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Close-Up with Marcia Danzeisen, senior VP-global marketing and communications, FIS

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Corporate rebranding that must accommodate a company name change is never a simple undertaking, but it was the challenge that faced Marcia Danzeisen, senior VP-global marketing and communications at FIS. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based banking and payments technology company, formerly named Fidelity National Information Services, decided to change its name after making a major acquisition last year. Danzeisen's primary goal: To build the brand globally and eliminate confusion over legacy corporate identities.

CMO Close-Up: Tell us something of the scope of your challenge in creating a new corporate identity?

Danzeisen: FIS is one of the largest global technology providers to the financial services industry, with more than 14,000 clients in over 100 countries. There's huge scale here. In addition, after more than 40 years in business, our substantial growth has come from acquisitions, with the goal of being a one-stop service across the entire spectrum of financial services.

I came to the company in August 2008, and the following April the company announced it would acquire one of our largest competitors, Metavante Technologies, for $2.9 billion. [Metavante] also had grown through multiple acquisitions. As a result, there were a lot of legacy names, identities and collateral that needed consolidating with the new brand.

Previously we had very little strategy around marketing, but it was a great opportunity for me to make a difference in this company. Some things I knew needed to be addressed immediately, such as the company name. Obviously, a global company with “national” in its name needed to be changed. After extensive research employing an independent branding agency and examining the competition, we think our new FIS brand is new, fresh and clean. While Fidelity National Information Services remains our legal name, we go to market as FIS.

CMO Close-Up: Give us a sense of how your campaign unfolded?

Danzeisen: On the day we announced the close of the transaction, we launched our new brand identity with our www.fisglobal.com website—first in English, but we're working on multilanguage versions now. In addition, we conducted worldwide communications with our employees and clients, did internal brand messaging, rebranded all collateral, inserted advertising in industry publications to promote the new brand and hired a global brand manager. We also developed new guiding principles for the company, supporting our brand messaging.

Fortunately, the largest industry conference of the year followed our launch by one month, and we had a huge presence there as a leading sponsor.

CMO Close-Up: On the topic of guiding principles, how did that help define the “new” FIS in the market?

Danzeisen: We're very focused on our clients—it's our No. 1 guiding principle. I think that differentiates us from the competition. Our contacts with banks go back years, and we hang our hats on those relationships. So in filling any technology gaps, banks can come to us for everything from A to Z, not multiple partners. It's all built around our theme: “FIS: Never compromise.”

CMO Close-Up: Tell us a little more about your launch campaign?

Danzeisen: As part of the website relaunch, we're developing a speakers bureau of internal thought leaders. Anyone in the industry will be able to go to our website, put in a category or area of expertise and find an FIS expert to come speak at their company. Right now we've identified 75 potential speakers who we've lined up right out of the gate. We're planning a very robust focus on placing these speakers.

We've also begun a strong webinar program. Both financial services and health care, another industry we're in, are highly regulated but with lots of changes all the time. So it's very good to reach out to our prospects in this way. Also, the webinars make for tremendous cross-selling opportunities for us. We do three or four a week on various aspects of the business, with 200 to 300 attendees for each one.

CMO Close-Up: Obviously you've done a lot in less than a year. What plans to you have going forward?

Danzeisen: Our focus will be on the international front, reinforcing our global presence.

Now, I can stand back and think strategically, look at statistics from our website and definitely take a broader approach on international and emerging markets, as well as other industries such as education and wealth management. Health care in particular hasn't been very automated with their payment systems, so there are great opportunities there to make a difference. We also have a very large focus on the outsourcing of business processes, to run all back-office technology for our clients.

But we still have a lot of work to do in branding. It's a huge undertaking, but we want to get to the point where for any financial institution in the world, everything they see about us is branded FIS. That's the underpinning: to make sure the brand identity is there and resonating.

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