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Xerox focuses on personalization

CMO Christa Carone discusses her strategy for redefining the company’s brand

Q: What new marketing efforts do you have in the mix?

A: To disrupt legacy perceptions of the Xerox brand. We recently acquired ACS, a large business outsourcing firm, which was the biggest acquisition in the company’s history. We have now built a $10 billion services business, so our portfolio of offerings is equally weighted in technology and services.

Most people think of Xerox as a technology company and not a services company, so we have to change our marketing to educate people.

We’ll be launching some campaigns later on this year. It will be the most significant brand campaign that Xerox has done in the past 10 years.

Q: What is your biggest challenge as CMO?

A: We have completely redefined the perceptions of the brand and that squarely fits in the lap of the CMO.

The challenge is how to cut through the clutter to get this message across. Our approach is to make sure communications are customized and relevant to our target. It is also a challenge to make sure that we are getting a good return on our marketing dollars.

Q: What is Xerox’s approach to customer loyalty?

A: Customer loyalty is embedded in just about everything we do. As a b-to-b company, customer retention is a very important metric for us. Our ability to achieve this is through building and fostering loyalty with our customers.

Q: How do you build relationships?

A: We want to be working closely with a client so that they can’t live without us. Everything that we do with our technology and our services is to be that player behind the scenes that makes our customers’ lives easier.

Q: You’ve talked about sending more personalized messages. Can you give me an example?

A: We did the “Information Overload” campaign. We know through research that all of us are faced with up to 3,000 messages a day and every marketer out there is faced with the challenge of cutting through the clutter. The campaign addressed this in a fun way.

We did a personalized video, an e-mail campaign and a direct mail piece. Also, each customer received a personalized URL (PURL) based on their behavior.

Q: Were you concerned that sending so many messages might lead to information overload?

A: We used PURLs which were designed based on that customer’s behavior and interests. Because the first e-mail was relevant and people were clicking on it, they were doing so based on their own interest. Each communication was personalized based on how they clicked. We saw click-through rates that were upwards of 35% to 40%, which was incredible, because in a typical e-mail campaign, we are lucky if we can get 1% or 2%.

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