Digital And Social Media As Marketing Tools

How SAP, Cisco And Adobe Are Taking Advantage Of Digital And Social Media

The article linked below covers a recent conversation among Blair Christie, CMO of Cisco, Jonathan Becher, CMO of SAP and Ann Lewnes, SVP of Global Marketing for Adobe.  The very informative discussion revolved around the ways in which these three technology behemoths are adapting to and taking advantage of digital and social media.

Ms. Lewnes said, “In a few short years, we went from spending very little to spending 74% of our marketing budget on digital.  That kind of transformation requires more than just a change in tactics, you have to get people to believe this is the right approach ““ it has to become cultural”¦” SAP’s Jonathan Becher noted that “SAP‘s transformation has been to go from being seen as “˜that German ERP company’ to the diverse global organization it is today. To further that transformation, we have been focused on telling our customers’ stories ““ what makes them run better. Social Media has given us great insight into what are our customers’ needs; we see ourselves as their advocates. It is as simple as taking the megaphone away from your mouth, and putting it to your ear. Listen to what your customers saying. For us, social is not just “˜are you on Facebook?’ but “˜are you connecting with customers?'”

Knowing that you need a cultural transformation is one thing; how you start it is another. For Adobe, there was strategic hiring ““ bringing in more web analysts, data experts and social media practitioners. “Adobe made a massive investment to (re)train and reconfigure our team. Everything from general training on social media to specific, high-touch investments in specific people and teams,” adds Lewnes. “As our teams gained insight into social and digital, they felt empowered and excited to experiment in these new mediums. Did we have resistance at first? You bet. But we now have an organization full of converts. And once the results started rolling in, and they saw how quantifiable digital made things, our C-suite got on board as well.”

Cisco’s approach was to put together a set of social media guidelines, partnering with various teams across Cisco, including their legal team, to remind employees to be smart when using social media “Never underestimate the power of partnership,” chimes in Christie. “By collaborating with our legal team and other functions, we worked together across all opportunities ““ both internally and externally ““ to shift how social is utilized in Cisco. Where Cisco is particularly adept is that “customer relationship” as a part of their DNA ““ they hire folks who are already comfortable engaging with customers. Christie continues, “So for us, a set of social media guidelines just empowered our employees on “˜how to use’ these social and digital channels. We gave them the green light, and they took it from there. It has been truly amazing to lead, participate, and watch the engagement from employees.”


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