Keeping Quiet About Conduent – Xerox’s Marketing Strategy
Xerox spinoff company Conduent touches about two-thirds of American households in some way, but almost no one has ever heard of it. And that’s the plan: keep it anonymous and yet make it the best while doing so. Xerox and Conduent’s chief marketing officer, John Kennedy, has expressed the company’s goal to make Conduent “synonymous with creating terrific experiences between businesses and governments and the people they serve.” But he’s also let it be known that they don’t want consumers to be aware of the brand.
Conduent is a business-process-outsourcing company, and as such, they deal with the medical benefits of nearly 67% of insured Americans, working in 15 states. They also work with nearly 40% of benefit recipients of worker’s compensation, many who use state and federal agencies to receive and distribute child support payments, and almost 50% of highway toll booths – including the payment of tolls and red-light tickets through the mail.
Kennedy, whose experience covers more than two decades working with IBM and Xerox, said: “The question, as a marketer, is whether we want them to know it is us. We’re happy to be invisible. If we’re invisible, that means that interaction went terrific.” Kennedy is now moving from Xerox to Conduent exclusively, and he’s also bringing in Karen Cleeve as communications director along with about 60 marketers. Cleeve previously was the chief communications officer for NRG.
Conduent’s marketing plan moving forward is with the 19 industries currently served by Conduent using video, white papers, content marketing, and infographics explaining what the brand can do for their businesses. The staff will make a strong showing at various 2017 industry events such as Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress being held in Montreal, and the Orlando, Florida healthcare conference HIMSS.
Prior to conferences and events, Conduent will run print and television ads produced by Young & Rubicam, but only for long enough to create a buzz. Text100, Scrum 50, VSA Partners, and Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv will all play a part in developing and presenting the buzz-worthy press. Kennedy said: “I would hesitate to call anybody an agency of record. They’re all a part of our agency team, and these days, you don’t go to one agency. They all do good work.”
Ultimately, they want more coverage for the company. “Hopefully, over time, people will say, ‘Oh I’ve heard of Conduent. They’re the spinoff from Xerox. To me as a marketer and communications person, this is a dream come true,” Kennedy continued.
For now, they are perfectly happy flying under the radar, perfecting their processes and doing a lot of good while avoiding any negative reviews. Considering the industries they work in, that’s a great result. “Going through a toll, processing a claim, getting a payment, getting help on a customer care line, finding a parking space – those are things that the faster they go, the happier you are.” Kennedy is right about that, those things don’t attract attention when things go well, but when they don’t, it can be a PR nightmare.
Xerox has used agencies including The Hoffman Agency & Text 100.