Between Google’s third-party cookie phase out (finally) and the generative AI boom, there are many changes facing the marketing and advertising industry this year.
It’s a lot for any marketer to keep up with, let alone the chief marketing officer at a 117-year-old legacy company like Xerox, an office equipment brand. But it’s exactly what CMO Deena LaMarque Piquion has on her to-do list this year, in addition to boosting brand awareness with the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs.
“My personal resolution in regard to marketing is to incorporate more AI and personalization into what we do,” she said on the most recent episode of the Digiday Podcast.
It’s only within the past year that Xerox has ramped up its advertising efforts, in line with America’s return to the office. And as 2024 gets underway, the office equipment brand must grapple with the post-pandemic, new work normal, generative AI and more. On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, we caught up with Piquion to learn more about Xerox’s AI strategy, marketing to the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs, and what it means to keep a 100-plus-year-old brand relevant.
Below are highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
The push for personalization with AI
In 2024, we’re really doubling down on the demand generation and especially some cross-sell opportunities that we have. We have a huge base of clients that we already serve, that already trust us with all of their print needs. We’re behind the firewalls in these companies. We’re managing their secure data and information. So now, what we need to do is make sure that they’re aware of the new products and offerings that we have. Using AI in a way that helps us segment and target the right clients in the right vertical industries where we have integrated applications or software with industry standard apps, that’s where we want to use AI. It’s going to really help us there. And then of course, content creation and personalization is another big area for us to use AI.
AI with human oversight
Everything has to be measured and governed, especially when you deal with data. In marketing, we deal with a lot of sensitive data. So that’s a big concern, of course. But we do have an AI Council, a governance council within Xerox — an overarching council with regard to AI in general. Then, we also have a marketing AI Council that’s experimenting with different techniques and tactics. We also have a team internally at Xerox that manages data and AI internally for us. You need human oversight to make sure that what you’re doing is authentic, that it’s within brand guidelines, that it’s really the tone of the brand and the campaign that we have in place already.
Brand awareness vs. direct response
There’s always a very delicate balancing act between performance marketing that you can measure really closely versus the brand awareness. What we tried to do in 2023 — and what we’re still doing in 2024, to some extent — is making sure that we have that balance. In 2023, it was more of a 50/50 split between brand awareness and demand [generation] and performance marketing. In 2024, we’ve shifted a little bit less on the brand awareness, because we’ve reintroduced the brand, and a little bit higher on some of the demand [generation] and performance marketing tactics.
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