“Mktg for a brand like Xerox is multi-faceted & is targeted at partners”

Xerox is today the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. Xerox stands for innovation, quality products and solutions, customer satisfaction and technology excellence.

Marketing for a brand like Xerox is multi-faceted and is targeted at partners, C-suite executives; particularly the CIO community as well as business decision-makers in SMBs. The audience is in segments, therefore, it is important to have the right marketing mix to aptly reach out to these audiences. And it is a combination of ATL, BTL, on-ground activation, channel support, PR and social that we use to drive our messages along with our value proposition to customers and partners.

At Xerox India, we have two distinct business lines – Technology & Channels (T&C) and Document Outsourcing Services where we focus on. Xerox also has another business unit – Xerox Services (formerly ACS) which is the BPO and ITO arm but currently they are focussed on serving clients that are based in US, Canada, Europe and Mexico.

Under the Technology & Channels portfolio, Xerox offers the widest range – from entry-level desktop devices to high-end production equipment while under the Document Services portfolio we offer world-class document management services for enterprises. As the audiences and our value proposition to them is different, we have to differentiate the way we connect with them. We have a network of over 300 channel partners reaching out to top 200 cities selling Xerox products and solutions. For our channel partners, we want to be the partner of choice and to this effect we have launched a comprehensive channel programme consisting to twelve channel levers which equip and enable our partners to win in the market and grow. The 12 channel levers include a comprehensive channel value proposition, channel on-boarding process, business planning tools, training programmes, rewards and recognition programs, communication platforms and feedback programmes, etc., all designed to help the partners to plan and grow their business.

Xerox works very closely with its partners, organising co-branded marketing activities and events with partners especially to reach out to customers going beyond Metros down to tier II and III cities. We host partner engagement programs like Xerox Partners League (XPL), an annual property and this has been extremely successful. At XPL, we recognise top performing partners for their outstanding contribution and commitment to brand Xerox. This year we had over 120 partners assembling at the XPL 2013 held in Kovalam.

Marketing of our services offering involves a much deeper engagement. We look at much more personalised and direct contact programmes, as well as events where we can share the value Xerox offerings brings to them and how it can transform the efficiency, profitability of their business while providing a competitive edge and improved customer experience. For this we use a multitude of initiatives like CXO events, account-based programmes, participation in symposiums/ workshops, analyst relationship building, etc. The whole purpose it to be able to communicate the value proposition from Xerox improve awareness and understanding of Xerox offerings and its transformational impact on their business that in turn can make the task of our sales and business development teams easier. For this, we have also created an annual property “Xerox CXO Dialogues” wherein we engage with industry leading CIO-CXO’s on one platform.

Furthermore we have leveraged the Media and public relations to showcase the value proposition that Xerox offers to its customers and stakeholders in India across our Product offerings, Document Management Services, IT and Business Process Outsourcing Services and Xerox Research Centre in India. To sum up, with an established industry leading product portfolio for office and graphics arts community, Document Management and rapidly growing services business Xerox is transforming itself into a Services-Led, Technology-Driven Company. The strategy is working well for us and this will lead us to the Xerox of the future.

How does the brand reach out to consumers?
Xerox being a B2B company, our focus is not on consumers but on our customers and our channel partners. For our customers we essentially try to take away their pain in handling their back-end operations like documentation management leaving them one less thing to worry about so that they can focus on their real business which is about getting new customers and growing their business. And while doing so we also deliver them higher efficiency, faster response times leading to better customer satisfaction, complete visibility of their documentation management costs, better productivity and efficiency which still delivering lower costs. We believe that the partners are the face of the company to the customers and that they should have the knowledge of the entire Xerox portfolio. As a result of which there is a proper induction when a new partner joins us. We provide them with all the necessary training, inventories, etc. to make sure that the channel partners are satisfied and are able to deliver. They are our extended team and are the interface between Xerox solutions and our customers.

Today, one channel partner has the knowledge of the complete portfolio of Xerox offerings and goes to the consumer solving all their queries. Xerox has also appointed Partner Business Managers and each such manager has 3-4 channel partners under him and the PBMs are responsible for solving all the queries, problems and requirements of the respective channel partners. So Xerox reaches out to the end consumers completely through the channel partners. Today, the channel partners of Xerox don’t just sell boxes, but solutions. After sales service is also a major service that we provide through channel partners.

Can you share with us some emerging consumer trends?
Some of the emerging trends that Xerox foresees in the Indian market are customised printing, affordable printing solutions, optimized printing, document management services and 3D printing. 3D printing is a key consumer trend which is picking up due to its capacity to service various industries and verticals. It is used across industries like design, medicine and retail to name a few. It might take some time before it could be commercialised but then the speed of adoption and evolution could surprise us.

Also, in this age of digitisation, enterprises are shifting their focus into document management services and it is slowly but steadily gaining ground at the enterprise level. Further, there are a lot of new trends emerging in the document management space itself, few of them being mobility, security, integration and the option of storing data in the cloud. Through document management services, the consumers can today access data from anywhere making it mobile and integrating all information in the digital form. Such services are also very secure in nature prompting its adoption in a large scale.

Besides this, a noticeable trend would be consumer opting for one stop solutions i.e. one product doing most of their jobs rather than different set of printers for different jobs.

What are the challenges you face in the Indian market?
Firstly, B2B marketers have a tendency to fall behind that curtain of a more traditional, very formal marketing approach. We tend to take the philosophy that there’s a person who influences every business decision and we should be communicating with that individual. We try to make our communications more personalised, informal and engaging in order to make that connection on a personal level. At the heart of this quest for relevance has been defining exactly what it is that Xerox does, taking the peripheral but essential business processes out of the hands of clients so they can get on with what they do best – “real business”.

Secondly, we bel
ieve that our Services business has huge potential to grow! Educating the enterprises and making them realize the relevance of optimized document usage and its benefits have to take place. Document management is one of the most neglected parts in most organisations in spite of the crucial role it plays in enabling operations and its contribution to productivity and efficiency of the organisation. The reasons are evident – the ownership in split across functions, costs is not visible and impact on organisational efficiency and productivity not measured. By taking control of the end-to-end processes for each document, applying Six Sigma methodologies, processes and using market-leading solutions and services, we ensure that the entire lifecycle of documents is managed using appropriate technology in adherence to appropriate standards. What most enterprises do not realise is that the costs of having a fragmented, decentralised document strategy are staggering. It’s more than simply paying too much to create, manage and produce documents.

Thirdly, this year we are celebrating 75 years of Xerography worldwide and we have transformed much beyond photocopying. As the documentation industry evolved, we took a conscious decision to stop manufacturing of standalone photocopiers in India drive the digitisation of the documents. We have now evolved further to become the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. However, the halo effect still remains and some people continue to remember us due to the fond memories of the best in class copiers that we provided.

While it is gratifying that people continue to remember us for our products, we also have a task to make them aware of new Xerox and the services it offers. An immediate shift is mind-set is challenging but we are working towards educating the target audience about the gamut of solution and service offerings from Xerox. This is where all our brand building activities are focused on and we want to reach out as many CIOs and business decision-makers possible with the portfolio of solution and services.