Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Pamela A. Evans, Senior Web Marketing Manager, IBM Software Group
Now, in her position as a senior Web marketing manager for IBM, Evans is responsible for the Software Group's Web marketing programs, merchandising, search marketing, contact strategy, lead management and editorial guidelines. Part of Evans' job is to work with e-Nurture, an e-mail campaign that's sent to prospects once they respond to an offer. "Once they respond, we send additional related information and offers that are triggered based on the registration itself," she explains. "The e-mail is targeted based on the relative information that they selected initially. So it's really customer-driven marketing through continuing touches that are e-mailed to those prospects who indicate an interest in a particular topic." Another initiative Evans heads is developing webcasts, which are presentations that are recorded and then posted on the Web for anyone who missed the main event.
In whole, "What we're trying to do is intercept prospects and visitors who are online," Evans says. "Today, most people are going to go to a Web site to do a search, and they are going to type a keyword. What we are trying to do with our marketing program is intercept them and pull them into our site page, because we will have those words and content that we hope represents what they need. We're trying to understand what the customer needs and then make certain that we have solutions that address that—and it's constantly changing. So that keeps us on our toes and definitely makes it exciting."
Evans loves the challenge of direct marketing and the opportunity to work directly with customers, especially through online marketing. "You can see trends as they develop by what customers choose and how they ask for us to communicate with them," she says. For example, Evans noticed how, during the last decade, more and more customers started going online and doing keyword searches to find what they wanted. Other trends include customers using social media (such as blogs) to gather information and using RSS feeds to be regularly updated about a site's content. "What we're trying to do is make it easier for prospects to find our content, and the tagging in RSS feeds allows that to happen very easily," says Evans. "We have our pages enabled for RSS so someone can subscribe to a particular page, which then comes to them regularly. We're seeing more and more adoption. It's been extremely rewarding to be able to see these shifts."