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BtoB Top Marketer: Laurie Tucker, FedEx Corp.

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Laurie Tucker, senior VP-corporate marketing at FedEx Corp., this year faced the challenge of communicating the company's marketing messages for its multiple businesses to a diverse b-to-b audience—from CEOs to small-business owners. “All companies are being challenged to do more with less,” Tucker said. “Going into 2008, we were focused on trying to integrate even more across all media channels. I believe we were very successful in integrating across TV, print, radio and online.” FedEx started out the year with a big splash, running a commercial called “Carrier Pigeons” on Fox's broadcast of Super Bowl XLII. The spot, created by BBDO New York, was ranked second in a USA Today poll of top Super Bowl ads. Beyond the TV spot, FedEx created integrated elements around the campaign, including a viral effort on YouTube. “We feel we got a lot more return than just 45 seconds of the Super Bowl,” Tucker said. Under Tucker's direction, FedEx developed other innovative programs this year, including a viral campaign called “Launch a Package,” developed by Atmosphere BBDO, New York, that let users create and send a package online, complete with pictures, documents and other files. “ "Launch a Package' started out as a fun application we put online. When we inserted it as an application inside Facebook, backed by the power of social media, we got half-a-million downloads,” Tucker said. In addition to spearheading innovative offline and online media programs, Tucker oversaw FedEx's sports marketing sponsorships. Last year, it created a new sponsorship program with the PGA Tour called the FedExCup, a seasonlong competition that determines the best player on the tour, based on points accumulated during each tournament. That program continued this year, as well as FedEx sponsorships of the National Football League and NASCAR. The company also continued integrated marketing programs for FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinkos). “One of the hardest things for marketers to do is measure the effectiveness of these marketing programs and give others in the company who want to know where the marketing dollars are going a strong feeling that the ROI is impactful,” Tucker said. To do this, she oversaw the creation of a research team, made up of representatives from the marketing group, the advertising group, the finance group and executives from the ad agencies. “We tasked them with creating a model to measure advertising effectiveness and a platform to make even better media channel decisions about where to place advertising,” she said. “When the going gets tough, we like to find out ways to make our ad dollars work even harder.” —K.M.
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