An interview with:
Jan Gladziejewski – Marketing and communications expert
Vice President, Regional Marketing and Communications – DXC Technology
Marketing Director, Enterprise Services EMEA – Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Marketing Director, Enterprise Services EMEA – HP
In your current or previous position as a marketer, what experience do you have in communication and explaining a complex business, subject, product or service?
JG: Marketing for technology has been perceived to be complex as there’s a lot of subject matter knowledge that you need to deploy the technology. However, it’s not necessarily complex if you describe the value it creates for the customer within your customer’s comfort zone.
Can you give an example of a project where you have successfully communicated a complex subject in a simple way to your primary audience? Tell us about the approach you took and your successes?
JG: We have a program called the Business Value Exchange, which is a “power blog,” a news center for the people that want to learn about accelerating their digital transformations – a topic that everyone is interested in at the moment.
How do you use technologies for digitizing your business or changing your business model?
JG: The Business Value Exchange provides insight into what other people have done, expert advice on how you could structure your project; it provides real-life examples, it is an inspirational online magazine that brings our company’s point of view across, and adds other parties’ point of view and advice. So we talk about something that is complex but makes it relevant to the audience, addressing what they want to know.
On a recent large customer event, we focused on examples of how other customers “have done it.” By providing experience and structure how to address issues, you can show how to make your problems smaller for you to solve. That takes the perceived complexity out.
…the personal approach is really important; a direct conversation or indirectly getting the information from the Account leaders is very effective.
When working in a particularly complex industry, how have you gained insight to your audience’s knowledge and understanding of your business, subject, product or service? What approach have you found most effective?
JG: We are living in a “big data” world, which helps a lot. But still the personal approach is really important; a direct conversation or indirectly getting the information from the Account leaders is very effective. You have to talk to the people and understand what their specific business needs are and what could be a joint project.
Again, when thinking about working in a particularly complex industry, how have you tailored communications to multiple stakeholders? How did you tackle this, what techniques did you apply and what did you find most effective?
JG: You should understand what each stakeholder is particularly interested in and ensure you start with that.
How have you measured the success of your communications? What measurement methods have you found most effective?
JG: I would like to hear from other people how they do that!
One of my mottos is, “in the case of doubt ask the customer.” Last year we did a survey together with a leading market research firm, and we asked our target audiences, “what did you hear from us?”, “what arrived?”. That was interesting, almost surprising to see how close their responses were to what we had promoted over the course of the year. So, no doubt, that’s success.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a fellow marketer working in a complex industry?
JG: Don’t talk about yourself. Talk about your clients.
Thanks Jan. It’s great to talk to you and hear your thoughts and experiences of making complex simple.
View the Business Value Exchange project that features in this Q&A.