JDA Software uses custom content to reach CEOs

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JDA Software, which develops supply chain management software, is targeting strategic accounts with custom content designed specifically for CEOs. JDA provides software and services to such industries as aerospace, automotive, consumer package goods, manufacturing, retail and transportation. “We did research with the CEO audience and found that CEOs are extremely digital,” said Cindy Kim, director of marketing at JDA Software. “They love to get information from digital and mobile devices, and have extended their use of digital in their daily habits.” With that in mind, Kim and her marketing team started working closely with the sales group at JDA to develop custom digital experiences for CEOs. “We create digital experiences for every touch point—from CEO portals to microsites, to email alerts and direct mail they can open on an iPad—on every device they use,” Kim said. For one strategic account JDA was targeting, Kim and her team developed a video book with a custom message from Hamish Brewer, CEO of JDA Software, to the CEO of the target account. “This was such a high-touch, important strategic account, we wanted to give a CEO-to-CEO message,” Kim said. “We had our CEO involved in crafting the message, and we had to find a way to deliver that to the CEO at the account.” JDA did that by developing a custom app that was embedded into a physical book. The book had a custom cover, and inside was a letter to the CEO from Brewer, a video player that played the video message and a link to a customized microsite that showed how JDA could help the account with supply chain management solutions specifically designed to address its unique challenges. “We worked with our executive sponsor [on the sales team], and we knew which accounts he was going after,” Kim said. “We customized the message for that meeting and did a lot of research to really understand the company, their DNA and their pain points.” Kim said the strategy paid off, and the account is now in the sales pipeline. JDA is using this approach of developing custom content for CEOs at other key accounts, and Kim said a critical part is marketing and sales alignment. “Marketing has to be able to gain insight into the accounts [salespeople] are going after,” Kim said. “Marketing can play a strategic role by providing guidance and vision, and influence accounts beyond traditional lead-gen campaigns.”
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