2001 Marketers of the Year: T. Michael Glenn

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"When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." "It’s the way the world works." "Our most important package is yours."

When it comes to memorable b-to-b advertising slogans, few companies top FedEx Corp.’s track record. Just as impressive is the ingenuity of the shipping giant’s top marketer, T. Michael Glenn.

After being approached by the producers of the hit 2000 film "Castaway"—the moviemakers wanted to depict Tom Hanks as a FedEx troubleshooter stranded in the South Pacific after the company’s plane crashes—Glenn saw opportunity where some corporate marketers would have seen only turbulence. Overwhelmingly, the movie proved positive for FedEx’s image, said Glenn, who joined FedEx in 1981 and was promoted to his current job in 1998. "It provided us significant exposure on a global basis," he said.

As part of his job, Glenn also oversees the FedEx Corporate Services unit and
is responsible for marketing, sales and information technology functions for all FedEx operating com-panies. It’s a role that often stretches the definition of marketing; in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, for example, he helped arrange for an overnight FedEx truck shipment of boots for rescue dogs that were getting their paws cut on the ground zero debris.

FedEx, which temporarily canceled its advertising after Sept. 11, has since resumed its aggressive marketing strategy. On Oct. 15 the company started a new campaign aimed at small to midsize businesses. Created with BBDO New York, the ads use deadpan humor while attempting to convey FedEx’s long-term marketing sell: reliability.

"FedEx has one of the most recognized brands in the world," said Glenn, a Memphis native and former salesman for Dover Elevator Co. "You’ve got to deliver on that promise," he said. " That’s how you keep a brand fresh."

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