Six Sigma performs for Xerox, search takes a bath

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Xerox Corp. this year achieved a 28% increase in leads by applying a "Lean Six Sigma" process and tools to its marketing efforts, according to Jonathan Opdyke, global Web strategy manager for Opdyke was one of four panelists at BtoB’s NetMarketing Breakfast in New York last week, along with Michael Paradiso, VP-global media and research director at Computer Associates International; Tim Dunne, VP-digital media and business development at Nextel; and Stephen Ban, VP-corporate marketing at T. Rowe Price.

Opdyke said the objective of the Xerox project, which began a year ago, was to increase product leads from the company’s Web site without increasing media spend. By applying Six Sigma, Opdyke was able to work with the Web team to simplify the registration process and double the number of people completing the form. Part of that included giving customers several opt-in choices. "Six Sigma created the ability to have a consistent discipline and a process for continuous improvement, as well as better tracking, accountability and easier replication," Opdyke said.

Among other topics of discussion at the breakfast were e-mail and search engine marketing. Search, which has been a popular medium among many marketers, got a drubbing by some of the panelists, who said their companies don’t invest much if at all in the medium. "Search is of no consequence whatsoever," Ban said. T. Rowe Price’s smallest b-to-b sale "is likely to be $25 million," he said, and as a result, potential customers "consult a consultant" rather than do a Web search.

—Carol Krol

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