CMO Close-Up with Lisa Dreher, VP-marketing and business development, Logicalis Inc.

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Logicalis Group, based outside London, is an international IT solutions and managed-services provider that designs, builds and supports information and communications solutions. For many years Logicalis had a decentralized marketing approach around the world that, according to Lisa Dreher, VP-marketing and business development at the company's U.S. arm, Logicalis Inc., hampered branding. The company is now centralizing its marketing approach with a number of new initiatives. CMO Close-Up: What has been the Logicalis marketing structure you've worked to fix? Lisa Dreher: For the past 10 years or so we have been very much organized around the sales organization. And because the company was built through a series of acquisitions, we have had disparate marketing plans in each market and even in different geographies within the U.S. And if you went to different websites for our different geographies around the world, they didn't look like the same company. Now, if you go to our different global websites today, they absolutely look like the same company. And we no longer have regional marketing managers but rather marketers focused on particular solutions. Our international plan is much more cohesive. It has a lot to do with building a strong Logicalis brand. CMO Close-Up: Has the focus on the sales organization also changed? Dreher: No, we didn't want to lose that connection with the salespeople. The “feet on the street” view of what's happening in the market is really important to what we do day to day. So we have what we call the “marketing liaison” role. Part of my job is making sure that all marketing tools, sales-enablement and training are available; that sales participates in upcoming campaigns; and getting customers involved in upcoming events. And, of course, to make sure marketing is listening to what sales is hearing from customers and prospects. When we first moved away from a regional marketing organization, there was a lot of uncertainty from area sales directors. But it's actually worked out well. If you asked sales today about our stronger marketing approach, they'd say they're happier. CMO Close-Up: How is the sales side helping the marketing side? Dreher: We're very targeted about who we go after, and we don't market to anybody that sales hasn't indicated they want to do business with. This eliminates sales coming back and asking why we're targeting the wrong people. It saves a lot of time, money and energy doing it this way. However, there are drawbacks to this approach because, if account executives aren't consistently bringing new prospects into the fold, you have to find a way to refresh the list. So now we're examining all our current customers, narrowing this down to what our best customers look like and looking for companies that look like those. And, of course, we're going through these new lists together with our sales team. Another thing we're doing is leveraging social media to link up with our existing customers that we have good relations with. We're looking at what LinkedIn contacts they have at other companies and are asking our customers to introduce us. CMO Close-Up: On the topic of branding, what campaigns do you have under way? Dreher: In June we launched a fully integrated, international campaign running across all our geographies. It's called ”Tomorrow's Workplace,” created by our agency, Sudden Impact Marketing, Columbus, Ohio. We wanted something with real personality, something that would help people feel excited about doing business with us. The whole idea is around employees today bringing their own devices to work and how IT departments need to deal with that, how it impacts the network and security. Employees today want to access company information on any device, anywhere, at any time. We want to convey how to provide for that. This is a co-branded campaign with Cisco Systems. We also work with Hewlett-Packard, IBM, VMware and other key partners that provide the infrastructure part of IT. Co-funded campaigns are critical to our whole marketing program.
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