On 30th September 2010 during the CMO leadership forum in Chicago, Mark Colombo talked about the difference in what FedEx had to go through many years ago in comparison to small modern businesses. Modern businesses use online interactive marketing and according to him, “Most of them grew up on the Internet because they haven’t been around that long, and that’s why they’re smaller and mid-sized enterprises. They don’t go through all the challenges that we go through as a larger company”.
Marketing in the earlier days was quite different and involved mass media, prints and even radios. That was totally unlike modern marketing as he asserted when playing a promotional video of Volkswagen “Volkswagen is using this particular video to help define its brand by enticing audiences into a surprising interactive event. They’re touting that as an experience that is a taste of its cars. On YouTube alone, they had about 13 million people click on this”. He said that viral video is characterized by low cost advertising, yet very effective, enabling the advertising package to be very efficient.
FedEx that ensures their customers get top-notch experience, also went through brand revitalization several times and utilization of several marketing strategies. And, as an international company, Mark Colombo said that, “And over that 40-year period, we’ve had to significantly shift how we go to market. How we are all getting to market is significantly changing”. He also talked a lot about the global economy and said, “I’m going to touch on trends in globalization, insights around this changing market, the value of the interactive marketing strategy, and a cost-effective approach to get there”. Actually, the rate at which the global economy grows is approximately four times that of the US economy.
There is emerging and growing diverse global market with countries, especially the urban areas, experiencing an increased population. Mark Colombo clearly demonstrates this by saying that, “China, where we have a domestic operation, has 384 million people on the Internet each day. That’s more than the United States has in total population. If you take India and you talk about advancements and how fast the middle class is growing, today they have a middle class defined at 50 million”.
Easy access to global markets due to less trade barriers, international companies like FedEx and the internet as well as customer connectivity through mobile devices and the internet such as social media platforms improves access to the global market. He went ahead to illustrate that when he said, “In fact, if you’re located in Hong Kong and have manufacturing there, you could have a 7:30 p.m. cutoff time in the evening. Because of the direction the flights go, you could have your package delivered the next morning in the United States by 10:30 a.m. That is amazing”. Businesses should get to know exactly what their clients want and be able to provide them with just that.
Relevancy, simplicity, ease of use and engagement is important when it comes to interactive marketing strategy. User experience is also of great value and according to Mark Colombo, “Our core, number-one objective, is to have an outstanding customer experience. We happen to have a name for this, back to our North Star. We call this the Purple Promise. The Purple Promise simply is that, for all 280,000 team members in our company, we are committed to making sure that every experience is outstanding”. Businesses must implement a viable strategy, monitor it and then measure its value. FedEx implemented collaboration, leadership, measurements of interactive marketing, use of both new and traditional media in a balanced manner as well as a test and learn approach.
There is so much opportunity in the global market yet to be exploited. As for FedEx, it has grown and is doing well in this diversified market as Mark Colombo stated that, “You think about something so simple has propelled this company from just a few years back, sitting in the $50 million range of revenue, to today where they’re sitting in the $450 million range. And they’re the fourth fastest growing…”.