Finding the Right Cultural Balance

  • 19 Nov 2018

Momentum ITSMA

To achieve a balance of solutions and services growth across countries, paying attention to cultural change and the personal touch is as important as leading-edge digital knowledge management.

For IT services professionals today, the choices and combinations available for marketing are endless and can be overwhelming. To achieve a balance of solutions and services growth across countries, paying attention to cultural change and the personal touch is as important as leading-edge digital knowledge management.

The critical role of aligning marketing with clients’ cultural change, driven by the needs of people, is central to the powerful message that participants in Marketing Vision 2018, ITSMA’s annual conference, heard from Michael Keating, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & IP Strategy, CGI.

Lessons from the front line

Michael has front line experience of this. CGI has been on its own journey for the past few years to double its IP-driven business solutions offerings while at the same time transforming its global organizational and innovation model. That transformation has been built on a strong foundation of combining technical expertise with cultural awareness in marketing and selling complex solutions.

As Mike argues, the current digital transformation environment can seem overwhelming for business development communities and global clients. The danger is losing sight of the cultural change that is at the heart of success for firms and their clients.

CGI has evidence of this. Every year it runs a program based on in-depth interviews with clients around the world, including business and IT executives. The interviews can take up to two hours and invariably the topic of digital transformation comes up. And the biggest challenge? They can’t seem to find the right cultural balance to accomplish what they want to do both as clients and as individuals.

Don’t forget the human factor

As Mike says, “We can talk to clients about ways to use technology but too many of our messages and/or approaches are forgetting that human aspect. You can have an amazing artificial intelligence solution but if you aren’t embedding the right thinking about cultural change for your client you are wasting everyone’s time.”

At CGI, that translates into following a bottom-up approach. In other words, when the company is deciding how to advance into a market with a given topic or capability, the relevant teams build their campaign based on a deep understanding of local relationships. That calls for having the talent able to interpret these sorts of cultural conversations.

His final message will be straightforward. All the leaders sitting in the conference room should take a step back and think about the opportunities they have to connect on a human level with their most significant clients and prospects. That personal touch could be the differentiating factor as clients grapple with an endless array of options, information and opportunities.

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