CMO Close-Up with Luis Gallardo, global brand and marketing director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

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Luis Gallardo is director-global brand and marketing at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a professional services company with operations in 142 countries and more than 170,000 employees. This year, Gallardo oversaw the expansion of the company's “Green Dot” campaign, which debuted last year. In the following interview with “CMO Close-Up,” he discusses the challenges of marketing in a down economy and how Deloitte is using social media and other programs to grow its brand.

CMO Close-Up: How has your business changed, and how are you communicating your brand positioning?

Gallardo: Deloitte has achieved positive growth this fiscal year despite a challenging economic environment, with aggregate member-firm revenue of $26.6 billion for the year (ended May 31).

As a brand, there continues to be a shift in the perception of Deloitte as just a Big Four accounting and tax firm to that of a professional services provider with a diversified service offering. Deloitte will continue to extend our market-leadership position with new service offerings, ongoing acquisitions, investments in emerging markets and the implementation of our corporate strategy.

CMO Close-Up: What were your biggest marketing challenges this year?

Gallardo: This year marked a significant milestone in Deloitte's history—our formal recognition as the largest private professional services practice worldwide (based on revenue).

We faced the marketing challenge of leveraging that unique moment to address and build momentum about our new, market-leading position. Phase two of the “Green Dot” advertising campaign needed to reflect our leadership position and future growth plans to widen our competitive lead in each area of our business over the next five years.

CMO Close-Up: What is the strategy behind the “Green Dot” campaign?

Gallardo: The “Green Dot” campaign continues to maximize the impact of our “Always One Step Ahead” brand positioning strategy in the marketplace by communicating our value proposition—the Deloitte difference.

The bold and striking visual style of the campaign, with the Deloitte “Green Dot” as the hero set against a black or white background, perfectly captures the clarity, leadership and direction of Deloitte's point of view in a way that is unique and unforgettable—akin to our brand promise.

CMO Close-Up: Can you share any results from the campaign so far?

Gallardo: Since the formal launch of the effort just over a year ago, we have seen more than 50 of our member firms representing more than 100 countries place “Green Dot” ads in leading daily newspapers and trade publications;on finance and industry-focused websites; and on a wide range of external signs, posters and billboards.

Research that we've commissioned in the Netherlands, for example, indicates that the campaign continues to make an impact in helping to position Deloitte as the first choice of the most sought-after clients and talent.

CMO Close-Up: Which media platforms are you using this year?

Gallardo: We are using traditional print advertising placements such as magazines and billboards, as well as nontraditional guerrilla marketing and interactive advertising channels such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

We have RSS feeds that alert you to the latest news from Deloitte; podcasts that give insightful commentary on a variety of thought-leadership topics; and viral marketing campaigns, such as the Deloitte Film Festival in the United States.

We are increasingly putting emphasis on the development of several mobile apps for devices such as iPhones and iPads to increase accessibility of our online resources and appeal to our growing talent pool.

CMO Close-Up: How are you integrating social media into your efforts?

Gallardo: We are building our social media strategy based on our recent success with Deloitte Fantasy Football, the largest global online event in Deloitte's history—and the only one of its kind among our competitors—to successfully connect our global network of Deloitte people, clients and colleagues with one another through the biggest sporting event in the world: the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Through a robust social media promotional plan that increased viral participation for the competition, Deloitte Fantasy Football generated publicity for the Deloitte brand and personally engaged stakeholders by promoting their teams, celebrating the cultural diversity of our people and increasing the sense of family across our global network.

The social media results we achieved as a result of the Deloitte Fantasy Football were pretty astounding. For example, during the time of the campaign, we were able to grow our Deloitte fan base from 22,000 to more than 77,000 active users. As a result, Deloitte now has the largest Facebook presence among its professional services competitors.

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