Last week I was fortunate to be able to attend the CMO Executive Summit in Dallas. Great lineup of CMO speakers led the day, including a stellar presentation by FedEx CMO Michael Glenn whose talk was filled with both examples of marketing done right by FedEx, and management gems for marketers.
Since then, I’ve checked out the I Am FedEx website he referenced, which features stories from their 275,000 employees in their own words, and invites customers to submit stories of interactions with FedEx employees. Consisting mostly of video testimonials, the site brilliantly brings to life the people delivering all those packages, and thus puts a very human face on something pretty inanimate. Really a brilliant use of social media for storytelling.
Mr. Glenn is most certainly a change agent within FedEx. He made several statements summing up his philosophies about marketing, brand, customer loyalty, marketing’s role in the organization, etc. Here are a few:
Brand is the sum total of the experiences people have with the company
Meeting goals wins business. Exceeding goals wins loyalty.
42% of online adults say they expect to engage with brands via social media
The primary role of marketing is to make the rest of the organization uncomfortable.
Despite the fact that much of his presentation focused on use of social media to impact brand perception and customer loyalty, at the end he was asked a question about his single biggest challenge, and he impressed me again by cautioning marketers not to become too enamored with new media marketing such that traditional advertising budgets are tossed aside. He said:
“push hard on social media, but with one foot on the brake.”
I came away from his presentation extremely impressed by the way FedEx is using Social Media to humanize the brand.