Digital transformation is a reality for every company in every industry today. Having recently undertaken its own digital journey, CSC has embraced an approach that focuses on strategic partnerships and a commitment to technology-independent lT solutions. Those efforts are reflected in the company’s digital-native approach to marketing, as CSC’s head of global brand and digital marketing Nick Panayi explains.
A series of key shifts is reinventing the way companies do business, and helping to put the “digital” in digital marketing.
Take CSC’s latest global marketing campaign. The “Power Forward” campaign is about helping companies understand technology shifts and what they mean for their business. It boils down to this: Information, and its supporting technologies, no longer just support the business. IT is strategically core to the business.
The same is true in marketing: data, platforms and tools all now play a leading role as they inform, run and measure today’s campaigns.
Information is no longer a by-product, something we study after a campaign has concluded. Information guides the rationale and context of every decision, at each step in the campaign.
Internal and external data sources combined with our own big data and analytics platforms help us develop a clear picture of the targets we want to reach. Before we draft the first line of copy, we know a lot about our customers, their interests, how they like to be reached and how they interact with different types of content. Some aspects of that capability are unique to CSC, but almost anyone can get access to similar features to create detailed profiles of their intended targets.
A trusted group of marketing technology and creative partners today plays a critical role in the success of our campaigns. In the past, our planning helped us evaluate and choose technologies and services that were right for the campaign. Recent research, however, told us that in a noisy market, we’d need to develop an engaging, information-rich campaign with a strong value exchange to stand out to our intended audience.
We started by building on a solid foundation. Every campaign today should be architected and built on a marketing automation platform. We chose to partner with Oracle Eloqua for this element. The Oracle Eloqua platform allows us to design very sophisticated, multi-touch and multi-tactic campaigns featuring e-mails and other creative elements that distinguish not only between customers and prospects, but how various segments of customers prefer to “converse” digitally with us based on past observed behavior.
Unlike the “spray and pray” e-mails we used to send, we can design an optimal experience for each customer segment that determines how many e-mails they receive, in what sequence, and what messages we want to include. We can also direct specific messages to key segments or even specific customers based on what we know about them in our big marketing data platform. Oracle Eloqua’s pre-built integration points also assured us that we’d be able to easily extend the platform to meet our exact needs with other tools and technologies.
“We believe that CSC’s approach to integrated marketing is at the forefront of the industry. Leveraging their enterprise-ready marketing automation platform means they can implement a multi-tactic campaign immediately, and this is clearly paying dividends,” said Chris Lynch, head of Product & Industry Marketing for the Oracle Marketing Cloud. “CSC is applying multi-touch strategies across the entire funnel, achieving what we consider one of the most comprehensive approaches to integrated marketing execution that we’ve seen to date.”
We knew it was important to deliver rich, engaging content. Drawing on internal resources and experts, we developed a series of eight deep, insight-rich position papers outlining the most significant business implications and outcomes of the digital transformation most companies are experiencing today or plan to undertake in the near future. That level of content and thought leadership needed an equally memorable presentation.
Our creative agency, Faction Media, helped us develop a microsite that would provide an optimal user experience. Not only is the site visually rich and engaging, it is also fully customizable by customer segment and geography. Its design allows us to introduce many different elements — videos, town halls, summaries and more — that cater to each person’s preferences, while still keeping the user experience quick and light.
“Great customer experiences all have something in common — they are personal, compelling and inspire action,” said Aaron Batte, president of Faction. “With Power Forward, we set out to build a program that could bring together our data, technology and content into a single place, to deliver a unique, enriched experience to complement the other elements that were part of CSC’s multi-tactic campaign.”
Other marketing technology partners helped us direct our campaign outreach. In addition to e-mails delivered through Oracle Eloqua, we targeted customers using a combination of Demandbase and LinkedIn.
Demandbase lets us strategically position banner ads with specific messages to specific customers. If we chose to target the Acme Company, Demandbase would identify an Acme visitor to a site like CIO.com, bid on banner space and insert our banner for that visitor – minimizing ad impression waste for us, and delivering a targeted message to the customer.
“We introduced account-based advertising to make it possible for companies like CSC to more effectively laser target key accounts and prospect companies across the Web,” said Chris Golec, founder & CEO of Demandbase, Inc. “But instead of clicks or impression as a measurement of success, Demandbase’s technology was built to maximize digital engagement and increased sales activity with those accounts.”
To generate additional impact, LinkedIn was tapped to find decisionmakers and influencers within very specific companies, functions and levels and reach out to them with optimized content. LinkedIn has delivered for us some of the strongest ROI I’ve seen in any marketing campaign by leveraging smart targeting, and seamless injection of sponsored updates in user newsfeeds.
“We’re thrilled to help CSC generate such strong ROI,” said Russ Glass, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions’ vice president of Products. “We believe that LinkedIn has a unique ability to get to exactly the right people at the right companies – which is really what account based marketing is all about. We’ve designed our platform to help marketers target prospects by company name, job title, industry and more for incredibly efficient and effective marketing.”
Incremental and Conversational
The approach we take today supports a far more nuanced, relationship-building approach to digital marketing. Sending e-mail blasts to broad audiences, asking readers to download a paper is like proposing marriage on the first date. Today’s information-driven approach supports a gradual investment of time to gain a person’s trust. You need to earn your way, little by little, to having a longer conversation.
Our Power Forward campaign started by engaging customers with a question: “What is the Digital Shift?” Our design summarized the challenges of the past and opportunities for the future.
That light approach contains an immediate value proposition. It moves customers in the right direction and they want to hear more. As they go down the page, a short video summarizes the topic, but offers a little more information. This creates more engagement, pulls customers further along the path and prepares them for a call to action. In this case, that means downloading our papers. And if they want to continue the conversation, we make it easy for them to engage with one of our subject matter experts.
Part of the digital investment all comes down to how we can move the revenue needle. The incredible level of integration between our marketing automation and sales automation platforms gives me an end-to-end view of our campaigns and results. We can identify the leads we generate, how many we qualify, how valuable they are, conversions and even revenue.
There’s no debate, no question and no delay. The digital shift in marketing today means that we can spend our time debating things that matter. We can spend our time solving issues instead of guessing what they might be. We get the right message to the right person at the right time. And every ratio I care about is calculated daily and is sitting on a dashboard for me to look at with my morning coffee.
That’s the power and opportunity of digital marketing.
Click to explore CSC’s Power Forward campaign.
Nick Panayi is Head of Global Brand and Digital Marketing. He joined CSC five years ago and has responsibility for Global Brand and Digital Marketing. His areas of responsibility include digital marketing, global brand management, social media, demand center, marketing programs, pursuit marketing, sales tools and ABM. Nick has 20-plus years of experience in the technology industry in a variety of management, strategic planning and marketing positions. Nick was named to the list of “2013 Top 25 Digital Marketers” by BtoB Magazine. He has a bachelors degree in marketing and an MBA.