During 2003-2005 I worked as Brand Communication Manager at DHL, my main responsibility being to define communication strategy, annual plans and budgets and to implement all corresponding communication projects.
During the years of 2000, DHL’s communications activities targeted mainly the business to business segment, the main pillars being represented by campaigns in the business / financial press (Capital, Ziarul Financiar, Business Review, Business Week), presence in catalogues, directories, guides with companies (ex Kompass), various programs dedicated to corporate clients (loyalty programs, emailing campaigns), informative materials (catalogues, brochures) as well as traditional end-of-year gifts (calendars, agendas etc.)
In developing the communication strategy for 2004-2006, I asked myself if it is opportune to include in our communication plans / actions a clear business to consumer (BtC) component near the standard business to business (BtB) activities.
The reason I launched this challenge was based on the following aspects:
-in 2002, Deutsche Post acquired DHL’s majority shares package, becoming the new owner of the company
-Deutsche Post held in Germany a strong courier division that also addressed individuals not only companies
-in 2003, Deutsche Post merged all its courier and logistics activities under the umbrella of DHL.
Even though in Romania the express delivery business (documents, parcels) was developed exclusively based on the need of shipments from companies, observing the advanced markets from Europe where express delivery services were used in a regular base by individuals too, I appreciated that Romania will align to this model in a more or less distant future.
As a result, I advocated the need of changing the communication strategy to address the BtC segment and to strengthen our brand’s reputation at the level of individuals too.
So from 2004 the communication plans I implemented for DHL followed a major transformation, including initiatives dedicated to the BtC segment. Here are some examples:
-in the press campaigns I also introduced informative large audience publications (ex Romania Libera, Evenimentul Zilei)
-outdoor became a constant presence in the communication mix
-the DHL marathon, an event that I created and organized for the first time in the company, beyond the corporative aspect it was focused on individuals too, being communicated in press, radio, emailing
In addition, during this period I worked on developing and launching the first product dedicated to individuals: DHL Student – an express delivery service used by teenagers or students to send their documents / applications to colleges and universities from abroad.
It turned out that my forecast related to the future strong development of fast courier services for individuals was a correct prediction, underlined also by the fact that DHL acquired Cargus in 2008.
Changing your marketing / communication strategy is a major inflection point in a company’s life. Look at markets, trends, observe advanced markets and do not hesitate to adjust your strategies. Preferably earlier than when it’s too late.
Notification: MYPRODUCT reflects my real professional experience and expertise as well as my subjectivity. I do have a profound respect for all the companies I collaborated to and for all the people I worked with. It is not my intention to approach any sensitive, confidential or offending information related to companies, projects or people. If you the reader deduct or recognise companies, projects or people in my examples, I kindly ask you to respect MYPRODUCT and my professional and ethic approach and to not share any detail, information, situation, name, company.