“I have the opportunity to serve as Chief Marketing Officer, but 85,000 people are all brand ambassadors,” says Delta CMO Tim Mapes. “All 85,000 members of the company are selling, they’re promoting, they’re providing a brand experience in what they do each day,”
Tim Mapes, Chief Marketing Officer of Delta Airlines, recently discussed how Delta uses its army of employees in its marketing:
All 85,000 Employees Are Brand Ambassadors
One of the dynamics of being in this role of Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Delta Airlines for ten years, when I think the average used to be 23 months, is the fact that Delta is such a values-driven organization and values transcend time. Marketing’s role within Delta is really seen to be everybody’s role. I have the opportunity to serve as Chief Marketing Officer, but 85,000 people are all brand ambassadors.
All 85,000 members of the company are selling, they’re promoting, they’re providing a brand experience in what they do each day. That’s very much conscious on our part. We share that view with everybody that we’re all having a net impression. I say often within the company, everything communicates.
Whether the flight attendants are happy, whether the coffee works, whether the lavatory is clean on the plane, whether the flights operate on time, all of that in your customer experience is a part of the net impression you have on your impression of Delta at the end of the day.
Delta is Using Data to Drive the Customer Experience
When you carry 185 million passengers a year and we know where you’re going when you’re going, whether you’re a Sky Club member, whether you have the American Express co-branded credit card, all of that data is resident in Delta.
Taking that in and knitting it together horizontally, not just so that we in the loyalty program can know that you as a Diamond flyer prefer to sit on an aisle seat and like gin and tonics, but also that the last three flights you took had your bag misdirected, so we’re able to say up or down what type of experience are we delivering.
Prosperity Coming Out of the Roots of Austerity
I think one thing that’s fascinating about Delta is you’re talking about a 90-year-old company that nonetheless in the last 10 years has experienced the best in the worst year in the history of the company. So 9/11 2001 you’ve got obviously all the fallout and the impact of that on travel and then experiencing record profits more recently.
We’ve been paying our employees profit sharing in excessive of a billion dollars a year each of the past four years so even in a short decade of time you’re seeing prosperity coming out of the roots of austerity and problems.
Delta CMO: How Cool is That…
I grew up watching really two programs that I can consciously recall. One was Mr. Rogers. People think about puppets and silliness and kind of milk toast Mr. Rogers bless his heart. The transcendent qualities that he taught in terms of respect and that you’re special just the way you are, from a hospitality perspective and a diversity and inclusion, he was way ahead of his time. In a way, with kindness and grace that the company and all of our world would do well to have more of today.
The other was Bewitched because I got to watch Darrin, and this as a kid, but he just looked like he was having fun in advertising with a great social life and great personal life. I just thought wow, advertising art that actually generates commerce. How cool is that…