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Thomson Reuters' Tobias Lee streamlines online experience

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The tax and accounting division of Thomson Reuters is one of the company's fastest-growing units. The division sells tax software and information to governments, companies and accounting firms, and compliance solutions to financial institutions and law firms. Tobias Lee has been the division's CMO for about a year. He oversees the global marketing strategy, including branding, creative services, demand generation, public relations, customer experience and online marketing. BtoB: Tell us about your product lineup? Tobias Lee: Our flagship product is a portfolio of solutions called ONESOURCE tax software and services. And we sell research through our Checkpoint service, which supplements our different customer segments, helping professionals find good information to do their jobs better. For professional accounting software, our competitors would include CCH Integrator, part of Wolters Kluwer; Corptax; and Intuit in the small-to-midsize market. We sell direct and work with all the big firms, such as Deloitte Touche, Ernst & Young and KPMG. BtoB: What types of marketing elements do you use? Lee: We do webinars, blogs, content marketing email, trade shows and social media. We also reconstructed our website in November, moving from 20-plus sites to just one. We discovered that customers are buying more and more products across business lines. Also, one website enables better visitor profiling and the ability to offer more dynamic content. For example, by analyzing our traffic we can determine that a corporate customer looking at our ONESOURCE product may be interested in seeing a banner ad about our content business. Content is a big plus for us in ensuring the market knows that we are the industry leader. We do that by having tons of experts who write articles and provide insights, provided through email, webinars and blog posts. For example, when the American Tax Payer Relief Act was passed in January, we quickly published five solution briefs. BtoB: Explain a bit about your customer experience initiatives? Lee: I launched it in September. While a lot of companies talk about customer experience, few look at it as a dedicated program that's systematic. It all starts with what we think of as the buyer's journey and getting a sense of what's working. We score the success of our webinars, phone calls and the website. And we talk to our customers. We use visits as well as seminars, road shows, trade shows and surveys. And we've established the Net Promoter Score concept, which helps us drill back to key drivers of loyalty. Our customer surveys are linked to our products and flag responses if someone loves or hates us. We have a monitoring tool that assesses responses from numerical data and, for open-ended questions, we're investing in a proprietary text monitoring and assessment solution. Customer experience is a broad discussion. We try to dial in on the top things that seem like they will contribute to business improvement. BtoB: What part of your job provides you with the greatest pleasure? Lee: Looking for how to help the customer become more efficient and deliver value. Our customers tend to be tax managers, and those people aren't always the most celebrated in their companies. So we're hoping to empower them in their jobs. For example, when tax managers get ahead of the issues around tax legislation, it can be very empowering and exciting.
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