Archive for the 'Internal Communications' Category

Disney Shares the Secret of Happiness

February 6, 2014

Mention the word happiness and usually two brands come to mind, one of which is Disney (you’ve likely already thought of the other). Disney maintains this association through consistently delivering great experiences for all their stakeholders — an expertise they now provide to other companies through their own  consulting institute.  We are pleased to have Jeff James, general manager of the Disney Institute, at BRITE ’14 to talk about how companies can become leaders in providing happy experiences.

This little-known training and consulting arm of Disney was started almost 30 years ago, and the company now works with a wide range of organizations from Chevrolet to Florida Hospital. While the overall goal of most projects is to improve the brand experience, much of its activity is focused on the leadership and training efforts that are necessary to drive this kind of organizational change.

James writes regularly for his corporate blog, and a recent post focused in particular on what helps drive inspiration and creativity both as an individual and within an organization – key elements to sustaining happiness in life and work. He offers some sage advice about thinking small, “Remember that creativity is not always about the ‘big ideas.’ The biggest majority of the creative work you can do today is around incremental improvements that arise from the creativity surrounding the projects you are working on daily.”

When working with companies, it isn’t as if Disney can just wave a magic wand and immediately transform a company’s brand experience. As James told the New York Times, “Companies come in and say, ‘Just make my employees smile more,’ but you can’t take Disney and just plug it in. We can advise them on how to change, but the heavy lifting is theirs.”

We look forward to hosting James on our BRITE ’14 panel, “Possessions or Experiences: What Makes You Happier?” which includes perspectives from the worlds of business, economics, urban planning, and branding, on how organizations can, and should, contribute to the happiness of citizens, consumers, and society.

REGISTER NOW for BRITE ’14, March 3-4, Columbia University, New York, NY


Case Study: Developing a Culture to Run Marketing As a Business

May 10, 2013

SAP Run Marketing as a Business Part IAs 2010 approached, SAP found itself in a critical position. The competition was evolving to be leaner and more targeted. Customers were becoming more knowledgeable, demanding and price sensitive. SAP’s image was quickly becoming outdated, and there was a growing rift between employees and upper management that threatened to pull the organization apart. A new case study by Matthew Quint of the Center on Global Brand Leadership, Run Marketing as a Business: The Transformation of SAP Marketing, is a two-part study that delves into how SAP’s leadership worked to reinvigorate the company and how SAP Marketing evolved into a department focused on culture and ROI-driven results.

The financial crisis of 2008 impacted SAP and other enterprise resource planning providers in three major ways: it sharply contracted IT investments, it changed the ways that companies evaluated and purchased ERP services, and spawned a powerful new competitor in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Spencer Osborn from Ogilvy notes, “…There is an increasing trend of ‘prosumer’ purchasing behavior in the business IT sector. Google, Apple, and others brought simplicity to the IT interface and professionals now expect the same for business software.” The business was becoming more and more complex, and traditional methods of product management and marketing were no longer applicable.

Amidst these business and consumer challenges, SAP’s Board brought in new co-CEO’s, Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott, who quickly set ambitious goals for SAP: generate a revenue target of €20B, create an operating margin of 35%, and reach 1 billion people with SAP technology and services.

The CEO’s broke from tradition and focused on expanded SAP’s portfolio of offerings through mergers and acquisitions. Simultaneously, SAP Marketing developed a strategy to transform SAP’s image to a more innovative, dynamic and approachable company. In 2011, Jonathan Becher was appointed CMO, and immediately began driving a platform effectively combining both the art and science of marketing. He elaborated, “[I]… think ‘business first, marketing second.’ From that comes a mantra that marketing is a business, not just a division that supports a business.”

SAP Run Marketing as a Business Part IIBecher recognized that SAP Marketing was excellent at communicating clear messages that grew brand awareness, but he wanted to institute an approach that would align his team to build a culture that supported a measurable SAP Marketing strategy with overall company goals. Thus, SAP Marketing developed 5 key “transformation pillars” to drive all future marketing activities. By using these pillars as guide posts, Becher and SAP Marketing set to update SAP’s image to match its new and expanded product portfolio. Key performance indicators (KPIs) were created to measure marketing outcomes, rather than marketing activities. To further align incentives and encourage staff members to work together, bonuses were tied to achieving the 10 collective KPI’s.

SAP Marketing’s changes led Paul Greenberg, a customer relationship management and technology author, to declare, “SAP has transformed their company from…a highly traditional, conservative, closed company, to an open innovative, accessible organization…”

Learn how SAP Marketing was able to revitalize SAP’s brand against target business metrics and read more about how they plan to continue moving forward in today’s dynamic business environment in the new case study.

Download Run Marketing as a Business Part 1 and Part II.

By Matthew Quint

%d bloggers like this: