DMA B-to-B Marketer of the Year award.
Oenning will receive her accolade during the B-to-B Marketer of the Year Award Luncheon on March 5, the final day of the DMA B-to-B Marketing Conference that will take place March 3-5 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL.
"Debbie is the ideal candidate for this award, and is now the ideal B-to-B Marketer of the Year," said Kenneth P. Ebeling, DMA senior vice president of member and segment services. "To be selected for this award, marketers must be noteworthy for their significant contributions to the B-to-B marketing discipline. Their contributions can include commitment of time and energy as well as creative innovations in strategy, approach and method. Those activities can include recognized achievement in B-to-B marketing activities; leadership and contribution to the growth of the discipline; and demonstrated innovative approaches to delivering successful results."
"Debbie’s 20-year career in sales and marketing is brimming with innovation, discipline contribution, and commitment," Ebeling continued. "To name just one instance, Debbie’s ingenuity at Sterling Commerce, one of the world’s largest providers of multi-enterprise collaboration software and services, led to a 100 percent growth in customer references, and a 3.3 percent customer retention improvement in six months. Debbie accomplished this by creating a customer reference and loyalty program, as well as a customer advisory council and online Web 2.0 customer community."
Ed Krug, chair of the DMA 2008 B-to-B Marketer of the Year Award Committee, said what helped Oenning rise to the top in the minds of judges was the clear educational and brand building value of her campaigns, and the fact that technology played a big role in her success.
"Judges really focused on the educational value she brought to not only current and potential customers, but her own sales teams and Sterling Commerce as a whole," Krug said. "That concept of ‘Don’t Blink’ was not only innovative, it had a significant impact on the business across all brands and channels and helped create up-sell and cross-sell opportunities."
"And the use of technology to make it all happen really made Debbie stand out," he added.
In 2007, and well into 2008, Oenning helped establish a more human face and voice for the global collaboration technology company with its "Don’t Blink" campaign, using imagery, technology, and a focus on solving business challenges to evolve the organization from a solely product-focused entity to a more solution-focused global brand.
2008 DMA B-to-B Marketer of the Year Winner: Debbie Oenning
Debbie Oenning is director of Americas marketing for Sterling Commerce, one of the world’s largest providers of multi-enterprise collaboration software and services. In this role, Oenning oversees the marketing activities for North and South America, developing programs that will drive sales and generate customer and prospect leads.
Oenning has been helping guide the Sterling Commerce sales and marketing program since 2004, working closely with cross-functional business units to support corporate growth initiatives through integrated marketing campaigns leading to year over year growth of 25 percent.
Before joining Sterling Commerce, Oenning served as senior manager of Americas marketing for Vignette Corporation, a provider of Next-Generation Web solutions. There, Oenning oversaw the Americas marketing team and developed a worldwide marketing plan to drive sales.
Oenning holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Lamar University.
About Sterling Commerce
Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc., has more than 30 years of leadership and expertise in helping FORTUNE 500 customers thrive in a global economy by optimizing the performance of their business communities. With nearly 30,000 customers worldwide, the company is one of the world’s largest providers of multi-enterprise collaboration solutions. Sterling Commerce has unparalleled experience in the retail, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and telecommunications industries. For detailed, up-to-date information about Sterling Commerce and its solutions, visit