Christa Carone

Published on .

Title: CMO
Years in current job: 2
Company: Xerox Corp.
Quote: “The reason we've started to scale this business is because our customers wanted us to. They wanted the technology to be doing more for them.”

While Xerox Corp. had made its mark as a digital printing and document management company, it hadn't told the world much about its business process services. CMO Christa Carone hopes to change that with “Ready for Real Business,” a campaign Xerox kicked off last month to show how its customers rely on it to handle back- office tasks so they can focus on their “real business.”

“It's the most significant brand marketing campaign Xerox has done in decades,” said Carone, adding that even though it's early in the launch, anecdotal feedback has been positive, and traffic to the company's website has met or exceeded expectations.

Created by its agency Y&R, New York, along with Y&R's digital shop VML, the ads show funny scenarios involving the brand icons of customers, such as Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Procter & Gamble Co. and Target Corp. In one TV spot, two Marriott bellmen attempt to process computer invoices while one flips pancakes and talks about delivering dry cleaning and another vacuums. In another, the New York Mets mascot is expected to produce a group sales brochure.

In addition to TV, the campaign includes out-of-home, paid search, print, online and social media. Ads broke Sept. 7 in the U.S. and Oct. 4 in the France, Germany and the U.K., and in pan-European media outlets. As part of the campaign, Xerox launched, a site that provides case studies of how the company is helping clients with everything from processing invoices to managing human resources and customer service. A mobile app with a viral component is in the works.

“We know that our message is more powerful when it's spoken through our customers,” Carone said.

The campaign has an initial 15-week media schedule but will run through 2011, Carone said. “We'll continue to be reaching out to our core brands that we think have a place in this campaign,” she said.

The branding campaign comes on the heels of Xerox's February purchase of Affiliated Computer Services, a leading business process outsourcing company. Carone said the acquisition tripled Xerox's services business, which now generates half of its revenue, and is growing at a faster rate than its technology business. Xerox's overall revenue was up 40% in the first half over the year-earlier period.

ACS' industry foothold has enabled Xerox “to be more differentiated and competitive,” Carone said. “You'll see us continue to integrate our technology with our services.”

In everyday marketing activities, as opposed to the major branding initiative, Carone said, “We're not looking to do mass consumer outreach. We know there's more benefit if we can customize [the message] to our target.”

For example, using technology from its XMPie business unit, it can send a customized direct mail pitch, followed by an e-mail and a link to a personalized site. XMPie technology, which Xerox sells as well as uses in-house, also enables customers to create customized video content.

“We do try to have more relevancy in our marketing outreach,” she said. “You therefore tend to be doing smaller volumes of direct marketing but at a higher return on investment.”


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