Marketer 2 marketer

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Simon Morris, marketing director of Adobe Systems in the UK, asks: You were recently quoted as saying that irrelevance is the ultimate “dissatisfier” when it comes to marketing – hence brands must offer engaging, personalised and relevant marketing experiences in order to compete. How is Xerox harnessing the engaging power of personalised social media and demonstrating tangible online ROI to the board?

Christa Carone (CC): When you’re a consumer company driving social media engagement, you connect with consumers in a different way. We use social media more on the thought leadership and relationship building sense. Because we’ve been so empowered by social media, we don’t limit the number of participants in it, so we have 42 Twitter feeds by design. Other companies prefer to have only one or two because they want to speak to the masses. But because of the way we market through a relationship-based approach, having more Twitter feeds allows us to be much more targeted in our communications.

I also think that a much more democratic approach to social media has driven more personalisation. It was definitely a conscious strategy of ours to adopt a ‘more the merrier’ approach, which is a little bit more difficult to control, but we don’t really have to control it too tightly as we have guidelines in place.

I am able to see more of a tangible return on investment through some our digital advertising and the direct leads that this brings to us. But to be honest, I cannot point directly to a tangible ROI on social media.

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Paul Davies, director of marketing communications at Microsoft UK, asks: What do you consider to be the biggest challenge facing technology marketers right now?

CC: There’s no doubt that marketers are overwhelmed by the number of communication channels available and that consumers are overwhelmed with the massive amount of information that’s coming their way. But they’re in control, so they can choose to ignore the massive amount of information and go right to friends and family for recommendations, using their social media channels to make decisions or recommendations.

For any marketer, whether it’s technology or not, the biggest challenge is cutting through the clutter.

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