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DHL Marketing Strategy

(1) Industry Analysis

In 1969, Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn started DHL first as a messenger company and later developed it as a parcel service.This paper presents the detailed summary of DHL marketing in marketing sector and other aspects like what are the services offered by the United Parcel Service for the customers of DHL. Over the past fifteen to twenty years, DHL has seen a notable development. As a consequence, the level of rivalry between their rivals has also reached a saturation point, which makes the DHL marketing industry attract profitable clients. Due to this competition the other parcel service operators are also providing out of the airport services to the customers so that the customers always use their services whenever they use their services. In the process to achieve the targets set by the DHL, employees try to provide the customers with the best discounts possible. In addition this paper classifies how many types of airbusses are available with DHL and what are the techniques or services offered by the DHL to target the customers. The name of the competitors mentioned in the work is only used for the information purpose and not for circulation within the media.

The role of DHL in marketing sector is quiet evident because the marketing and aviation sector uses some of the best servers and computers related with high end aeronautic equipment used for aviation which should help DHL to grow maximum extent possible and hence DHL support and substantiate the uninterrupted break through in the work culture of the present day business requirements.

(2) DHL Competition Analysis

DHL started in 1969 first as a messenger company in the United States. Now its stake is approximately $36 billion. It achieved this position by focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe. Today DHL is the world’s second largest package delivery company and also a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics delivery. It operates in 200 countries worldwide.

DHL Marketing Strategy Research Paper

The growth of DHL in terms of economy is surprising; who would have imagined that a package delivery business would create a company that is presently worth more than thirty billion dollars. Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn and friends started The American Messenger Company in the year 1969. Their main task was to deliver packages, different sort of luggage and messages. At that the main transport for the company was truck. Though initially they faced many problems their business was a success.

The only marketing techniques DHL uses to target customers to use DHL instead of UPS, FED-EX, USPS etc are the wide variety of services they provide to their customers and global clients. They not only provide wide variety of services but also make sure that the services provided are above the standards set by the company. According to business and commerce marketing is done for which there is no market. The service that DHL provides has a ready made global market. DHL sure knows how to tap the global market. To tap the global market DHL instead of using marketing techniques it believed in providing high-end customer service round the clock throughout the year

(3) DHL Environmental Analysis

Their main principles that led to the success of The American Messenger Company were customer courtesy, low rates and round the clock service.

The working method was simple; packages would be loaded into the single destined truck or bicycle rather than loading different packages into different trucks or bicycles. This method helped in terms of cost effectiveness and better use of drivers and equipment.

At this time the company’s interest was inclining towards aviation business. Since delivering of packages with the help of aeroplanes will be quick and profits earned will be to the tune of millions of dollars.

They are hardly a few companies, which are in competition to DHL. UPS, FED-EX and a contender to DHL is (USPS) United States Postal Service. But none of the above mentioned companies could be in competition with DHL.  DHL had the maximum fleet of cargo plans. It has the cargo plans the most effective manner. So, that the parallel to the customer are delivered in time across the globe.

Though DHL is a state owned parcel service, which had most of its market once covered on the ground. DHL had   a dedicated team of flight pilots, cargo plans and there team of flight technicians whose primary job is to see that here is no change in the schedule of the plans from one plane to another. Out of the total percentage of profit DHL had 38% of profit only from air cargo and it related parcels through flights. DHL hare Boeing 747 and other cargo plans, which can carry heavy goods and parcels.

(4) DHL SWOT Analysis

SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities- Threats) has been used to develop feasible alternative strategies. The matrix consists of four quadrants. They are (1) using strengths to overcome weaknesses, (2) Using strengths to overcome threats, (3) overcoming weaknesses to take advantage of opportunities and (4) overcoming weaknesses to address threats.

  • First quadrant concentrates on possible strength-opportunity strategies. Changing public laws, seasonal shopping, and UPS and FEDEX competition are important threats that need to be overcome, protecting company and client data, currency exchange, etc.
  • Second quadrant concentrates on possible strength-threat strategies. Changing public laws, seasonal shopping, and UPS and FEDEX competition are important threats that need to be overcome, protecting company and client data, currency exchange, etc.
  • Third and Fourth quadrants concentrates on Possible Weakness-Opportunity Strategies and Possible Weakness-Threat Strategy. Third quadrant looks at reviewing product, develop standards up to the customer satisfaction, etc.
  • Fourth quadrant looks at implementing backup systems, implementing policies to protect and avoid security risks.

Feasibility study is an important phase in the development process. It allows the designer to have an evaluation of the item being developed. It relates to the product’s feasibility study in terms of product results, operational use and technical support needed to implement it.

Feasibility study should be performed on the basis of various criteria and parameters. The various feasibility studies are;

  • Economic Feasibility
  • Operational Feasibility
  • Technical Feasibility

Their strategies include low price and free shipment. This factor has played a major part in the company’s long-term growth. Many were drawn by cheaper products prices with high quality and further free shipping.  Another factor is the customer service. Customer plays an important role in the development of the company because it is the customer who uses the product that was developed by the companies.

(5) DHL Target Marketing Analysis

The important elements of marketing plan are to precisely define the business, identify the goals and serve as the firm’s resume. Pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, planning precise strategies and cash flow analyses comprises the basic components of a marketing plan. Preparing a marketing plan helps in the allocation of resources properly, making good decisions and handling of unseen or unexpected complications that may become hurdle in the future development of the business. One of the important aspects of marketing plan is that it provides organized information about the company and importantly a good business plan helps in attaining a loan application. Other important applications include informing the details of the company to the sales personnel, suppliers and others so that they become aware of company’s goals and achievements.

DHL sure knows the techniques of marketing. They give special services like, insurance on the goods particularly parceled to other countries, since it carries a large percentage of profit to the company. Online Website support: Any issue regarding assistance of passwords, Questions regarding navigation also can avail technical support through web.

(6) DHL Financial Analysis

Finance Management

One of the frequent reasons of business failure is poor management and insufficient and poor management of financing comes second. For starting or relocating or expanding a business sufficient capital is required. Having good financing is not enough in attaining profits; proper knowledge and planning are required to manage it well. These help in strengthening the management of financing and avoid common mistakes like miscalculating or underestimating the cost.

The following points had to be addressed before inquiring about financing:

  1. How much capital is needed?
  2. Why it is required? Is it for expansion or for tackling risks?
  3. Are the risks involved greater than anticipated?
  4. At what stage of development is the business?
  5. How is the capital used?
  6. How is the business going? Whether it is stable or depressed?
  7. Does the management team can withstand the challenges?
  8. How does the financing helps the business plan?

DHL’s main strength lies in strategic management of available finances. DHL finances are from equity financing and shareholders. The most prevalent source of equity funding is venture capital. Venture capitalists may be institutional risk-takers, financial institutions, rich individuals, etc., most of whom are industry specialists. Venture capitalists are risk-takers and are only interested in businesses that are between three and five years old, resulting in more than average revenues. These venture capitalists are called as investment gurus whose interest lies in those companies that have major regional and national concerns.


Achieve the position of number one in worldwide logistics.  They were able to meet the goals of earnings contributions and EBIT targets.  They in fact were able to exceed their goals here. To make this happen for them, they enabled a system that included globalization, deregulation, digitization, and outsourcing.

Elements That Were Used

Deutsche Post created a 15-year plan to get their company to the top of the worldwide market. Each step of the way they dedicated resources and technology to enhance the overall result.  Here’s what their goals were doing that period of redefinition.

  • 1990- 1997: Profitability:  achieve better profitability. They went from -720 to +1560 in an 11-year period.
  • 1998-2000: Goals included developing a value added service, to standardize their product range and to become an international presence.
  • 2000-2005: Goals included harmonizing sales structures, branding using uniforms, integrating networks, and providing optimization for horizontal functions.

It should also be noted that the company says that they have successfully accomplished each one of these elements are at the top of the market today because of it.

Because they focused on becoming a worldwide power and also worked to provide the highest quality and more flexible services to clients, they exceeded many of their sales goals during this transition period.

To make their business the leader in so many different markets, Duetsche Post worked to provide their smaller companies with the necessary tools to serve their individual clients.  Instead of trying to provide one element to everyone, they meet the individual needs of those areas.  They realized that conventional offerings from other businesses before them were failing the consumer in satisfaction.  The customer demanded products that were comprehensive and included a wide range of different services.

According to their financial reports located at the Deutsche Post website, their strength is to “be able to deliver this kind of variety from a single source.” Doing this enhances the customer service and keeps them focused on one company for their needs.

As noted above, the company had a four-step process to success. This entailed providing for globalization, deregulation, digitization, and outsourcing.

  • Globalization Goals

DHL was successful in meeting the needs of the consumer because it knew that the consumer was looking for a worldwide ability to trade across national borders.  They developed a network that could allow virtually any location to receive the necessary product.  They linked the most important economic regions.  Then, they took an additional step by improving air and ocean freight abilities to meet all the needs of their clients.  They got their business into the regions of the world that needed it and established a quality service there.

  • Outsourcing

Another area in which Deutsche Post worked on was through outsourcing. Because of the technological advances happening throughout the world on hundreds of fronts, the company needs to be able to provide for those services as well.  Many of the outsourcing projects happening in various sectors of the business world require logistics.  By marketing to this group of businesses, the company can further expand their own goals as well as once again stretch the boundaries of nations.  Outsourcing also; for yet another service to be provided for.

  • Digitization

To help the company stay on top of the best technologies, one of the core strategies that they used was to improvement the most modern technology into virtually every facet of what they were doing.  From the banking functions of the company to the logistics end, it has become essential to continue to strive for increased digitalization in order to compete.  They need to provide the ability to perform information exchanges without a flaw to compete.

  • Deregulation

The final element in the goals that Deutsche Post implemented to achieve their marketing and leadership goals is that of deregulation.  The company was a well-established mail provider in their Germany, but it becomes essential to expand into other markets.  Through deregulation, the hope is to extend into domestic markets such as those in other European counties, the United States, as well as China and India.

(7) DHL Brand Model and its Analysis

One of the important areas of development in consumer marketing section is attracting customers. According to marketing and advertising rules and guidelines, customers always impress upon to buy something for themselves. The marketing agencies to attract the customers, they make publicity of their product through media.  The products may be of cars, TV sets and games etc.; the producers and marketers display their produce in supermarkets and departmental stores for sale.

In the present market everything sells by brand names, the marketers are expected to put up good brand name products for sale. The purchaser desires to have or own a good brand name product and material with good quality at reasonable and cheaper rate. If marketers could satisfy this requirement of society’s individuals, there would definitely be a sourcing company for their product. DHL from its good transport service, customer support service and with competitive prices has achieved this. The advertisers and marketers say that they would be able supply anything to customers what they want.  It may be right to say that marketers and advertisers are in a position to meet the desires of customers up to some level.

  • Branding: A Key Market Requirement

Any marketing strategist realizes the importance of branding a company.  With DHL and Deutsche Post overall, the goal was obvious.  Develop a brand that will spring them forward around the world.  To do this, they needed to tackle the problem two fold.  First, they had a well-established customer base that knew them in many areas of Germany.

In order to provide those customers with a branding strategy, they tailored it to the actual market.  Outside the country, where they needed to build a strong brand, such as in the United States, the goal was to provide that of a campaign dedicated to customer service (hence the examples sighted earlier with providing their customer service was far better than that of another.)

In their native Germany, the company worked to develop a strong following by doing something many businesses would never consider.  For a period of time, they offer every customer in a private nature to send any and all parcels on Friday’s without any charge.  They increased their business these days and used this opportunity to showcase their services, their customer service and their brand.  It worked.

In fact, their current brand marketing strategy was just unveiled in spring of 2006.  This time, their focus is on the DHL employee.  By showcasing who that employee is as well as what services they can provide to the company, they are completely able to provide brand that is dedicated to the customers. They showcased exactly what the DHL customer could provide to the customer.

Through these strategies, the DHL brand is well known, even in the United States where it has taken over the courier services alone.  Most are familiar with that yellow truck with the red lettering, after all.

  • The More Campaign

The strategic marketing that DHL has done has been developed specifically to engrave into the minds of nearly anyone that is going to use a courier service that the best choice is that of DHL.  Even if you don’t need the extras that they provide, customers are attracted to all of the potential behind them and that brings the dollars to DHL.  One example of this is the “More” campaign that launched in April of 2006.

The slogan was simple. “More Power.  More Speed. More Reach” It was thoroughly designed to assist make this campaign one of all logistics companies ‘ biggest and most far-reaching campaigns. Once again, their objective was easy. Find out what you can get from DHL and what you can expect from it.

More defined the new DHL in a company that could provide all of the necessary services that a company had.  It was a complete and integrated logistic choice for just one need or for many needs.  Any logistic need that was out there, DHL could handle it.  This campaign was centered on global advertising, mainly in Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia as well as the brand re-launch of assets.  The total cost of the project was said to be around 125 million Euros.

One of the main strengths that DHL has to offer is that it can be a complete logistic tool.  Because of its parent company in Deutsche Post World Net, it is able to combine both domestic as well as international parcel and express business tools with that of their logistics program.  By doing this, they create one of the largest and board tools available to virtually any company.

In sheer size alone of DHL is something to be reckoned with.  The company has 250 aircraft and over 75,000 vehicles around the world.  DHL claims to serve more than three and a half million trading customers throughout the world.  In addition, it has the ability tot deliver to over 120,000 locations in 220 countries around the world.  That size is an amazing factor in being able to deliver to the world.

Take this size and couple it with the four elements that DHL can provide with the help of their parent company and you have a powerhouse that is the equivalent to the McDonald’s of the logistical market.

Those four elements including their ability to provide global express delivery of documents as well as parcels and pallets (they do this for twenty European countries as it is.)  In addition, it offers ground transport that is fast and efficient in road delivery, rail delivery or a combination.  It also has the ocean freight line for the heavy requirements.  In addition, it provides logistics that are tailor made to fit the needs of the company its working with.

  • The North American Leg

While many of these marketing campaigns stretched over the oceans into the United States, there were also dedicated campaigns for the United States and Canada to further help the company to expand into a marketplace that was saturated by FedEx and UPS courier services.  In 2003, the marketing strategy started.  They acquired Airborne Express in an effort to gain a foothold in the marketplace in North American.

To further this position, they teamed up with a marketing agency.  That agency, Ogilvy and Mather, New York were to develop a plan that would announce to the United States and Canada that DHL had a new branding positioning.

Karen Jones, who was the Vice President of advertising and promotions at DHL Express USA at the time, had this to say.  “The first phase was really about generating awareness that we existed.  Before you get into consideration and purchase, you have to let people know you’re out there.”

Because the United States in particular had two other couriers that were providing most of the courier services, it was essential for DHL to provide research to find out if there was even room in the marketplace for their own brand. To do this, they selected a target audience that included managers in shipping levels as well as executives from all sized companies.

They found out something that was a bright spot to DHL.  Most individuals felt that they only had two choices to choose from, both of which weren’t a great option to them anyway.  As part of their marketing strategy, then, they opted to alerting their customers that they did have other choices especially the choice of DHL.

To do this, the marketing firm created a slogan to use.  “Competition.  Bad for Them.  Great for You.”  It was ideal for communicating their ability to provide another choice to the consumer, something their research showed that the consumer wanted.  To get this message out, DHL used all forms of advertising including direct advertising, outdoor advertisements, television, online advertising and printed elements.  It launched in June of 2004.

If you remember our earlier examples of DHL’s commercials, you can see how this point came out.  Consider the commercial that pits a UPS truck and a FedEx truck at a railroad crossing.  They are competing to get to their destinations first, of course.  Yet, as they are sitting waiting for the train to move by, they notice that the train is carrying nothing but DHL trucks.  As the trucks move on by, the driver says to the other, “I didn’t see that coming.”  This illustrates the point that there was a new business in town that could potentially offer the customer something that the others couldn’t.  It told the customer that there was another option out there to choose from for their needs.

To get the word out in print that consumers had another choice, they targeted the magazine.  Specifically, they targeted magazines that were general business publications.  In addition, they targeted magazines such as People and Southern Living for a consumer point of view as well.  In tehse ads, they again stressed the theme that they were another choice that the consumer had to select from.

Consider what David Apicella of Ogilvy Marketing (co Creative Director during the period) had to say about this marketing campaign when talking to BtoBOnline.com.  He said, “We used the 360 degree approach to show that DHL is everywhere.”

More advertising covered the company.  In August of 2004, they became the official sponsor of the Summer Olympics as the official express delivery logistic provider for the US Olympic Committee as well as the US Olympic Team.  The Olympics are ideal marketing tools for portraying yourself as a good, wholesome company as well as just getting the national attention both in the United States and outside.  It was easy to spot both their print and television sponsorship seals during this time.

In an effort to further outreach to the American audience, DHL then sponsored Major League Baseball.  Their advertisements could easily be seen providing the “official sponsorship” to the MLB.com, Baseball Hall of Fame and to Major League Baseball in general.  Each team also has a partnership for their products to be delivered by the official sponsor that DHL was.  This occurred a few months later into the March opening games and throughout the baseball season.

How did Americans fair with all of this advertising?  The company had to realize that the American public was a completely different animal in comparison to other countries and their takes on service.  Consider John Mullen, CEO of DHL Worldwide Express for example.  In a recent interview with US News and World Report journalist, Rick Newman, he has this to say about the American’s acceptance of the new DHL brand.  “In the rest of the world, people don’t complain as much.  You really have to upset a customer before they complain.  Here (meaning the US) if you are a day late with one package…I get Emails, letters addressed to my home and complaints to the board back in Germany.”

Although this may sound like the company didn’t have a strong footing in the United States or acceptance by the American public, this was far from the case.  In fact, the company was gaining by leaps and bounds during this time.  Yet, they needed to realize that the United States was a whole new ballgame when it came to customer satisfaction.  To their credit, though, they worked harder to meet those goals.

In deed, there was more to come.  Import Express was launched in June of 2005.  This was something new on the market and something that would surely get noticed.  Import Express was a shipping service that was new to DHL.  Its goal was to help import goods.

They developed a marketing campaign around this new service, which they hoped would also offer the consumer the “one stop shopping” mentality that has showed promise to this point.  Their product focused strategy included ads that were aimed at vertical industry segments.  The goal was to get across the message that DHL handles all responsibility for the company.  That included, the messages said, providing invoicing consolidation as well as currency translation for their customers.  Those are key elements and again offered something new and unique to the business owner.

But, DHL wanted a more unique approach to this marketing campaign.  Instead of going with television ads or even print ads, so to speak, they went with a new media element.  They had cloth printed with their message on it and then these pieces were inserted into a number of retail publications.

The unique way that this was marketed made the customer pull out the fabric, read the message, feel the message and realize the value in it.  It wasn’t just an ad, it was a tangible ad.

The United States marketing strategy was geared in many different marketplaces.  It started with the ability to provide information that the company was here and was a new choice that consumers had.  Then, they showcased their abilities and provided new services to the consumer that weren’t on the market yet.

Finally, the third element that the campaigns throughout the United States had to offer was that DHL was able to be the official delivery tool of major organizations.  All of these elements spelled out that DHL was a competitive, excellent choice for anyone’s needs, large and small.

According to the marketing company, the company’s brand awareness was raised some 14 percent in 2004.  That is a significant increase for just a year’s worth of marketing, even on this grand of a scale that DHL provided.

  • Did Everything Think So?

Although DHL did offer a complete package to the United States, not everyone thought that they would succeed with it.  There were plenty of skeptics out there that thought that DHL was staking too much into a market that was doing just fine without them.  They didn’t see the window for opportunity for the company. What’s more, the marketing campaigns that DHL provided throughout this time period were complex and often very costly at best.  To many this meant that the company wouldn’t be able to get the foothold it needed to excel.

(8) DHL Global Operations Analysis

Some of DHL’s current policies appeared in the SWOT analysis.  For example, DHL already offers its services to US, U.K, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, etc.  In addition, many customer benefits are provided such as free super saver shipping, 24/7-customer support service, etc.  DHL continues to add new service lines to meet the needs of diverse customer groups.  Marketing and advertising efforts have built a strong brand name; however, these expenses were reduced in 2003 in an effort to provide customers with lower prices and free shipping.  In addition, DHL has implemented a continuous program to add software and hardware to upgrade technology, systems and network infrastructure.  Finally, DHL currently implements strategies, which segment customer groups and focus on gaining customer and trend information in order to reach new markets.

  • The World Over

You can’t say that DHL was only driven to expand in the United States, though. In fact, their goal was global domination and they were able to earn this in several key ways. Take into consideration what they did in China, for example.

DHL created China Domestic, which was a new company that was part of the company’s response to the demand for faster and better logistical markets. The goal was to provide door-to-door delivery service. They were to provide for shorter time frames for pickups and deliveries.  Improving customer service was also a key element as was the ability for the customer to track their packages. For this need, DHL provided the “Track and Trace” tool on their website.

But DHL did not just work with the needs of those that needed a packaged delivered. They targeted other areas that fit within their needs.  For example, there was a growing need for logistic solutions throughout the automotive field (as well as the life sciences field.)  By working to provide effective logistical solutions for these elements, DHL was able to provide the resources that business environment needed.

Again, the goal here was to provide for a customer service experience that provided for the entire customer needs in one location and with one company. They offered overland transportation, air and water transportation as well as in country express delivery.

What’s more is that they provided something that the Chinese government new was crucial to the success of both business and country. DHL has provided the logistic needs that the government received as being essential to the economic progress of the country. The government even went so far as to provide for the fact that DHL was a leading industrial partner and it was committed to aiding the country.

There are similar programs now being offered in the expanding Japanese marketplace as well. DHL provides for a comprehensive marketing strategy. But, during all of these changes the company didn’t forget their employees in the process. According to Deutsche Post’s Doctor Clemens Beckmann, who was head of corporate strategy at the company, this was true of employees that worked before and after the re-branding of DHL. He said, “You also risk losing the loyalty of employees who have an identity with the old brand.

That’s why we have built up an internal communications program, so everybody is going to feel part of the new brand family.” Their employees in Germany can and do connect with the same global brand that those in China or the United States do.  That, to DHL is an important element in effectively marketing their company globally.

He sums up what the company is really trying to do overall as well. “We want to establish one global brand. That’s one important aspect of buying DHL. Now, we are putting all our activities under the one brand. At the end of the day, it is easier to build one brand.”  (As quoted by Brand Channel)

The DHL marketing strategy worked to unite the company around the world. They looked deeply into the marketplaces that they wanted to be in and found what was lacking their. When they were able to answer the need of that marketplace, they moved in with new products, excellent customer service, as well as a one stop shopping experience that customers craved, but did not have to this point. They provided the company with the tools and technologies to succeed.

Today, the global brand of DHL is everywhere. The next time you notice the yellow truck pulling into your drive or your business door flying open with the DHL drive (instead of the UPS man) you’ll realize just what went into creating this monster of a company that is still poised to take over the logistic and express delivery fields in virtually all markets around the world.  Their marketing strategy was to become globally known. That’s what they’ve accomplished.

Based on the analysis above, the underlying strategy theme is to capitalize on the company’s strengths to take advantage of opportunities and overcome threats and weaknesses. Customer service and branding should remain key focus areas in order to gain additional market share and stay ahead of competition. Several issues must be addressed in order to improve customer service and consumer confidence such as the functionality and design, security and data issues, and future regulatory requirements. Due to DHL’s strong competitive position and the rapid growth of e-commerce, the company is in an excellent strategic position. DHL should continue to concentrate on market penetration and market development as well as its product offerings. Based on the level of resources available, the company could pursue backward, forward, or horizontal integration strategies. In addition, external opportunities can be pursued and aggressive risks such as market diversification and expansion can be taken if necessary.

(9) DHL Marketing Audit Across the US

The most important and primary services provided by the DHL are.

  1. Shipping.
  2. Tracking.
  3. Support.
  4. Business Solutions.

Shipping: A customer can himself create a shipment to what ever the location he requires across 200 countries worldwide including US.

  • A customer can calculate time and cost required for shipment to a specific location.
  • A customer can himself schedule a pickup depending upon the availability of the resource to what ever the location required.
  • If a customer wants to browse through the locations he can do that by find locations facility available on the web.
  • By using UPS trade availability international tools a customer can know the estimated land cost, screen for denied parties, find harmonized codes, check import compliance to ensure that the shipment is in compliance with the respective country regulations, detect export licensees to ensure.

(10) Proposed Strategy for Building Brand Across the US

A qualitative and quantitative research is must in developing a system for marketing analyses. Qualitative research is more of collecting data, conducting interviews, using documents and to understand and explain social phenomenon. Quantitative research involves is of development of natural sciences to study natural phenomenon. Survey methods, formal methods, econometrics, etc., are some of the examples of quantitative research.

Qualitative research methods are more often used as it involves observation of data that helps in finding solutions to the problems. Qualitative research has been categorized into three categories named as positivist, interpretive and critical.

Positivist research methods involves attempt to test theory that to understand the predictive element of the phenomena. It involves formal propositions, hypothesis testing, measuring of quantifiable variables, etc. In this type of research it is assumed that the objectives are given in reality and can be measured by their properties.

Interpretive research method involves sharing of information and social constructions such as language. Interpretive method is used to understand the meaning of the given information that was assigned to the researchers.

Critical research as the name implies concentrates more on the critical view of the subject. It highlights the critical viewpoint of the situation that has to be analyzed.

Building The DHL Brand Across The Country

Look out the window on any given day and you see a DHL truck rumbling down the street. The company has dedicated a small fortune to get you to remember those yellow trucks with their red lettering. Through the proper branding methodology, they have effectively expanded around the world. Their slogan, “We Move The World” is one that truly holds its own.

DHL is one of the few companies that deliver their services to locations such as Iraq. They are the only company that will deliver your packages to Cuba or to North Korea, too. Today, they boast some $65 billion sales annually and provide for the employment of about 500,000 people (including their sister companies.)

The question that marketing strategists need to answer then, is just how they managed to go from a small company that started in San Francisco to an empire that spreads across the world and delivers for them continued growth. Before understanding these concepts, you must take into consideration the history of the company.

Deutsche Post is the parent company here. It is broken into four divisions. First, is the mail division, which is the mail ‘snail’ mail delivery system throughout Germany, and also includes production facilities, sales offices and direct working relationships with over 200 countries.

The Express Division is the most widely known for their transport courier services throughout the world. This includes both air and ground transport. DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Exel Supply Chain are part of the logistics division. They provide a range of logistic services for multi national companies. In addition, there is the financial service division which is a retail bank located in Germany. To further their scope, in 2003, Deutsche Post acquired Airborne Express. In 2005, they purchased Exel, a British logistic company.

What Is Their Strategy?

Perhaps their strategy is not as single folded as once thought. They couple many exciting elements into their branding plan to help them to move mountains through their delivery service. Some of the plain key elements of their branding are a competitive advertising campaign that often portrays them as a leader in the industry and how they compare to their competition. In addition, they continually are upgrading to newer and better technologies, making their business even more successful and even more so in demand.

Through the next pages, we’ll look at what they’ve done over the course of time to actually deliver on a business brand that is taking over the world, quite literally. By looking at all of the elements in their marketing strategy, it will be clear to see how it helped to make them a global enterprise well worth taking note of.

Consider the element of showing off their abilities over their competition? For example, the television marketing campaigns that they’ve done have been a direct hit to their effects in the business world. They like to make a stab at the competition and do it well. How many commercial advertisements have you seen that use the saying, “Yellow. It’s the new Brown?”

The saying displays after an ad that proudly shows FedEx employees enjoying their holidays or relaxing in some way. Then, as they are enjoying their time off, a fleet of DHL trucks moves through. It’s easy to see the anguish on the FedEx employees face as they worry about DHL taking over their jobs.

The obvious benefit of this DHL advertisement was simple. Tell the consumer that DHL is working harder for them.  Show them that DHL doesn’t stop working for them. Simply, they don’t plan to drop the “box” when it comes to providing their clients with the service and expectations that they had. By working the angle in which many FedEx customers have found themselves, waiting for FedEx to make things happen, DHL preys on the consumer’s need for a hard working company that’s doing all that they can to deliver.

Or, an even better consideration is that of the DHL ads you may see in your magazines. “The Roman Empire, The British Empire, The FedEx Empire. Nothing Lasts Forever.” This harsh yet completely accurate statement helped to educate the public on several key elements.

They want the world to know that they are there, ready and willing to compete for the customer. Through these marketing slogans they are looking to become a credible alternative that the customer has.

These marketing campaigns were mainly done within the United States and in some areas of Canada. Their goal was to leverage their advertisement dollar against the giants that serve as their competition. Namely, these companies are FedEx and UPS. Although DHL holds the largest share of business throughout Europe, it is looking to build its name in the United States, where there is a real demand for courier services within the last decade.

Before DHL was able to use these marketing strategies, they did have to reformat and realign their current system. They knew they had the share of business throughout most of Europe but they couldn’t seem to get a foot in the door in the United States, a market they wanted desperately. To make this happen, they put together a three-year strategic plan of action that included some excellent goals as well as some fairly challenging obstacles. Here are some of the goals that they put together. This information is from the Deutsche Post World Net website.


            In any marketing sector key account marketing plan is considered to be very important and a thoughtful business plan cannot be overemphasizes because much hinges on it: financial support, management of the available resources like operation and finances, credit from suppliers, promotion and marketing and last but not the least company’s goals and achievements.

Before writing a key account marketing plan some of the important questions that has to be addressed are:

  1. What service does the business provide to the clients?
  2. Who are the potential customer and reasons for purchasing the service or product?
  3. What are the steps or ways you reach the potential customer?
  4. From whom or where the funds come?
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  • Ewing, Jack (2004). DHL’s American Adventure. Retrieved November 9, 2006https://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_48/b3910115_mz017.htm
  • Deutsche Post World Net (2005). Success Factors for our business. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www1.financialreports.dpwn.com/2005/ar/en/servicepages/search?q=success%20factors&iEditID=10288
  • Michael Internet Services (2006) The new DHL in Deutsche Post World Net. Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://www.sovereign-publications.com/dhl.htm
  • Research and Markets (2003).  European Express Leaders Report 2003. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.asp?cat_id=0&report_id=236422&q=dhl&p=1
  • B to B Online (2006). Karen Jones, VP-advertising, brand and promotions at DHL Express USA. Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://www.btobonline.com/article.cms?articleId=29617
  • B to B Online (2006). DHL-USA.com. Retrieved November 9, 2006 www.btobonline.com/article.cms?articleId=29184
  • American City Business Journal (2006). DHL starts $50M customer service campaign. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2005/09/12/daily8.html
  • B to B Online (2005). DHL Express USA. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www.btobonline.com/article.cms?articleId=25079
  • RiechesBaird (2005). NEW CLIENTS, ADDED STRATEGIC SERVICES LEAD TO HUGE GROWTH. Retrieved November 10, 2006.
  • Parpis, Eleftheria (2005). BEST SPOTS OF SEPTEMBER 2005. Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://www.adweek.com/aw/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001348941
  • B to B Online (2005). Karen Jones. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www.btobonline.com/article.cms?articleId=25827
  • American City Business Journals (2006). DHL signs sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball. Retrieved November 10, 2006  https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2005/03/28/daily30.html
  • Deutsche Post World Net (2005). Milestones In 2005. Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://www2.financialreports.dpwn.com/2005/gb/en/thegroup/milestonesin2005
  • Newman, Rick (2006). The world’s whiniest consumers. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/americasbusiness/archive/060510/the_worlds_whiniest_consumers.htm
  • Ogilvy and Mather (2006). Ogilvy Home Page. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www.ogilvy.com/
  • Brandchannel (2006). Brandhome. Retrieved November 8, 2006 https://www.brandchannel.com/features_effect.asp?pf_id=164
  • ZoomInfo (2006). Dr. Clemens Beckmann.  Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://www.zoominfo.com/people/Beckmann_Clemens_358849799.aspx
  • ZIH Corp. (2006). Track and Trace. Retrieved November 9, 2006 https://www.zebra.com/id/zebra/na/en/index/industry_solutions/applications/supply_chain_management/track_trace.html
  • Toboc (2006). DHL Global Trade Services Provides Customers With More Marketing Possibilities. Retrieved November 22, 2006 https://www.toboc.com/tradenews.aspx?tradeid=687
  • Deutsche Post (2003). DHL Announces US$ 200 Million 5-year China Expansion Programme. Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://www.dhl.ie/publish/ie/en/press/release/2003/231003B.high.html
  • Deutsche Post (2006).  DHL unveils new Express and Logistics initiatives in China. Retrieved November 11, 2006 https://www.dpwn.de/dpwn?xmlFile=2000195&lang=de_EN
  • Deutsche Post (2004). DHL Americas announces management transition. Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://investors.dpwn.de/en/investoren/finanznachrichten/finanznachrichten/archiv_2004/dhl_americas_announces_management_transition.htm
  • ICFAI: Center for Management Research (2006). DHl’s Business Strategy in China. Retrieved November 12, 2006 https://icmr.icfai.org/casestudies/catalogue/Business%20Strategy2/BSTR138.htm
  • Deutsche Post (2006). Trends in logistics. Retrieved November 12, 2006 https://www.dpwn.de/dpwn?lang=de_EN&xmlFile=300000287?ZS_SESSIONID=null
  • Deutsche Post (2006).  Standardized Branding. Retrieved November 10, 2006 https://www2.financialreports.dpwn.com/2005/ar/en/thegroup/corporatestrategy/branding
  • Deutsche Post (2006). Group Management Report. Retrieved November 8, 2006 https://www2.financialreports.dpwn.com/2005/ar/en/groupmanagementreport
  • The Advertising Show.com (2006).  VP on DHL’s Need to Re-Brand & Why U.S. Can Handle More Competition. Retrieved November 12, 2006 https://www.theadvertisingshow.com/en/art/?770
  • Supply and Demand Chain Executive (2006). Unisys Selects DHL as Global Lead Provider for Aftermarket Service Solution.  Retrieved November 24, 2006 https://www.sdcexec.com/publication/article.jsp?pubId=1&id=8430
  • Deutsche Post (2006). DHL deepens its long term commitment in Korea. Retrieved November 12, 2006 https://www.dpwn.de/dpwn?tab=1&skin=hi&check=yes&lang=de_EN&xmlFile=2007343

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1 comment

shiela July 21, 2019 - 6:22 am

marketing plamn


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