The IT major’s global CMO talks exclusively to Storyboard18 about the evolving role of a modern marketer
Two years ago, global IT services major Capgemini launched a new brand promise of ‘Get the future you want’. Ever since, every marketing strategy, business plan and product they have planned is around this promise they made to their clients and communities. Virginie Regis, chief marketing and communications officer and member of the Group Executive Committee at Capgemini tells Storyboard18 that companies, regardless of the sector they operate in, should focus on being purpose-led. Regis also talks about the evolving role of a marketer, the use of AI and ML, the metaverse and more, in an exclusive interaction with us.
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The pandemic changed a lot of things for marketers across the board. What are the key changes in marketing strategies that took place in these two years and are here to stay, in your view?
I'd like to call out three major trends. The first one is how as marketers we need to make our companies purpose-led so that the brand is recognized for its purpose. It isn’t about focusing on profit-making only. Adding ethics and social purpose at all levels is very important. It applies to all your targets, whether it’s your clients, partners or talent that you are trying to attract and retain. So that’s a major trend that is bringing in some new dimensions to what we need to deliver.
The second one that I’d like to highlight is Martech. Understanding how much technology applies to marketing and how much of it actually enriches the dimensions that you need to deal with is important. Being a data-driven marketer is a necessity in today’s time. It’s all about enriching your capabilities in order to boost your output. It is one thing to have the data but then what you do with it, and how you leverage it makes all the difference.
Lastly, creating human links between the targets, again both on the client and the talent side is of utmost importance. For us at Capgemini, this emotional link between the company and its stakeholders is really important. It’s very important to enrich each section with experience, with trust, confidence and loyalty.
Do you have any new big marketing campaigns that you are planning for the new fiscal year? How do you see the rest of the year and 2023 shaping up for Capgemini?
We like to lead all our campaigns with our signature which is ‘Get the future you want’. We believe that the business we’re in is not just about leveraging tech for the sake of it but also thinking about the next step and the final outcome of what we deliver. It is important to note what technology brings to the table. We launched our brand promise of ‘Get the future you want’ in late 2020 and what we like about it is that it resonates with both our clients and our people.
All the campaigns that we are running and will run in the future whether it is to attract clients or talents will be showing the breadth of what we can do and what we can deliver. While we are known for being a tech company we have so much more to offer. The beauty of technology today is that it’s actually behind any kind of project and transformation. Therefore, all of the campaigns we have, show what we can deliver.
A strong people proposition that delivers on our brand promise helps us establish credibility as an aspirational employer and stand out, so we can compete effectively for the best talent. And hence, it is important that we communicate our brand promise to potential recruits and our existing employees and answer the question “Why should I join – or stay at – Capgemini?”
Do you believe in onboarding any agency to handle your marketing communications or is it more of an in-house function for the company?
Each and every CMO has that question coming up at some point or the other. The target is always to build best-in-class marketing and communication functions. So how do you do that? You have people in-house and you have agencies.
According to me, there’s no one solution fitting everything. On one side we are dealing with building world-class talent in-house to cover all the aspects of what you are dealing with, and the list is getting bigger every day. An agency can only be good if you brief them well.
An agency can bring lots of creativity and technical expertise in terms of media buying, however at some point you cannot be an expert on everything and since we are dealing with very moving technology in marketing, one also needs to keep up with the latest technology and how to leverage it. You need to find a balance of where to find good creativity, technical expertise and also a very good internal team to support the agency. I often say that you get the agency you deserve, which means an agency can only be good if you brief them well.
As part of the organisation, we are in the best position to know what is going to be meaningful for other functions as marketing and communications does not work in isolation, we closely work with other functions of the organization. It is also essential to have an outside-in thinking. The key is to find the right balance between in-house and external world class talent. At Capgemini, we work with a mix of in-house talent as well as world class agencies to deliver the best insights and creativity.
The tech industry is facing a talent crunch. How does the intersection of tech and marketing talent hold up in comparison? What are your views on talent engagement and employee retention plans at Capgemini?
Building the best-in-class marketing and comms functions is certainly in the minds of every marketing and comms leader. I call out four ingredients which to me are key to be able to build such a function. I think you need to attract the best, lock the best and then retain the best. And I think a lot of that has to do with your company’s purpose but also company strategy. When you are working for a company that is growing every day, a company with a purpose is obviously more appealing.
Your strategy in terms of image building is also crucial here. How you want people to perceive you is important. Alongside that, what you are offering your talent also has a major role to play. It is important you help your employees figure out what is the piece of a jigsaw they are working on and how it is that they are contributing to the bigger picture. If you can help your talent with these answers, it brings in much more dimension to everything you do on a daily basis. You have to put yourself in their shoes. It is really all about caring for your people and helping them set a target and purpose within the company that promises tangible career growth.
What are you doing differently at Capgemini in comparison to your peers and industry? Anything specific, you would like to share with us.
I think I’d have to link that back to talent. Our talent is what sets us apart. We came up with a very unique value proposition for our employees which I think they value a lot.
Our focus is on enhancing employee experience across all roles. We have worked together with the business side of our organisation and with HR as well to put forward this narrative to clients as well as talents. We have started a hybrid work culture that applies to everyone across roles and levels.
The last thing that I want to call out is this entrepreneurial culture of Capgemini which is very specific. So of course, you belong to an organization but there’s a lot left to the individual to bring intelligence in everything that he or she covers on a daily basis. This is a very important part of our DNA and this is one reason that keeps getting our employees back to us even after parting ways.
What is your opinion on Metaverse? Is this a trend that is here to stay? What are the implications for marketers when it comes to adoption of these new technologies?
The metaverse presents a compelling case for marketers. Immersive experiences, powered by virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR), or even mixed reality, will soon offer customers enhanced experiences and allow organizations to make the most of their creativity and reach to engage target audiences in an immersive way. This will enable brands to create more emotional connections with their customers.
From a business standpoint at Capgemini, we have announced a major partnership with Unity which is a leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content and are joining forces to help organizations everywhere explore and seize business opportunities and benefits of immersive and metaverse experiences across industries. As part of this new multi-year global partnership alliance, we will be defining approaches and methodologies, and conduct joint R&D projects as part of the Capgemini Metaverse Lab, jointly contributing to the building of the future metaverse and Web3. We’d be supporting each other in terms of business development, solution development and sales initiatives alongside taking up training across levels. With the partnership we will be able to focus on sectors and use cases where the digital customers or employee experiences will benefit most. Some of these sectors include consumer goods and retail, manufacturing, life sciences, telecommunications, media and technology, energy and utilities, financial services and public services.
The partnership is actually the proof of our commitment in this new channel, to the markets. From a marketing and communication function point of view I see a lot of opportunity here to enrich the experience of both our clients and talents.
At the same time, I’d say this is not going to replace anything but will be another add on aid that CMOs should certainly look at and consider. It’s definitely more work for the CMO but it is indeed a helpful additional tool in the basket to reach out to more and more people, markets and businesses.
AI and ML driving forces behind personalisation and customer experience in marketing — what are your views?
Technology like AI and machine learning definitely help marketers gain insights from large quantities of data to predict what customers want, when they want it and their preferred method of communication. Marketers can enhance user experience for end users by giving them exactly what they want throughout their entire journeys. These are sort of insights that help you to understand your customers better and develop empathy. Like I have mentioned before, once you have data you should know how to put it to best use. We’ve seen how our sales colleagues have used these strong insights built and curated from all the data to understand customers and offer them only something that is relevant for them.
Given your involvement with the World Rugby Team we’d want to know a little about the company’s interest in sports and how you plan to use it as a marketing avenue?
This has been a major part of our marketing plan this year. We are proud to sponsor global sports events that celebrate our values of team spirit and fun – as well as our commitment to build a diverse, inclusive and sustainable future, fostered by innovation.
Through associations with major brands and sporting events across the world, we bring our technology, digital, and innovation expertise to the most prestigious events – enhancing both performance, and the fan experience.
Capgemini is currently the only company to sponsor both the International Federation and two of World Rugby’s major international competitions: Rugby World Cup 2023 and the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Through its deep technology expertise, Capgemini will support the tournament’s management systems and play an instrumental role in the delivery of results including the men’s and women’s World Rugby Rankings.
In addition, over the coming three years, Capgemini will work with World Rugby to enhance the digital experience for fans and coaches by applying its market-leading capabilities in data analysis, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud.
We have also become a partner to the prestigious Ryder Cup, working with Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA of America to adapt, master, and apply the latest innovations in technology to golf through the lens of precision and accuracy. And we’ve signed a multi-year partnership with Peugeot Sport to provide the PEUGEOT 9X8 FIA World Endurance Championship program team with advanced digital tools.
Technology is now an integral part of the way fans consume sports. The digitisation of sport and the fan experience can strengthen engagement, building brand value and driving new avenues of growth.
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)