Xerox “Talks the Walk” with Marketing 2.0

by Barb Cote on June 20, 2010

Barb Cote

Barb Coté

I recently came across a great interview by (Francois Gossieaux) with Christa Carone, the CMO at Xerox. CMO 2.0 Conversations is a blog which calls attention to the individuals and companies that are leading the way through challenging, disruptive and exciting times in marketing, media and business in general.

Here are some excerpts from their 2.0 Conversation on the challenges of maximizing marketing effectiveness in a minimal economy using social media and analytically driven 1-to-1 marketing techniques.

Xerox maintains a unique position in that the company is in the business of helping its customers market themselves better. Not only do you need to market your company, you also need to serve as a best practice for your customers – you need to walk the talk.

Early on in the conversation we talked about the dramatic changes that social media brought to customer communications and go-to-market strategies. Christa described how Xerox is very active in social media and how they have a real cross-functional approach to social marketing.

As Christa said, you can build it, but if nobody shows up, you are not getting any return on your investment.

At Xerox, they encourage every employee to become part of the voice of the company. They developed friendly guidelines that empower employees and encourage them to use social media on behalf of the company.  By tapping into employees’ passion they are achieving a level of “virality” with new product launches that they never saw before.

Xerox has over 10,000 resellers and more than 6,500 authorized sales agents – making for a lot of customer touch points. What perhaps keeps the brand perception across all those touch points the most consistent is a shared passion for the brand by both employees and channel partners.

In addition to widespread social media adoption, Xerox has successfully utilized their own technology to create multichannel customized content (one-to-one) in their direct marketing campaigns — netting significantly improved response rates.

Xerox is providing these same strategic insights to customers like the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as well, enabling them to create data and insight-driven document management and direct strategies that save money and improve customer experience.

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center will deploy a segment-based communications strategy for its 2010 yearly mailing instead of a mass-market direct mail.

“We have detailed transactional information for each of those patrons, but in the past we could not easily customize or personalize our mailings to reflect patron preferences,” says Catrina Boisson, vice president of marketing. “We did a great job on the phone and in person, but our direct mail, especially our large season brochures, was more one size fits all. The same 40-page catalog was mailed to everyone to announce the season. It could feel overwhelming to the patron and did not reinforce our commitment to customer centricity.”

Working with Xerox, NJPAC will deploy a segment-based communications strategy for its yearly mailing later this month. Instead of a mass-market direct mail brochure, customers will get one of five (segmented) versions.

Boisson adds that the big picture goal is to become more innovative for the same amount of resources. “We will cut the quantity and be smarter about who we’re mailing to…It’s reinforcing what we’re trying to do at other touch points with relevant messaging.”

Isn’t that what smarter marketing is all about?  Utilizing what you have — lots of key information in your database — and tailoring every communication to reflect that knowledge in a way that will increase cusomer response and satisfaction.


New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Image Courtesy:

Image Courtesy:  New Jersey Performing Arts Center

About the Author:

Barb Coté is the Creative Director at SIGMA Marketing Group.  Follow Barb on or connect with her on .

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