Verizon bolsters broadband services

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Jerri DeVard
Title: Senior VP-marketing communications and brand management
Company: Verizon
Years in current job: 2
Quote: “It has been key for us to use a balanced mix of media vehicles … we’ve also had some great success with events and grassroots efforts.”

Broadband capabilities got a lot of attention this year in the revived telecommunications industry, and Verizon, the No. 1 business-to-business advertiser in 2003, took a lead in 2004 in creating marketing and advertising initiatives to further establish itself as a broadband single-source provider for all business voice and data needs.

Jerri DeVard, senior VP-marketing communications and brand management, oversees all of Verizon's consumer and business efforts, and has an impressive marketing resume with stints at Citigroup, Revlon, Harrah's Entertainment and Pillsbury. She said Verizon worked this year to differentiate itself from other communications companies. Under its corporate marketing tagline "Make progress everyday," Verizon in 2004 introduced new business services, including Verizon FlexDistance, a fixed-rate "all distance" plan for small businesses, and Verizon Managed Communications, a voice over IP (VoIP) service in conjunction with telecom equipment partner Alcatel.

Verizon's marketing efforts included the traditional advertising media mix of TV, radio, print, direct mail and the Internet, but also grassroots and event marketing, such as sponsoring business gatherings like the 2004 Inc. 500 National Conference.

"We know customers are always looking for ways to be more productive and efficient while maintaining their costs. As an industry leader, we are continually enhancing our integrated portfolio of services ... to address this," DeVard said.

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