UK marketing leader supports the business to understand its outcomes in all sectors
The business model of CGI UK requires an internal focus that delivers new business, head of marketing Janine Bailey explained to TechMarketers, a completely different focus for a technology marketer.
"It's one of the best kept secrets in technology, but CGI is a very large brand that employs 77,000 people across North America, Europe and in the UK employs 5000.
"Every employee can purchase shares and the organisation share matches," Bailey says of the mutual like business model CGI operates. The systems integrator (SI) counts in the UK clients such as the Ministry of Defence, city councils, including Scotland's two largest Glasgow and Edinburgh, global bank HSBC and the Anglo-Dutch oil and energy firm Shell.
"We don't have a traditional sales team. The structure means that the business line VPs of CGI are responsible for new opportunities. As marketers, we have to make sure that our own members understand what we do as a business, what our brand is and the ethos. So we rarely do direct mail, email shots or advertising. Instead, networking, referrals and peers are how we get new business," she says.
The benefit of this model for CGI is the reduced overhead of running a sales team. "It means you don't have that split between those doing the sale and those doing the delivery," she says of how a VP sells and then sees a project through to fruition.
"CGI has a client proximity model so that the front end of the relationship is managed by someone who is very close to the client and for the client that means they are talking to someone who knows their business."
Bailey says this model works well for an organisation like CGI as they are not selling "commodity" technology or services. "It's a long term relationship and that is what we want."
It is the business lines that chose events they wish to be at or marketing activities they believe will deliver results. The CMO describes this as the business line owning the activity, with full support from the marketing team.
"Part of the role and that of the whole global marketing team at CGI is to make sure that our people have access to information and great examples of what we do." This involves ensuring that each of the business line VPs are aware of project successes and outcomes in different business lines. As a result every VP at CGI is aware of how a technology implementation can be taken from one vertical market to another.
"There was a lot of synergies across our business lines, so one of the tasks we have taken on in marketing is to educate internally," and a range of methods are used to communicate to everyone at CGI. As with traditional outbound marketing material, Bailey and her team are using a broad range of methods. These range from single page case studies, through to videos and podcasts. And the release of the material is just as well as planned as if it was going out to potential customers.
"The challenge is always to take the stories from across the business and distill them down to something that is fast to consume and that people will use," she says. "Don't rely on one channel, you may be able to guarantee that 60% of the audience will use it, but you cannot lose the 40%, so it is always about using different routes and don't be afraid to try new methods. Our workforce means we have a real mix of ages and that applies to our clients as well," she says.
To ensure that the end client is receiving the insight Bailey and her team are creating CGI UK carries out regular surveys with clients that asks how well CGI has demonstrated the technology. "I get measured on that rather than on new leads," she says. "It is about supporting the revenue generation."
Builders not buyers
As a systems integrator CGI builds many of its own marketing technologies to meet its unique model.
Bailey began her career in publishing with the world famous shipping insurance business Lloyds of London, moving into marketing has given her a broad experience in both the technology sector and beyond it with stints in financial services as well as technology majors such as GE, agencies before joining CGI in 21012 as Director of Communications.