Title: Senior VP-Marketing
Years at company: 30
Years in b-to-b marketing: 10
Marketing philosophy: "Our basic job is to listen to our customers, to try to find out where they are and what they want, and to use our knowledge, technology and infrastructure to help them and us."
Joseph Pyne started on the loading docks at United Parcel Service of America. Thirty years later, he is the company's marketing chief.
Along the way he spent time in operations, customer service and sales. Knowing UPS from top to bottom, Mr. Pyne understands that virtually everything the company and its employees do contributes to -- or detracts from -- its marketing effort. Marketing, for Mr. Pyne, isn't limited to TV spots or print ads; every time a UPS driver delivers a package to a customer, it's a marketing opportunity.
"To me it's like a circle," he says. "We've got our drivers. We've got our vehicles. We do a lot of database marketing. . . . And, obviously, TV plays a huge role about the perception of UPS in the public eye."
UPS was a pioneer in using TV as a medium for communicating a business-to-business message to businesspeople during their leisure time. Mr. Pyne says the company was also an "early adopter" of the Internet. Since late 1994, when UPS launched its Web site, the company has embraced online and electronic marketing.
For bouncing back from its 1997 strike, UPS received the Marketing Recovery of the Year award last year from Sales and Marketing Executives International. In accepting the award, Mr. Pyne said UPS' Web strategy helped limit the strike's aftershocks.
Its Web site was named one of the top 25 b-to-b sites by Business Marketing's NetMarketing last year. The site includes package tracking, a quick cost calculator, and a drop-off locator. Package tracking is available in 16 foreign languages, supporting UPS' international business, which accounts for about 15% of its nearly $23 billion in annual revenue.
Another key component of the UPS Web site is the open-standard Internet Tools software that companies can download into their computer systems and integrate into their Web sites. This allows UPS business customers to customize the package-tracking software and quick cost calculator to fit into their enterprise resource planning. The strategy, Mr. Pyne says, is to use technology to strengthen customer bonds.
UPS also advertises on the Web. For example, it has a hot link on the Thomas Register Web site, where tens of thousands of industrial products are ordered every day. Beyond merely advertising in cyberspace, UPS has created new products and services for the virtual world. For documents such as financial or medical records that require an online delivery system more secure than e-mail, the company created UPS Document Exchange, which features password protection.
As Mr. Pyne says, "We plan to be in the places, both physical and virtual, where our customers do business."