April 3rd, 2013
As marketing and technology converge, the conversation has intensified over the interaction between the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Information Officer. Gartner predicted CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs by 2017. IDC, during their annual conference Directions2013, compared the CMO and CIO as either friends or frenemies.
But what surprises me is how little discussion is underway on the role the CMO and the Chief Innovation Officer could play together.
More than thirty years ago, didn’t Peter Drucker say that “the purpose of a company is to create a customer. Therefore the business has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results: all the rest are costs?”
To me, the collaboration sounds obvious. That’s why as a marketing executive, I’ve partnered with the CIO of my business unit to improve the experience of our clients.
Here are three reasons why I think partnering with my Chief Innovation Officer makes sense:
- In the era of the self educated buyer, our clients are looking for ideas, insights on how they could solve their toughest transportation problems. I don’t pretend marketing has the knowledge to create relevant and helpful content, but our researchers that work in the field with our clients every day do. Naturally, we’ve launched an Innovator’s Brief for the Transportation Industry, a quarterly informative newsletter where our CIO shares his thoughts about the different projects coming from our global R&D centers.
- Innovation at Xerox is part of our DNA and Marketing is in the forefront to reposition our Brand. We’ve found it would be unexpected, but relevant to show the new Xerox through the lens of our researchers. Take parking for example, we have ethnographers that study human behavior and watch drivers circling for spaces, searching for coins and hoping they won’t get a ticket. Their objective: to improve the driver’s experience and take the pain out of parking.Watch this TEDx video from one of PARC’s leading ethnographers to learn more.
- By working closely with our group CIO and his researchers on our marketing programs, we learn to take chances and experiment. We’re not afraid to fail, we persevere: they show us the way to challenge the status quo.
Today, technology is changing the way we interact with our clients and marketing is transforming fast. By collaborating with Innovation, finding better ways to market your ideas will be simpler.
March 15th, 2013
By Jay Bartlett, vice president, Social Marketing, Xerox
Some things just don’t go away. That tried and true road trip annoyance of “Are we there yet?” still lives on today. My siblings and I utilized this “conversation starter” with excellent precision in years past – and my daughters continue the tradition today (my head hurts just talking about it). Reflecting on this seemingly genetic tradition, I can’t help but draw a parallel to my role of Social marketing at Xerox, and the broader B2B social media environment.
Having just returned from SXSW, I’m inspired by the progress made in enterprise social strategy and activation. I engaged with numerous peers from around the globe, from big companies to small. I also participated in the “B2B Social Marketing: Blazing New Trails” panel discussion along with Cisco and Salesforce.com. Reflecting back on the conversation, live social activity and closing Q&A, I can’t help but think about the great progress made in B2B social. Just 12 months ago at SXSW, a colleague of mine was talking about finding “social natives” within your organization, starting with social listening and don’t ask for incremental investment. Here are a few takeaways, which demonstrate how evolved we are and how we’re now ready to capitalize on the opportunities that exist:
1) The conversation has moved to content – and better yet, we’re focused on quality content.
2) We’re sharing best practices, based on what’s worked and what hasn’t. And while it’s hard to shine in the “Dunk in the dark” Oreo moments, there are some really cool things happening in B2B social.
3) While we’re still talking about tools that help make our efforts more efficient, we’re now also talking about some great start-ups that are enabling us to activate more effectively.
4) We continue to talk listening, but are starting to think about it through role-based activation within key influencer social circles – hence social and PR need to be connected at the hip.
Of course, all is not perfect, as we continue to struggle with “nice to know” metrics that are hard to really pinpoint what is working and how we’re progressing key brand metrics and attributes. Many still struggle to scale their company’s social footprint – and worse yet, some seem to be missing social selling all together. Lastly, we continue to be hopeful that many of these start-ups, and their cool solutions, start to consolidate so brands can keep their focus on activation and engagement versus being paralyzed by a suite of niche tools.
So, are we there yet? Not even close. In fact, I can’t even tell you how many Nick Jr. shows away we are. However, it’s a pretty cool trip we’re all on – let’s enjoy and push each other to shine bright.
February 14th, 2013
It’s no secret that we’re big tennis fans here at Xerox (speaking for myself, make that “big fan, horrible player”). We partner with the US Tennis Association to help them put on a world class grand slam each year at the US Open. And, just last week, we took our love of the game to a new level by announcing a multi-year, global partnership with the Women’s Tennis Association.
The WTA is the governing body for all professional women’s tennis and is the host of dozens of tournaments across the globe. So, while some of the world’s top female athletes are serving aces on the court, we’ll be behind the scenes simplifying the back office tasks that keep the WTA’s massive global operations running – from IT support and HR services to producing game day documents and much more– so they can focus on delivering a remarkable fan experience.
The thrill of a heated match and the fact that we’ll be supporting some pretty high-powered women (we’re used to cheering on a few of our own here at Xerox), aren’t the only reasons we see value in partnering with the WTA. The WTA’s tournaments take place in some of the cities where we – and our customers – do business. Istanbul, Paris, Budapest, Acapulco, Brussels, Cincinnati and many more. Xerox people and products will be there alongside our new partners at the WTA. And, our presence gives us a really relevant way to connect with our stakeholders and show them what we really do – on the spot. And by connect, I mean in person – yes the actual shake hands, face-to-face greetings of the good old days that are more powerful than ever in a hyper-connected world. With Twitter feeds, Facebook friends and endless email blasts, it seems like in-person meetings are becoming a lost art form these days. But, although we’re known as a B2B brand, we’re really all about bringing our business solutions to people. The B2People approach is what reminds us that relationship-building is and always will be job number one. We’re happy to get “thumbs up likes” but we’re more delighted when we can shake clients’ hands and thank them for the trust they place in us.
A high octane sport, powered by real business simplicity and personal stakeholder connections. Xerox and the WTA – it’s a perfect match. (Sorry, just can’t resist the tennis puns.)
Stay tuned for more details. We’ll be sharing postcards from the road with stories from on and off the court.
February 11th, 2013
By Barbara Basney, vice president, Global Advertising, Xerox
When I say Xerox – can you guess how much of our revenue comes from the business process services we provide customers today? If you guessed more than half (and I bet most of you didn’t) then you are correct! In fact, 52 percent of our $23 billion in annual revenue comes from the back office solutions and services we provide companies, governments and municipalities around the world. What does that mean exactly? Well…it means that we are behind the scenes helping simplify the way work gets done for customers in areas like Human Resources, F&A, Healthcare, Customer Care, Public Transportation and Document Management.
Are you surprised that this is what Xerox is all about? If so, you are not alone, as the majority of people don’t know Xerox is a leading provider of business solutions and services. The opportunity to convey what today’s Xerox does for customers became the strategic and creative insight for our new “Made Simple by Xerox” advertising campaign. Watch our new commercials here:
It is bold, fresh and unexpected. And we tell our story using some big “factoids” that powerfully convey the scale and scope of what we do for our customers. Such as collecting 37 billion public transit fares annually, handling 1.6 million customer care interactions daily and processing 900 million health insurance claims every year. And, there’s more — did you know that we handle $421 billion in accounts payables annually, manage benefits for over 11 million employees and reduce document-related costs by up to 30 percent? These are some big numbers, and speak to the fact that we have been doing this for a lot of customers and for a long time.
This new “Made Simple by Xerox” ad campaign debuts today – so check out the Wall Street Journal, and other leading business publications for our print advertisements. And, look for us on network and cable TV programming. If you are on the road and on the run, use your mobile device to check out our new RealBusiness.com site which provides a deeper level of information about our services capabilities and what we do for customers today.
There are many ways that we’re helping our customers around the world simplify the way work gets done, so they can focus on what really matters. In fact, there are almost too many to count – but for this new advertising campaign, you can see that we did!
When she isn’t looking after global advertising for one of the world’s most iconic brands, Barbara is known for her love of all things energetic, athletic and organic. Follow her on Twitter @Bbasney
December 18th, 2012
By Christa Carone, Chief Marketing Officer, Xerox
This post originally appeared on the Forbes CMO Network.
As an active Twitter user and scanner, I’m constantly prowling for Tweet-worthy articles and insights to share with my followers. But, like every multi-tasker, over-committed, “not-enough-time-in-the-day” person I know, there are always competing demands for time that keep me from heeding the call of the little blue bird.
Thank goodness for Percolate, a small but fast-growing company that recognizes that marketing on the “social scale” requires content, content and more content, but only if it passes the relevancy test. Through algorithms, filters and other tools, Percolate scours the web and serves up content tailored to my specific areas of focus that I can review and easily share.
I’m grateful for and a tiny bit envious of this start-up. I marvel at how its founders quickly spotted a need and last year created a company that has scored a slew of clients and, in November, $9 million in funding. Besides that, everything this company does is on-brand, from its business cards and its Daily Brew email to the—yes–perkiness of its staffers.
One of my resolutions for 2013 is to spend more time learning from small companies like Percolate. Big organizations can be great marketers but often find it hard to act fast. Frankly, “seize” isn’t something that is easily said or done. But there are lessons that Goliaths like Xerox can learn from more nimble David-sized enterprises.
Identify an everyday unmet need. The world is changing quickly. Your company may not create the next hot social media offering. But there are problems to be solved all around us. And, there are new markets just waiting to be created. At Xerox we take inspiration from our founder, Chester Carlson, a patent attorney but day, an inventor by night. Frustrated with the painstaking process of hand-writing patent applications over and over and over again, he took to his makeshift lab to find a simpler way – and the plain paper copier was born. Chester didn’t necessarily intend to revolutionize the way offices work, but his impatience with the status quo led to an invention that simplified the sharing of information, over and over again – and gave birth to a storied brand.
What is your company’s next “chip clip” or “salad in a bag”? What is a product or service your customers can’t do without—but don’t yet have?
Everyone needs a chore genie (especially those of us with kids, a working spouse and a hope for a sliver of ‘me’ time). That’s why I think Task Rabbit’s offering is genius. In nine metro-area markets, the company helps people with undone tasks and errands— from housecleaning and pet sitting to IKEA furniture assembly—get the help they need.
The company shares some of its tall tasks, such as standing in line for a week to buy the first iPhone 5 in San Francisco, on Twitter. I have an idea or two about what a service like this could do to help me survive the Christmas shopping season. It starts with the holiday lights on my house, finding the perfect gift for my 13 year old son and maybe even wading through the offerings at the American Girl store in Manhattan (because my daughter apparently cannot survive another day without the AG balance beam. Such brilliant marketing; but that’s a blog post for another day!).
Go low budget. Pabst Brewing Company knew there was no point in trying to match Anheuser-Busch for Super Bowl. So it snuck under the radar with a spot for its Old Milwaukee lager earlier this year. The commercial, with comedian Will Ferrell, aired on TV in Nebraska only. It was perfectly amateurish—like something created by 2nd graders–ending before Farrell even makes a pitch.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Old Milwaukee’s ad generated more tweets and YouTube hits than Budweiser’s game spot. It cost Pabst about $1,500 in broadcasting fees to a tiny NBC affiliate (30 seconds for a nationally broadcast Super Bowl ad cost more than $3 million).
At Xerox, we may never run a spot like this but I applaud the marketing chief who gave this one the nod. And I hope ads like this will encourage our team to take some calculated but unexpected risks.
Create an event that excites and informs. At a time when so many interactions and connections happen online, real-world gatherings can be especially powerful for a brand. Big companies have the resources to create large-scale polished events that attract customers and engage employees. We know how to put on some major bashes at Xerox. But there is power in more grass-roots initiatives too.
Everyone knows about TED and The Aspen Ideas Festival, but few people really get to attend or speak at those events. Inspired by them, BFG Communications, an ad agency in Bluffton, S.C., hosts Geekend, a three-day annual gathering in Savannah where designers, developers and social media movers and shakers gather to spark new ideas in creativity and technology. Its November event, way below-the-radar compared to those big-name conferences, attracted 600 geeks and made BFG seem pretty cool—a win for an agency. Attendees were encouraged to innovate, take risks and start new ventures by speakers that included Charles Adler, cofounder of Kickstarter.
Who knows? Perhaps the founder of the next Percolate or Task Rabbit was in attendance. If so, I hope their creations will inspire big companies to “think small.”
Curious marketer and communicator on the hunt for cut through creative… Road warrior and marathon runner, follow me on Twitter @ChristaCarone
August 29th, 2012
by, Jon Levine, vice president, Global Experiential Marketing, Xerox
I consider myself a big tennis fan. Each year, I look forward to the start of the season with the first major in January at the Australian Open and then have to wait until Spring for the rest to come in quick succession with the French , Wimbledon and finally the US Open. This year, I got a ‘bonus’ major with the Olympics. The thing that I enjoy most about tennis is that on any given day a player can rise up and have the match of a lifetime. Did I mention that I am a bit competitive?
Right now, in our second year as a US Open partner , Xerox is in the midst of a major match and we are rising to the challenge of doing what it takes to make the highest-attended annual sporting event run smoothly. As the official office equipment and document technology and services provider for the US Open and Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day – we’re making it easier to run the event with our superior technology and capabilities in business communications and document management.
Specifically, we handle two crucial components for the Open – managing production of the daily draw sheet and other important event communications, and facilitating all of the print production within the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The draw sheet serves as a daily guide for attendees, offering information on the matches being played each day, updates on results from the day before, and insight on partner promotions and offerings around the facility. Without it, the attendee experience would be drastically different – it’s essentially the best way of communicating what’s happening over the course of the two-week tournament.
Producing such a critical document involves a tight turnaround time and an efficiently managed print process. Over the course of the 14 days, Xerox will manage the production of approximately 145,000 draw sheets on recycled stock paper. The kicker: these documents can’t be produced until the matches have finished up for the day. In other words, all of this happens overnight – sometimes starting as late as 1 a.m. – and then delivered back to the grounds by 8 a.m. the next morning.
Xerox is also responsible for facilitating all print production within the Tennis Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium, including the media center and all of the offices located throughout the facility – and because we’ve outfitted the stadium with multifunction devices, the staff can also scan and email their documents to one another, thereby reducing paper usage and improving sustainability. We’ve also made the print process more efficient by implementing remote diagnostics so when machines are low on toner or paper, we’re able to get ahead of it and solve the problem before it becomes an issue.
As you can imagine, it’s no easy feat to pull off such a large event – but Xerox is bringing a little simplicity to the business of tennis. We aim to have the match of a lifetime behind-the-scenes so that attendees can focus on the real upsets taking place on the courts.
If you’re onsite this year, stop by our Xerox booth to have your photo taken and printed, or share your tennis photos with us on Twitter (@XeroxCorp) using #XeroxTennis – even if you’re not able to attend – and be entered to win tickets to next year’s event.
Photo credit: Louie Lu
August 23rd, 2012
By Christa Carone, CMO, Xerox
I’m a terrible tennis player. It’s one of those “life sports” that I wish I spent more of my time learning to play. As my teenage son and 9-year-old daughter handily beat me on the court, the only satisfaction I get is an up close and personal view of the US Open in action. This is Xerox’s second year partnering with the United States Tennis Association to help them run the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. (Yep, that’s a true claim to fame for the US Open. The Olympics is humongous but it doesn’t carry the honor of being an annual event.)
There’s a lot of complexity that goes into managing the US Tennis Open. Our role is to help make it simpler – or, at the very least, make it seem simpler for every player, guest, official, coach, reporter, employee, etc. who is at the event.
For example, we manage the production of documents crucial to the USTA’s communication around the event – things like media reports, pairings, the evolving schedules of play and the daily draw sheets, which are turned around in the wee hours every morning of the tournament.
So, while you’re watching Serena and Andy light it up on center court, we’re behind the scenes – with lots of balls in the air – to help keep the tournament running smoothly. It’s a logical place for Xerox to be …and our role gives the USTA more time and resources to focus on what matters most: bringing world-class tennis to the fans.
BTW: Ever wonder how the Open selects the ball girls/boys for the tournament? Or who gets to sing the national anthem for the matches? Or how the grounds are set up so fast for two weeks of play? For more of what happens behind the scenes at the Open, check out this video series on the US Open YouTube Channel. It’s a sneak peek of the magic beyond the baseline.
But who wants just to be behind the scenes all the time? We’ve got enough swagger that we thought we’d sneak out this year and serve up our brand in a bigger way. After all, “business to business” brands like Xerox are really all about connecting with people. We like to think of it as B2P instead of B2B (and, because we have a thing for acronyms).
So, among many activities, we’re hosting a photo station for US Open attendees to pose for pictures and/or share their Open images with us via Twitter. We’ll be building a gallery on our US Open microsite to showcase these photos – so keep an eye out! We’re also happy to print Open photos for folks while they’re at the tournament. Even better, for every Foursquare check-in at the Xerox booth, we’ll donate $5 to USTA Serves, an organization that brings tennis programs to underprivileged youth*.
Stay tuned here for more details. Until then, you’ll find me tracking down Roger Federer for some help with my serve…and my backhand…and, oh well, it’s useless. But you will find me cheering him on.
*USTA Serves is a 501(c)3, tax-exempt, not-for-profit, charitable and educational organization. IRS ID #13-3782331. ®2012. USTA Serves Incorporated, 70 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, NY 10604. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: Louie Lu