Xerox Takes Original Turn
New campaign focuses on services instead of copiers
New campaign focuses on services instead of copiers
Last month, Xerox Corp.
jumped back into TV advertising
with a huge new campaign.
The object is to get business executives
to stop thinking of Xerox as a copier
company and instead hire it for a range
of business services. In an interview with
B&C Business Editor Jon Lafayette, Xerox
CMO Christa Carone talks about building
a new image for a well-known brand.
What were the marketing objectives
of the new campaign?
The objective of the campaign is really
to start to shift some of the legacy
perceptions of the Xerox brand and to
encourage people to think a bit more
broadly about Xerox, not just as a printer
company, but also a company that provides business services.
That strong brand image as a printer company is the
result of a history of strong television commercials.
It’s been 50 years since we launched the world’s first copier,
and certainly Xerox has been known for having pretty effective
TV advertising in the past. The copier itself was such a
breakthrough 50 years ago, and the marketing absolutely
helped to make it the successful product that it has been.
We haven’t done as much TV over the last couple of years,
but we are certainly back in the market now with this new
What insights guided the way you’re taking your
message to the market?
We do a lot of brand research, so we have a good sense
of brand perception amongst our targeted customers. But
more importantly Xerox completed a huge acquisition earlier
this year, a $6 billion acquisition of a services company
named Affi liated Computer Services, one of the biggest
companies that no one had heard of. They are behind the
scenes handling back-offi ce business services for a number
of Fortune 1000 companies, so they do things like claims reimbursement. They do a lot of the
Medicaid claims for state and local
government, student loan processing,
they run customer call centers. So we
knew that we needed to get back into
the marketplace to articulate the fact
that our company has transformed
itself significantly. Strategically, we’ve
been taking all the right steps to
change the company. Now we need to
align the marketing with what we’ve
already done on the business side.
How did you go about deciding the
media mix for the new campaign?
We work with Mediaedge as our global
media buying company, and they had a
clear idea of our target audience for this
and worked with a number of the different
media companies to look at what
they were offering. We then aligned it
with our target and our objectives for
the campaign. So on the media mix,
we knew we wanted it to be integrated,
that it wasn’t going to be solely dependent
on certain traditional media, that
we were looking for integration so that
we could better attract and appeal to the
audience we’re seeking here.
You’ll probably have television
in the mix going forward—is it a
bigger or smaller share?
Yes, television is a very meaningful share of the media mix
and the biggest that we’ve had in quite some time.
Is it mostly broadcast or cable?
I’d say it leans more towards cable, but there is definitely some
broadcast, like Sunday morning news shows and some affiliation
with sporting events like what you see with Notre Dame.
Can you find business decision-makers and C-suite
executives via television?
Is that a strength or weakness
That’s actually a strength for television, especially in today’s
economy where business people are constantly seeking more
information about what’s happening with the economy, with
regulatory reform. We’ve all seen that the likes of CNBC have
done very well during tumultuous times because people are
hungry for information. Business people in particular are hungry
for business information, so certain television plays well in
that regard for us with this particular target audience.
Any surprising choices where we'll see Xerox pop up, such as
at Notre Dame games?
That probably wasn't too surprising. I don't think there
will be any big surprises here if you're taking a look at B-to-B
[business-to-business] companies. What's different for us with this particular
campaign is again how integrated it is across a variety of media, digital, TV,
print, we've got a lot of paid search in there, we're doing a lot with out of
home and airport buys and it's complimented by a pretty rich Web experience. I
don't think you would be shocked by any of the media buys that we've done.
The campaign is integrated, but do specific media have
specific responsibilities for reach different audiences or carrying different
parts of the message?
With some of the digital we're going to get stronger metrics
there on engagement. And with TV you've got 30 seconds to introduce a message.
We hope it will drive some consideration to the Website but the whole time we
have looked at developing this campaign holistically. We never said we're going
to let TV ride the wave doing this, we're going to let print ride the wave
doing this. It was always with the combination of digital, print, TV, out of
home and the many interactions that our audience will see: Xerox what are we
trying to achieve? We knew it could only work if we were in multiple media
How do you measure the success of the campaign and which
parts are working?
We've created a dashboard for the campaign and it includes
some basic testing around, is the creative working, with both quantitative
testing and focus group testing around that. We did some focus group testing
before we launched the campaign just to test the creative. We'll continue doing
some 360-degree testing on the creative and whether or not it's having an
impact and whether we're getting the recall rates we'd like to achieve, and the
click through rates as it relates to the digital. So that is "is the creative
working and is the media mix working," but we'll also be doing broader brand
perception testing that basically looks at, are we meeting our objective here
of trying to shift some of the perceptions of the brand. And that's actually the
most meaningful of the testing because it starts to justify why we've chosen to
invest in this marketing.
When do you think you'll start to see movement on that
Well it's early days. This kind of stuff takes a long time.
If it's an initial 15-week run, it will continue in 2011. We'll do testing
probably every three to four months or so and hope that we do start to see the
needle move. But know that you have to be in the marketplace for quite a while
before you really start to see that shift, especially with such a
well-entrenched brand like Xerox.
As the campaign plays out, what do you want the takeaway to
be among business decision-makers?
I understand they'll still think of us in the printing realm
and we're not backing away from that business, it's still a core part of what
we do. But I'd also hope that their mind is open to considering Xerox on the
business services side as well. That they'll say, yeah, I think I remember that
you guys are also doing some finance and accounting services for Marriott, so
tell me more about what's happening there. So it's a continued acknowledgement
that we're a leader in printing in terms of printing technology, but also the
fact that we have as rich of a portfolio to offer in business services.
Are you still running advertising for the printing business?
With the same weight?
Same weight. It's mostly digital. Mostly online units
related to product sales.
So on TV it's all about business services?
We're all about the brand campaign that just launched.
Do you spend much time talking directly with media vendors?
I spend some time talking to media vendors.
What can media vendors do that would be valuable to you?
What I share with the media vendors is probably the same
thing that they hear from all of my colleagues, which is as much as I'm trying
integration in my campaign, I need them to drive integration across their
channels. So please do not have the print people come in unless they're also
talking to the digital folks. If there's a broadcast arm to that, let's tie
this all in together because if I'm talking to them it means their media
audience is already aligned with my target audience. I need to know that
they're as integrated on the mix side as I'm integrated on the campaign side.
And I love it when a property will come to me and say here's what I can do for
you in print, but by the way, here's what I can also do for you with a
sponsorship on a major conference that we're putting on, here's some of the
opportunities on special features that we're doing online, here's some
merchandising opportunities where we can bring an editor out to XYZ meeting.
The same thing applies on the broadcasting side.
Are you doing anything really new and experimental in this
One of the more innovative things that we're doing is with
out of home. And we are using more of these interactive billboards in airports
that have motion sensing technology and touch screen technology so they're not
static units, they're digital units and they're meant to grab your attention and
you're walking by and to have a call to action where you're touching a screen
and actually moving some of the imagery on the screen. You're engaging more
with the unit than a typical static out of home unit.
Did you think that was cool or did someone really sell you
on its effectiveness?
I'm hoping it's going to be both. Not only is there a cool
factor-an ‘I wasn't expecting that from Xerox' reaction-but that you do get
those levels of engagement and you absolutely can measure it too, which is nice
because it is built on a digital platform so I can get measurements of how much
engagement occurred. That's certainly not something I can get with a static
unit when people are just walking by. I don't have a good sense of, did you
walk by and read it and take that message with you, so it's definitely
experimental. It's brand new technology. A handful of other companies are
exploring it right now. And we'll see if it's something that we continue to
have in the mix going forward.