Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Pamela A. Evans, Senior Web Marketing Manager, IBM Software Group
Evans moved from communications to marketing in 1998. She started out working as an interactive marketing manager for IBM's Gold Service, a targeted relationship marketing program for large enterprise customers that combined a customized Web portal, a telesales representative and direct marketing materials—all of which helped the customer select and purchase the right IBM solutions for its needs. "This was an early loyalty program aimed at the largest customers that had enough volume to need to have a customized site. The Web site let them ensure that everyone within their enterprise was buying from what they had selected to roll out," Evans explains. Gold Service was recognized by Peppers & Rogers Group as a best practice program.
Evans' responsibilities included developing account-based marketing communications plans for 400 extranet sites in North America; managing marketing, communications and interactive marketing agencies; and developing the integrated Web, e-mail and direct mail communications for 80,000 marketable contacts. "We did surveys to determine the customers' preferences, and then we would tailor each direct mail piece or e-mail to the individual's interest areas," Evans says. "We wanted to maintain the relationship on a steady beat, so we had a series of pieces that were sent out in the course of a year."
The Gold Service used permission-based, targeted messages to relate with customers using the form of communications they preferred. This meant working closely with the market intelligence team and field sales to develop personalized direct mail, e-mail and Web pages by industry, product and job function.
Then, in 2003, Evans joined IBM's Software Group as a teleweb marketing manager, where she had global responsibility for IBM's teleweb marketing strategy. In this role, she was part of a new team charged with improving the linkages between IBM.com/software and the telesales teams. Rather than spanning hardware, software and services in one region, she honed in on the software brands on a global basis. In this capacity, she worked closely with the sales force to help it understand ways to use the Web for sales coverage in 230 countries where IBM has an online software catalog, translating and localizing the sites to relate to customers better.