Peers on Point: Q&A with Capgemini’s Glen Nelson

December 23, 2015

A few weeks ago, we brought you the first installment of Peers on Point, LinkedIn’s exclusive interview series focused on technology marketing insights. In our inaugural post, we explored the importance of strategic targeting and discussed the future of Telecomm with Hewlett Packard’s Julia Mason-Ochinero. Today, we’re excited to dive into new waters and uncover content and customer journey best practices with Glen Nelson of Capgemini. Read on to gain firsthand perspectives on his work, what challenges Glen each day and where he believes the industry is headed.

Glen is responsible for external and internal communications, including public relations, social media, thought leadership, digital marketing and corporate communications, for Capgemini in North America. Capgemini is a global provider of consulting, technology, and outsourcing services.

What is the primary goal of the programs you are responsible for?

Foremost, our team differentiates, promotes and protects our brand. Through our thought leadership, we aim to spark conversations around innovation and digital business strategies. We work closely with our practice leaders and subject matter experts on messages, content – all the way out to social media approaches. We also share stories that demonstrate we care about people and the communities we serve, ensuring we’re viewed as an employer of choice.

Can you tell us what changes you are seeing in technology marketing?

Today, the message is more about transformation than technology. Clients are looking for ways to transform their business through digital innovation. They fear being disrupted by emerging companies and market shifts. So marketing must support their need for insight and solutions, while serving the brand.

Our aim is to demystify digital and show them how it can work for their business. From a targeting perspective, the biggest change is the expanding network of decision-makers and influencers. It’s not just about the CEO, CIO, or CFO. We’re seeing the rise of other chief officers – for digital, innovation, cybersecurity, customer experience. The list goes on.  And business-line leaders are become more digital curious. We need to reach and message to each target. To help them explore the art of the possible. Technology marketing today is more about sharing a business value story than a tech story.

How has targeting changed now that these business-line executives are in the fray?

We target by understanding the digital maturity level of the client organization and the decision makers. We work with our account teams to build personas and look to uncover the capabilities that clients seek. Messages and content must then support their journey to digital realization. Thought leadership programs must identify the business challenges and speak to the current state of their business. But most importantly we have to have a bold opinion to share that’s differentiating. 

How do you look at the evolution of content creation and deployment?

You can create the smartest piece of thought leadership, post it on your website, email it, but if nobody reads it, it doesn’t provide value to you or the industry. That whitepaper is as good as toilet paper. You need to put it into motion with promotion. Go digital on social platforms in omniformat ways. Create snackable versions of the content.  There’s also a strong movement to better storytelling. Storytelling is how you build engagement. At Capgemini, we have a company-wide storytelling process that’s part of our content playbook. There are also cool, new ways to target executives beyond traditional campaign channels, such as geofencing. We are 100 percent digital with our traditional marketing spend. It’s not only more engaging. It’s targetable, trackable and tweakable.

Back to the C-Suite discussion a moment.  How are they changing in the technology buying journey?

Technology decisions aren’t limited to the IT function. And the journey doesn’t always start at the top, in traditional pyramid fashion. The decision chain looks more like a pretzel. The need and forces of influence can be anywhere. Messages and content must permeate that pretzel.  In many cases, the journey starts in the business function, in marketing, in finance, in customer service, in the supply chain. They are the ones with the need. Functions are closer to the customer. And, that’s where most innovation starts. That’s where digital capabilities, such as data analytics, the cloud or Internet of things, are changing the way they do business.

All things digital creates a different purchase path and customer journey.  What is your take on this?

The journey is more omnichannel now than ever.  So you need to go omniformat with your content strategy. A dry whitepaper with a few graphics won’t cut it. We’re bringing insights to life by converting them into more snackable and compelling content. Graphics, infographics, digital interactivity, animations, videos, social posts, and so on.  Campaigns here go through rigorous planning to determine the most appropriate avenues to drive people to messages and create engagement.

Can you give us a working example of how you are doing all things digital with LinkedIn and tell us about the Content Loop?

LinkedIn is a force multiplier. It’s the window into the business world and the connective tissue that ties it all together. It’s one of the most important channels to amplify thought leadership and build engagement. We’ve partnered with LinkedIn to create our branded Content Loop microsite where we aggregate articles from a variety of media channels. We include our own insights too. This content is also served within LinkedIn newsfeeds to IT and business leaders.

Where do you think digital marketing and content demands have changed your role?

Today, we’re thought leadership content strategists first and foremost. Digital and deployment strategists second. Our role is more fluid and collaborative across the business to uncover insight to package and share. We’re the catalysts to activate our business strategy, our organization, our people.  

Tell us how Capgemini subject matter experts amplify their presence in today’s tech marketing landscape?

Let’s talk about our Expert Connect program. Through Expert Connect, we’ve mobilized about 1,000 client-facing experts. We prepare and empower them to go social. To engage with customers and prospects via blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and other channels. We assess their digital footprint and provide recommendations. LinkedIn is mandatory, and Twitter participation is rising. As a result, we’ve seen a significant rise in the amount of conversations started and leads driven. These are busy people, so they appreciate how we make it easy for them to create and share content. For the most part, social is a learning process. So we’re here to help them with their experience.

You talk about measurement and program attribution.  What is your strategy and execution of Expert Connect program measurement?

We have a view into activity and engagement levels so we can track their performance. Each expert has a social media partner who helps them with their experience. For measurement, we also review how they’re engaging with influencers, prospects and clients. And we ask that conversations are added to the CRM for further tracking and nurturing. These steps help validate the work we do and the ROI on our executives’ time.

Looking for other resources to help you better understand today’s tech buyers? Check out LinkedIn's latest research on the new technology purchase path. It includes detailed learnings on the full scope of decision makers, evolving end users and influencers and the content-centric post-sale support needed to build long-lasting relationships with hardware and software consumers.

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