A fifth consecutive year for the Business Value Exchange (BVEx) proves the value of an agile style of corporate marketing: it continues to deliver the ultimate return by enabling regional marketing teams to roll out integrated global and local campaigns and engage with their company’s target customers. BVEx as an exemplar of modern content marketing was recently written up in Marketing Review magazine, published by the University of St. Gallen, famous in Switzerland for its research in the fields of business administration, economics, law and international affairs.
Back in 2013, when BVEx was conceived, the Enterprise Services arm of technology giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) wanted to highlight the pervasiveness of digital technology and to position itself as the trusted partner for digital transformation. The company’s marketing team looked for new and unconventional ways to achieve that goal and to engage a variety of stakeholders and voices in discussion about digital.
The BVEx portal launched as a partnership between HP Enterprise Services (HPES) and global tech media company, IDG. To date, it has lived through – and supported – three major organizational and brand changes: from HP to Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE); and most recently in April 2017, to DXC Technology when HPES merged with another global IT Services player, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).
...the Business Value Exchange (BVEx) proves the value of an agile style of corporate marketing: it continues to deliver the ultimate return by enabling regional marketing teams to roll out integrated global and local campaigns and engage with their company’s target customers.
With digital touching every part of the value chain, the original HPES marketing team wanted to create a knowledge-sharing platform for their clients by engaging their own experts. The model remains compelling and relevant: Chief Technologists, industry consultants and service offering leaders regularly create and share content through blogging, Tweet chats and discussion threads on the BVEx LinkedIn Group.
The learning experience of the Global IT Services giant – at different times HP/HPE/DXC – in working with thousands of clients on their digital transformation journeys proved the inspiration and incentive to connect with customers. As Natasha Sandoval, who conceived and led the launch of BVEx as Head of Content and Digital in EMEA, points out: “Our experts know what works and what doesn’t. Why wouldn't we share our knowledge and expertise with customers and prospects on BVEx?”
This ethos encapsulates and transfers the essence of successful digital models to content creation: opinions and knowledge on the opportunities and risks of transformation are shared on the site and debated directly with the BVEx community. Bringing credibility to the BVEx brand is the presence of Editor, Helen Beckett, an independent and highly experienced IT and business journalist who has curated content and marshaled debate from the outset.
Our experts know what works and what doesn’t. Why wouldn't we share our knowledge and expertise with customers and prospects on BVEx?
Reflecting the cross-industry discussions of digital, Helen brought a network and perspectives gleaned from her experience in business, IT and educational publishing, including the Guardian Media Group, Times Educational Supplement and computer press. Helen was joined in 2016 by Community Engagement Manager Ginevra Adamoli-Kalibri, a PhD in mass communications, with a brief to increase social engagement.
Also generating value and debate is a pool of guest bloggers from industry, business and academia. BVEx voices include the likes of Cristina Álvarez, CIO of Telefónica; Christian Catalini, Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management and Richard Corbridge, Health CIO for the Irish Government. Richard has blogged on a variety of topics, including the value of open data and creating consumer experience for patients and citizens.
BVEx has responded to the appetite for dynamic digital content and, recognizing that Europe is not one homogeneous market when it comes to digital, in year two the portal expanded to Germany, Spain, France and Italy. Local chapters of editors and community managers now work together to ensure the BVEx experience is relevant, credible and authentic for target customers across Europe.
In all these countries BVEx provides the platform upon which content can be quickly created and published, working with local Enterprise Services (now DXC) experts and regional IDG editorial teams. Germany, Spain, France and Italy use their own market-specific tactics to promote content and engage with the local audience. As Gerhard Haberstroh, Marketing Manager in Germany, explains: “The agility BVEx provides the marketing team in implementing campaigns is extremely important, especially in a time of continuous change.”
Among topics regularly covered are customer experience, innovation of business models, cybersecurity, digital government and citizen engagement. Transformation in industries including manufacturing, banking, travel and transportation, oil and gas and many others are all covered, so that BVEx community members can learn from each other across industries, a vital competitive tool.
The agility BVEx provides the marketing team in implementing campaigns is extremely important, especially in times of continuous change.
And if readers are genuinely interested in the topic, they engage in discussions and join user groups on social media, stresses DXC’s Regional MarCom leader, Jan Gladziejewski. “That’s a start of a wonderful friendship, because social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, are highly efficient means of keeping in permanent, qualified and personal contact with our current and future clients.”
To make interactions more dynamic and increase relevance and depth of content for their audience, BVEx repeatedly creates content partnerships with business and trade publications, such as The Economist, Financial Times, CIO Magazine and also the MIT Sloan School of Management. “In other words, we tackle a relevant topic together, bring the outside-HPE perspectives and deepen the discussion,” adds Natasha.
...social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, are highly efficient means of keeping in permanent, qualified and personal contact with our current and future clients.
To bridge the gap between digital and physical, BVEx also engages with customers and community in local events and places. Helen and Ginevra, for example, traveled to Discover London to report on keynotes, conduct interviews and meet with community members. Additionally, the content team attends press briefings, meets customers and speaks with Chief Technologists and client executives.
Working together as a community to explore digital issues and impacts is how BVEx acquires new followers, recruits authors and positions competent experts. A win-win situation for all involved.