Marketers emphasize transformation at ANA/'BtoB' conference

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Chicago—A panel of senior marketers at the ANA/BtoB conference “Marketing in the New World” Wednesday talked about how they are transforming their marketing organizations in response to the challenging economic climate.

Juanita James, chief marketing and communications officer at Pitney Bowes, discussed how the 90-year-old company has transformed itself strategically to focus on expanded products and services.

“We are in an industry that is undergoing a fundamental shift,” she said. “Mail volumes are dropping off at cliff-like rates, and we have been in the process of shifting from mail-focused to technology and business solutions. We have to completely rethink our business model and business processes."

To communicate these changes, Pitney Bowes this year launched a new ad campaign, “There's a lot more here than you think,” created by GyroHSR, Cincinnati.

It also needed to get alignment across the organization, so it formed an enterprise marketing council made up of global marketing heads. “We got 100% alignment on our brand strategy,” James said.

Susan Popper, senior VP-global integrated marketing communications at SAP, said her company has also undergone a transformation in response to the economy.

”There is consolidation in our industry, and we need to stay competitive,” Popper said. “We are about helping our customers as they go through extreme changes.”

SAP launched a new campaign this year, “It's time for a clear new world,” developed by Ogilvy North America, New York, which focuses on transparency and accountability.

“This is not a radical shift, but we need to make sure people understand that we help businesses of all sizes to be best-run,” Popper said.

Bill Fox, senior VP-communications and advertising at Fidelity Investments, said his company is making changes based on customer needs in the difficult economy.

“We are not making a huge transformational shift right away, but there may be processes we change. It's a matter of taking a look at and marrying the legacy of what we've been doing with our core values and customer needs," Fox said.

"You have to look at the reason customers have loyalty to you. We talk a lot about revolutionary changes, but for a lot of companies, the shifts are very often evolutionary."

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