Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Pamela A. Evans, Senior Web Marketing Manager, IBM Software Group
What excites Evans the most about her job is the opportunity to get to know and interact with people outside the U.S., in cultures that use the Internet in different ways. For example, in China more people are looking to blogs for information, though Evans is starting to see Americans go in that direction as well. "I think having a global perspective really widens the aperture of how you can view the Internet," she says. "In developing countries and emerging markets, often the capabilities for broadband and cell phones and Internet are really the primary ways to reach customers."
Evans also enjoys seeing how the Internet has encouraged more customer participation. IBM doesn't have enough salespeople to reach every customer face to face, but in most cases the Internet is available to let customers know what IBM has to offer and let them communicate with the company. In fact, Evans says, with the Internet, the four P's of marketing—product, price, promotion and place—become five P's, with "participation" being the fifth.
Live (and Work) and Learn
Evans has had many mentors throughout her career. First, she feels fortunate to have worked for J.B. Fuqua, the founder of the Duke University School of Business. "He was a self-made entrepreneur who taught himself how to use other people's money and good credit ratings to buy and sell companies, beginning with radio and TV stations in Augusta. He really was a very exceptional man," she says. Fuqua helped Evans understand how to create very succinct communications. He was personally involved in every aspect of the business; for example, he reviewed the annual reports personally, and Evans had sessions with him directly to go over her communications efforts. This personalized attention helped Evans reach her potential as a communicator. In addition, "He hired some of the brightest people that I have ever known," Evans says. "It was an incredible learning experience to work with this team—a group of 35 folks on the corporate staff, and then the presidents of the holding companies. It was a job where I was really communicating with the staff and the presidents of each of the companies on a regular basis and helping them with their own marketing and communications programs."