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Situation Overview

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While HCL had been doing well, we were keeping a close eye on the business challenges that required a specific and differentiated effort apart from the regular marketing efforts like in the previous years. The RBtC campaign was structured from the ground-up to deal with these challenges. Our inside-out analysis pointed to the following challenges:

  1. Commoditization –Given the almost complete absence of information asymmetry, B2B consumers are increasingly demanding benchmarked products and services and are unlikely to experiment with un-established platforms and unproven technological models. As a result, they face a deluge of marketing messages but most of these communications offer similar services and technologies wrapped around different creative messages. Providers are differentiating themselves either on superior product/service, or superior price. International bellwethers generally advertise the former while Indian outsourcers are known to excel with the latter. At HCL, we identified ourselves with neither of these differentiators. Time and again, our customers and broader market had indicated that we excelled when it came to ‘how’ we provided services rather than ‘what’ these services or price points were. The RBtC campaign had to firmly position us in the ‘relationship’ realm.

  2. The Infra ‘Dilemma’ – while HCL’s Infrastructure Management Services division was the company’s most powerful and profitable business it also led to Brand cloaking – HCL was increasingly getting known as an Infra player only. Moreover, while we were going from strength to strength in Infra, most of the growth was coming from the churn market which was a limited window of opportunity [Data 1.8]. An unbalanced portfolio is a high risk portfolio and the RBtC campaign had to represent our service capabilities per this target portfolio.

  3. Mixed Messaging – Absence of corporate positioning created scenarios where our Brand promise to a customer depended on the beliefs of the sales manager leading the sales process and the delivery manager executing the contract. Different sales teams could confuse prospects by pitching the same service differently. The RBtC campaign had to create a standardized business conversation for all our service offerings.

  4. The EFCS Plateau – while EFCS was well known to our target audience, there was an increasing hesitance in the sales teams to talk about it because clients and prospects wanted to know the specific business benefits of this model – given the number of years it had been in place at HCL. The best Brand promise is the one that’s easy to explain and experience, and EFCS was no longer that. The RBtC campaign had to be fundamentally simple to understand and ‘out-there’ to experience.

  5. Global 2000 Penetration – It is HCL’s business strategy to increase our customer base in the top Global 2000 companies. While we had been increasing our customer base overall, the number of G2000 customers was still low [Data 1.7]. Within this elite group of IT service buyers, we won more than 50% of the deals we participated in, but were invited only to less than 10% of deals to begin with. For the RBtC campaign, this was an awareness problem that required immediate intervention.

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