Pitney 'Centers' centralize marketing across business units

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Arun Sinha
Title: President, Services and Solutions Group, and chief marketing officer
Company: Pitney Bowes
Years in current job: 3
Quote: “We’ve consolidated marketing worldwide for Pitney Bowes so we can speak with one voice, one brand and one approach worldwide.”

Pitney Bowes overhauled its entire marketing and advertising strategy in 2003, for the first time in nearly two decades, including a multimedia ad campaign from Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, with VP-CMO Arun Sinha at the helm. In 2004, Sinha added the title president, Services and Solutions Group to that of CMO.

This year, Sinha continued the company's marketing evolution by focusing on consolidating marketing operations worldwide to present a consistent image to customers, influencers and its own employees under a solutions-oriented campaign. (The 2003 ads were designed to increase awareness in the C-suite of Pitney Bowes as a company and as a brand that stood for more than just postage meters.)

In early 2004, Sinha created six groups called Centers of Excellence to handle marketing for all business units. "We've consolidated marketing worldwide for Pitney Bowes so we can speak with one voice, one brand and one approach worldwide," he said. The centers, which replace the individual business unit marketing staffs, are segmented by marketing discipline: advertising, customer communication materials, PR, RFPs, trade shows and events, and Web.

The streamlining had a dual impact, Sinha said.

"We did it for marketing effectiveness and ended up with hard cost savings," he said. For instance, the company increased its trade show presence significantly-from about 93 shows to 150-with the same amount of budget but a dramatically increased response rate.

Sinha said one telling sign of success was the confidence of the company's own sales force. "We did extensive work with the sales force to help them understand the brand," Sinha said. When the 3,000-plus team of salespeople was polled in 2003 about whether they use the company's brand proposition and marketing materials to open doors, only 11% said they did. This year, 55% use the "Go With the Flow" branding materials.

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