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Competitor Analysis Website & Thought Leadership Essays

Competitor analysis: Website & Thought leadership Report by Rashmi Singh (PGDM No: 10098) Work carried out at Tata Consultancy Services, Bangalore, Karnataka Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of Summer Internship Programme Under the Supervision of Mr. Ashish Shetty, Marketing Lead, Insurance ISU, TCS, Bangalore SDM Institute for Management Development Mysore, Karnataka, India (June 2011) SDM IMD INSTITUTE CERTIFICATE This is to certify that Ms. Rashmi Singh, undergoing PGDM program 2010-12 at this institute has successfully completed the Summer Internship Programme on the project titled ?
Competitor Analysis: Website and Thought Leadership? at TCS, Bangalore, from April 01, 2011 to May 31, 2011 as a partial requirement for completion of his PGDM curriculum. Prof. Govinda Sharma Internal Faculty Guide SDM IMD, Mysore. Date: 24/06/2011 Place: Mysore Summer Internship Project Page 2 SDM IMD Acknowledgement I take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to our guides at Tata Consultancy Services, Mr. Ashish Shetty and Ms. Varsha Nair who spent a lot of time mentoring and guiding us. The insurance ISU was a completely new arena for us.
We stumbled a fe w times, yet they have been very patient and supportive with us, always encouraging us to give our best. I also thank the Academic relationship manager, TCS, Mr. Chandra Koduru, for helping us with the joining formalities and induction program. I would also like to thank Prof. N. R. Govinda Sharma and Lt. Col. S. N. Prasad, our internship guides at SDM Institute for Management Development, for their constant encouragement and guidance during our internship. Finally, I thank my team mates Chaitra B. and Muhammed Shafeeq for their inputs throughout the internsip.
Summer Internship Project Page 3 SDM IMD Executive summary In this era of digital marketing, a company‘s website and its thought leadership marketing are instrumental in differentiating it from the rest of the crowd. In B2B marketing, websites can be a potent marketing tool and can go a long way in generating leads as well as pose as a source of information about the company. This project involved comparing the websites of TCS and its competitors to assess the best practices and see where the TCS website can be improved.
The websites were compared on parameters like search, usability, content and layout. A formal scoring mechanism was designed and wherever TCS didn‘t fare well, recommendations were given. It was found that the TCS search functionality could be enhanced with features like autocorrect, quick results, advanced search and refined selection etc. A proper menu for segments and offerings should be present and a dynamic panel capturing the highlights could be incorporated for better usability of the website.
Similarly, it was recommended that the vacant white panels on both sides of the text on the TCS website could be used to showcase relevant related information like awards, events, recommended readings etc. The IT industry is full of companies with big ideas; customers treat only a small number of these v endors as thought leaders. The constant innovation in the technology industry increases the importance of the ability to communicate success. The second half of the project involved researching about which of TCS‘s competitors are using what thought leadership channels and coming up with recommendations for the same.
It was found that TCS could take quite a few steps in this regard such as start blogging to invite attention to its thought leadership content, increase activity on the social media circuit, form fruitful associations with universities and branded institutes, publish research journal papers and reprints of magazine articles, publish business books etc and most important of all reflect all this on their website. Signature of Student Signature of the supervisor Rashmi Singh Mr. Ashish Shetty PGDM No. 10098 Marketing Lead, Insurance ISU, Tata Consultancy Services, Bangalore Date: 27/06/2011 Summer Internship Project Page 4 SDM IMD
Table of Figures Figure 1: Website brand experience review criteria and scoring ……………………………………………… 12 Figure 2: Results of website review for search functionality …………………………………………………… 13 Figure 3: IBM‘s search function shows adaptability to mistakes ……………………………………………… 14 Figure 4 : Infosys‘ useful search interface …………………………………………………………………………… 15 Figure 5: Snapshot of TCS search result ……………………………………………………………………………… 5 Figure 6 : : Snapshot of Accenture‘s ? Refine Your Selection‘ …………………………………………………. 16 Figure 7 : Snapshot of CSC‘s quick result panel …………………………………………………………………… 17 Figure 8 : Results for website review for usability test ………………………………………………………….. 17 Figure 9 : Snapshot of Infosys‘s dynamic panel …………………………………………………………………… 18 Figure 10: Results for website review for content and layout …………………………………………………. 19 Figure 11: Infosys‘ insurance web page showing a good layout ………………………………………………. 20 Figure 12: Snapshot of TCS Insurance web page ………………………………………………………………….. 21 Figure 13: Example for hover menu …………………………………………………………………………………… 23 Figure 14: Buying cycle in B2B ………………………………………………………………………………………… 5 Figure 15: Analysis of channels of Thought leadership …………………………………………………………. 27 Figure 16: Various kinds of events IBM organizes ……………………………………………………………….. 28 Figure 17: Training conferences by IBM …………………………………………………………………………….. 28 Figure 18: Retail events by IBM ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 28 Figure 19: Snapshot of Archived events by IBM ………………………………………………………………….. 9 Figure 20: Example for Speakers at events ………………………………………………………………………….. 30 Figure 21: Snapshot of events organised by TCS ………………………………………………………………….. 31 Figure 22: Example for Infosys and IBM‘s research journal pape r ………………………………………….. 33 Figure 23: Example for Reprints: IBM ……………………………………………………………………………….. 34 Figure 24: Example for Business books: Infosys ………………………………………………………………….. 5 Figure 25: Details of News letter‘s of various companies ………………………………………………………. 37 Figure 26: Example for Webcast: IBM ……………………………………………………………………………….. 40 Figure 27: Snapshot of blogs by Infosys ……………………………………………………………………………… 41 Figure 28: IBM‘s blogs ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1 Figure 29: Snapshot of Infosys iEngage ……………………………………………………………………………… 43 Figure 30: IBM active on social media ……………………………………………………………………………….. 44 Figure 31: IBM Client Reps ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 45 Figure 32: Snapshot of IBM’s Infoboom……………………………………………………………………………… 5 Figure 33: IBM‘s use of videos to convey thought leadership content ……………………………………… 47 Figure 34: Figure showing the social media channels used by organisations to develop thought leadership content …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 50 Figure 35: Graphs representing preferences of social media among B2B buyers ………………………… 50 Figure 36: Example for professional network ………………………………………………………………………. 52 Summer Internship Project
Page 5 SDM IMD Contents Table of Figures ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 About TCS……………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………….. 9 TCS Insurance Solution …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 Insurance Marketing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Project details ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10 Website analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12 Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12 Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 Search experience ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13 Adaptable to mistakes ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14 TCS Specific Analysis for Search ……………………………………………………………………………….. 15 Noteworthy Features of Competitors ……………………………………………………………………………. 6 Refine Selection……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16 Quick Results ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16 Usability…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17 Dynamic Panels ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8 TCS Specific Analysis for Usability …………………………………………………………………………….. 18 Noteworthy Features of Competitors ……………………………………………………………………………. 19 Best practices in navigation and placeholders ………………………………………………………………… 19 Content and layout ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19 TCS Specific Analysis for Content and Layout ……………………………………………………………… 0 Noteworthy Features of Competitors ……………………………………………………………………………. 21 Essential content and effective space usage …………………………………………………………………… 21 Few flaws ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21 Recommendations …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2 Make the sites more user friendly …………………………………………………………………………………… 22 Content is Crucial ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23 Strong on-site search impacts the bottom line …………………………………………………………………… 24 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 Thought Leadership as a marketing strategy………………………………………………………………………… 25 Methodology………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 26 Summer Internship Project Page 6 SDM IMD Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26 Speakers or Events ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 IBM ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27 Archived events ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 29 Infosys ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 29 TCS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 0 Research Publications …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 31 Noteworthy features of Competitors…………………………………………………………………………….. 32 White Paper ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 32 Case studies………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2 Research Journal Paper …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 33 Noteworthy features of Competitors…………………………………………………………………………….. 34 Reprints ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34 Business books ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 Association with universities and other branded institutes ………………………………………………….. 36 IBM ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36 Infosys ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 36 TCS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Noteworthy features of Competitors…………………………………………………………………………….. 36 Newsletter ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 37 Proprietary Journal ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 37 Infosys ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8 IBM ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38 TCS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38 Noteworthy features of Competitors…………………………………………………………………………….. 38 Websites …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 Webcasts, webinars and podcasts …………………………………………………………………………………… 39 Blogs …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 40 Infosys ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 41 IBM ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 41 TCS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42 Noteworthy features of Competitors…………………………………………………………………………….. 42 Social media marketing ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42 Infosys ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 43 Summer Internship Project
Page 7 SDM IMD IBM ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 44 TCS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 44 Unique initiatives ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44 IBM Client Reps ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4 IBM InfoBoom ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 45 Noteworthy features of Competitors…………………………………………………………………………….. 46 Recommendations …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47 Tell your b2b marketing story with online video ……………………………………………………………….. 47 Blog to success ………………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………. 48 Strategic use of social media marketing …………………………………………………………………………… 49 A formal team and modus operandi ………………………………………………………………………………… 50 Leverage employee potential …………………………………………………………………………………………. 51 Publishing research journal papers, business books and Reprints on the website …………………….. 1 Association with Universities and other well known institutions ………………………………………….. 52 Create your own arena for discussion ……………………………………………………………………………… 52 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 53 Works Cited …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4 References …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 55 Summer Internship Project Page 8 SDM IMD About TCS Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) is an Indian IT services, business solutions and outsourcing company headquartered in Mumbai, India. TCS is the largest provider of information technology in Asia and second largest provider of business process outsourcing services in India. TCS has offices in 47 countries with more than 142 branches across the globe.
TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT and IT -enabled infrastructure, engineering and assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata Group, India‘s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has a global footprint and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. TCS reported revenue of US$8. 2 billion and profit of US $1. 9 million in the year 2011.
The firm now has 200,000+ employees. TCS Insurance Solution Tata Consultancy Services has been providing IT and business consulting solutions to Insurance companies for nearly four decades. We offer Technology and Business insights to enable insurers to transform operations, improve customer experience and modernize core systems. TCS‘s insurance practice of 15,000 consultants is committed to responding to the demands of the evolving insurance industry worldwide and has partnered with over 90 insurers globally in transforming their enterprises.
With vast experience in the Global Insurance Industry, TCS‘ Consultants provide the right mix of depth and expertise required to provide customized and innovative solutions to insurers. TCS continues to develop new result oriented strategies, and creative solutions to cope with the challenges posed by both rapidly changing business and technology environment. TCS is an end -toend solutions provider for the insurance industry with offerings in Business Consulting, IT consulting, Architecture, Re-engineering and Outsourcing.
TCS has developed solutions in the areas of Insurance Product Development, Sales, Underwriting, Policy Administration, Claims Management, Insurance Brokerage, Reinsurance, Billing and Receivables Insurance Marketing TCS insurance marketing aims at positioning TCS as a Top-Of-Mind insurance provider globally. Marketing division in the insurance ISU does the following activities: Summer Internship Project Page 9 ? SDM IMD Analyst relations Manage ongoing relationships with key insurance industry analysts and influencers through briefings, inquiries and strategy sessions. Industry events Make TCS‘s presence in key Industry and partner events to enhance its insurance branding and promote its solutions and offerings to clients, prospects and the marketplace. ? Sales enablement assets Develop and disseminate Sales Enablement assets such as brochures, customer case studies and testimonials, whitepapers, videos and podcasts. ? Market Intelligence Provide Market Intelligence support by creating and distributing prospect profiles, customer profiles, Industry Trends and Competitor Analysis. ? Digital marketing
Digital Marketing is the promoting of brands using all forms of digital advertising channels to reach consumers. This now includes Television, Radio, Internet, mobile, social media marketing and any other form of digital media. ? Account based marketing Account-based marketing (ABM)is a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one Project details This study mainly concentrates on analysing and making recommendations for marketing activities concerning the insurance sector of the organization.
There are new additions to marketing tools like digital marketing and thought leadership. This study would look at how competitors are promoting themselves using these mediums. This would involve: ? Comparing the websites of the organisation with competitors‘ website on the following parameters: o Search function o Content and layout of the website o Usability Summer Internship Project Page 10 SDM IMD Carrying out a study on the various thought leadership activities done by the organisation and its competitors and recommend ways to improve the same. This would involve a study on the following parameters: Different channels through which thought leadership activities are carried out o An analysis o f thought leadership as a marketing tool. The companies that will be analysed will include only the im mediate competitors of the firm: ? Infosys ? IBM ? Wipro ? Accenture ? CTS ? CSC Summer Internship Project Page 11 SDM IMD Website analysis Methodology We evaluated the brand experience of the 6 major IT co mpanies. We first identified the relevant user goals and then graded each site on its search functionality, usability and content and layout of the web site.
Our research was specific to insurance web page, even though at times we had to consider the website as a whole. As a group of 3 people, each one of us compared two competitors with TCS. Figure 1: Website brand experience review criteria and scoring Q uestion Scoring Search 1. Did the search execute quickly? Each review is scored on a scale of -2 to +2: 2. Is search adaptable to mistakes? -2 Strong fail. Two or more major problems, or one 3. Were the search result titles and summaries descriptive and major problem and several minor problems. unique? -1 Fail. One major problem or several minor . Is content easy to access using search function ? problems. 5. Does search present results in a useful interface? +1 Pass. No problems found. 6. Does the search have auto complete function ? 7. Does it have advance search option ? +2 Strong pass. Best practice. Scores range between -14 and +14 Usability 1. Are navigation elements easily recognizable at a glance? Scores range between -6 and +6 2. Do site menus provide multiple paths to critical content or function? 3. Is the site easy to use? Content and layout 1. Does the site use language that‘s easily understood by target
Scores range between -8 and +8 users? 2. Do page layouts use space effectively? 3. Is essential content available? 4. Is text readable? Summer Internship Project Page 12 SDM IMD Analysis Search experience Search experience is one of the criteria we shortlisted to evaluate the websites. Search is a very important and usually the most often used functionality of a website. It is essential that it performs its job effectively and efficiently. TCS and its five competitors were evaluated on the following questions Figure 2: Results of website review for search functionality Useful interface for search results include: Filter, Navigation between pages, Number of results displayed, Number of results per page Amongst TCS,IBM and Infosys, IBM scored the highest when it comes to search experience The speed of search is instrumental in enhancing the search experience of a user . It goes without saying that in this context the waiting for the search results to be displayed should be relatively short . Summer Internship Project Page 13 SDM IMD IBM fared the best on this parameter. The average time to display results after hitting the search key for IBM is a commendable 3 to 4 seconds.
Moreover, only IBM supports adaptability to mistakes. This is explained below. Adaptable to mistakes Searching becomes convenient manifold if spelling mistakes are auto corrected and results are displayed for the same. Surprisingly, this simple feature is present only in two out of seven websites, one of them being IBM. Figure 3: IBM’s search function shows adaptability to mistakes An important factor for search function is how the titles and descriptions in the search results guide the user to go to the searched content. These titles should not be ambiguous and should provide a clear path to the required page.
The same goes for the descriptions. IBM and Infosys have done a fair job when it comes to result titles and descriptions. TCS has a few shortcomings which are discussed below. Features like total number of search results, number of results per page, navigation between pages, sorting by relevance or date etc. are helpful to the user. Infosys scored the highest amongst the three competitors when it comes to displaying results in a useful interface. IBM stood a close second. Summer Internship Project Page 14 SDM IMD Figure 4 : Infosys’ useful search interface TCS Specific Analysis for Search
TCS has got the least when scored for the seven criteria of search parameter. It did well on counts of search being quickly executed and content easily accessible from the result list. TCS site is not adaptable to mistakes (spelling mistake), in such a sce nario a message is displayed saying no documents were found specific to that keyword and suggests to check the spelling or to try a different keyword. It‘s better if the site can list out the results saying, ? Did you mean ? reinsurance‘?? When reinsurance was typed in and searched, three results in the result list had the same title (TCS bancs).
Further the descriptions for two results, directing to two different brochures, were the same. The user could differentiate between the two results only by the URL t o the document. TCS also lacks auto complete and advance search options. TCS lacks the navigation tabs to direct to different pages in the result list (user can‘t move to page 3 from page 1). User is not given the information about the number of results. Figure 5: Snapshot of TCS search result Summer Internship Project Page 15 SDM IMD Noteworthy Features of Competitors Refine Selection Accenture has an appealing feature known as ? efine your selection?. This feature presents the user with a range of filter options to narrow down the result list. The filter options include industry, cross industry, location topic, content type, format and date. The user can chose one or more of these filter options and save the selection. The refined selection factors are considered for every other keyword keyed in unless the selection is changed. So, our user here can key in all the required elements and find the results in a much easier and faster way. Figure 6 : : Snapshot of Accenture’s ‘Refine Your Selection’
Quick Results A functionality where if a user types a keyword and the results get displayed immediately within milliseconds is highly instrumental in saving time. This wouldn‘t involve any usage of the search button on the screen or the enter button on the keyboard. The user takes the look at the top results and decides if he needs to specify any additional keyword. Well, CSC displays this very interesting feature in their search functionality. When a user types in a keyword, the associated top result s are dynamically displayed in a drop down like menu with scroll option.
If user is not satisfied with the results, he can type in a new keyword, say specifying the location. The results are generated again in a similar fashion. The CSC site takes away the cake in this criterion. Summer Internship Project Page 16 SDM IMD Figure 7 : Snapshot of CSC’s quick result panel Usability A site with good usability features like easier navigation, multiple paths and ease of use can make it easier for a user to get accustomed to it. According to the scoring, IBM did well on the multiple path criterions where as Infosys d id very well on t he navigational elements and ease of use criterion.
IBM is although an exceptional site, but takes some time getting used to because of its vastness. Infosys is a contemporary site. TCS could do better on navigation elements and sub categorizing the menu. Figure 8 : Results for website review for usability test Summer Internship Project Page 17 SDM IMD *Navigation elements includes: Navigation to main page, Navigation to domain specific page from other web pages, Navigation t o essential contents, Related links Dynamic Panels The best way to draw attention to the user to critical information is to present it in a way that it catches the eye of the user.
Infosys has got this right by incorporating a dynamic panel on every page. Critical information concerning the thought leadership content specific to the industry is displayed on this panel. Incorporation of dynamic panels is done in such a way that there is no trade off with other critical placeholders. Figure 9 : Snapshot of Infosys’s dynamic panel TCS Specific Analysis for Usability TCS didn’t fare well in this criterion as a critical element like ? Offerings? came way down after scrolling through and reading through a lot of text on the insurance homepage.
The insurance solutions TCS provides are not easily accessible through the ? Offerings? tab either. Summer Internship Project Page 18 SDM IMD Also, like Infosys supports a dynamic panel, TCS could do a better job at highlighting important content to direct the user’s attention to essential content. Noteworthy Features of Competitors Best practices in navigation and placeholders According to the article, ? Top navigation vs. Left navigation: Which works better?? , Left navigation is a more effective practice when compared to top navigation as it helps in scanning the menu faster.
Wipro‘s site has all the essential navigational elements vertically on the right. This works out well though it‘s not the traditional left oriented navigational elements. It takes the same visual fixations as much as the left navigation would have. Accenture has a top navigation, but the menu is not spread across the entire breadth of the site, hence, making it easy to scan in a few visual fixations. Content and layout Infosys, as already discussed, although a contemporary site, is highly organized. All the verticals have their own webpage, with the entire relevant information bound together, using the space effectively.
For example, the insurance webpage has horizontal tabs for essential content like the case studies, white papers, features and opinions, offerings etc. Under the tabs, the webpage is divided into vertical columns with the two extreme right ones showcasing relevant related information like awards, recommended readings, press releases etc. IBM comes a close second w ith the same essential features, although they don‘t mention the awards or any recent highlights. Figure 10: Results for website review for content and layout Essential content includes Offerings, Case study, Whitepaper, News, Events, Thought leadership content, Awards won Summer Internship Project Page 19 SDM IMD Figure 11: Infosys’ insurance web page showing a good layout TCS Specific Analysis for Content and Layout TCS fared badly when it came to content and layout. Even though they failed only on one parameter, they didn‘t have the best practice for the other parameters. They failed to use the space effectively. There were a lot of white spaces on the web page, which they could have used for putting up thought leadership content specific to insurance.
Also the essential contents such as case studies, white paper etc where present at the bottom of the page. The user have to go through a lot of content, which they might not value a lot, to get to what they are looking for such as the offerings. The language used was understandable but not as good as its competitors like Accenture, Infosys etc. Summer Internship Project Page 20 SDM IMD The text, though legible, should be bigger in size, more so because unlike their competitors TCS has a blue background. Figure 12: Snapshot of TCS Insurance web page
Noteworthy Features of Competitors Essential content and effective space usage It is important that the service providers display the information which is important and impressive about them and in a manner that would appeal to the user. Wipro does a splendid job with content and layout. Content is put across in an easy to comprehend language. They talk about the benefits gained by user rather than challenges they face. This is strongly backed up by the user testimonials. The offerings are broken down segment wise and solutions that they provide.
There is also easy access to thought leadership content like white papers and case studies. They also provide links to analyst reports, alliances and partners. Few flaws Accenture and IBM do not mention the awards won by them or any recent highlights. CTS doesn‘t have insurance specific case studies which we believe is a very essential content, there by failing on one of the parameters. CSC and TCS fared very poorly on the test for the page layout for using the space efficiently and effectively. CSC doesn‘t have any content on the home page, and the content that is present isn‘t organized aesthetically.
However, if users dig deeper into the CSC site, they will find the necessary content. Summer Internship Project Page 21 SDM IMD Recommendations The easy navigations, helpful menu, availability of the content that they are looking for etc can help in making the users website experience better. A website should aim at providing users with a compelling user experience that is useful, usable, and desirable. On an insurance web page, a user expects to find segments served, solutions offered, a good interfa ce and essential navigational elements organized effectively.
After carrying out the analysis of the insurance web pages of TCS and its competitors, we have come up with the following recommendations which TCS could leverage upon. Make the sites more user friendly According to Forrester (Young, G. Oliver and Ramos, Laura, 2009), a firm should spend time and effort improving your website. For software buyers, vendor websites are one of the first places prospects go when researching purchases or trying to solve a problem. This emphasizes the importance of enhancing user experience. The essential navigational elements should be present and easily recognizable.
The website should be continually updated with the latest information abo ut the technology in the sector, latest user experience, thought leadership materials, and current industry trends. The TCS web page can showcase the segments served and solutions offered in a more user friendly manner. A user expects a proper menu for seg ments and offerings, which most of the competitor’s sites showcase in a more appealing manner as compared to TCS. For example, companies like CTS, Wipro and Infosys have a very organized menu which addresses the segments served and solutions offered in a user friendly manner.
Having a proper menu goes a long way in improving the usability and effective communication about the organization‘s offerings and services. Almost all the competitor’s sites have hover or drop down menus, making it very convenient to navigate and save time for the user. Every time a user navigates to the some other page on the TCS website, he has to come back to the offerings page, only then can he navigate back to the insurance web page. The sites for Accenture, Wipro etc have solved this problem using drop down or hover menus so that all parts of the site are accessible from anywhere on the site.
This can also be solved by showing a proper navigation path so that one can retrieve one’s steps if required. TCS could think on the lines o f including this in its site Summer Internship Project Page 22 SDM IMD Figure 13: Example for hover menu Including a dynamic panel on the web page which would show a slide shadow or videos of industry specific important information (see Infosys). Inculcating these minor changes can goes a long way in attracting user’s attention, making the site visually appealing and user friendly. Content is Crucial
According to a Forrester survey (Young, G. Oliver and Ramos, Laura, 2009), software buyers need rich content, user experiences, testimonials, and ways to compare offerings‘ benef its in order to make it more tangible. To dig up this information, 49% of survey respondents depend on vendor, industry, trade, or professional website and 44% use online versions of print trade press. In fact, only a mere 4% of respondents indicate that t he web is not at all important to their software buying process, the lowest percentage of any category save peers and colleagues. Content is king.
Websites should be built for humans and not search engines. If the content is effective then the SEO will happen automatically. According to Gartner (Fouts ,Richard , 2010), ? Buyers tell us they are three times more likely to buy when the provider’s value proposition is quantified.? Wipro‘s website is a good example that could be c ited here. Their insurance home page talks about how its users have benefited through their offerings. The Gartner report further says ? when asked to rank the marketing activities that influence them most, buyers named user references first.
Effective mar keters use these findings to help make their stories unique and memorable.? Wipro again followed this practice with an effective user testimonial on the insurance web page. Summer Internship Project Page 23 SDM IMD When we talk about layout, there are vacant white panels on both sides of the text on the TCS insurance page. These could be effectively used, like our competitors, to showcase essential content and relevant related information like upcoming events, awards and recognitions, recommended readings, links to important content etc. Wipro and CTS websites could be used as a good example here.
According to Forrester (Rogowski, 2010), a website should aim at using typography that balances brand and readability. TCS while maintaining the brand consistency (blue and wh ite colour palette), should work at improving the readability of the web page. Strong on-site search impacts the bottom line The search experience can either enhance or detract from the overall user experience. According to a Forrester report (Owens, 2010), effective site search supports value delivery by offering useful, usable content and function by making essential content available when needed.
On-site search should be relevant, quick and engaging. The basic functionality, advanced search, is missing in the TCS website. This functionality helps in filtering down the relevant results. Almost all the competitors support this functionality. This improves the overall search experience of the user. As mentioned in the analysis, our competitors are using some progressive search features like auto correct (IBM), quick search (CSC) and refined selection (Accenture). TCS can work on incorporating all or some of these features depending on the corporate brand guidelines. Conclusion
After analysing the websites of TCS and its competitors, it was found that although TCS has a lot of relevant and essential content on its website; it is not displayed in an appealing manner. A few of TCS competitors have managed to make websites which not o nly present the content in a lucid language, but also have a very organized layout, enhancing the overall user experience. Based on the best practices, a few recommendations were given, which if adopted, might help in making the TCS website and specifically Insurance webpage more user friendly. Summer Internship Project Page 24 SDM IMD
Thought Leadership as a marketing strategy Thought leadership, in its simplest form means, giving away a little valuable intellectual property to establish potential usefulness to the client, in the expectation tha t the client will use the company‘s expertise and services. For IT service providers, it is a must, a price to be paid for being in the industry. For example, IBM, among its many other activities, maintains a substantial “Institute of Business Value” to publish business research. IBM hosts more than 100 corporate blogs at its Web site (http://www. ibm. com/blogs/zz/en/).
An article published in The Economist (Celi, Lou and Millar,Bill, 2008)says that traditional approaches to B2B marketing are losing their impact; today B2B marketers are turning towards thought leadership a way to differentiate their products and services in an increasingly competitive market. According to a survey by the magazine, when asked about their B2B mark eting objectives, 56% of the marketers aimed at positioning their company as a thought leader. Also, the users we re of the opinion that the top three ways for their marketers to market to them are thought leadership related methods.
Hence, it has now become imperative for a firm to position itself as a thought leader in the customers mind. This builds credibility and increases the probability of the customer turning to you when a solution is needed. This is further explained by the buying cycle and the role thought leaders play in it: Figure 14: Buying cycle in B2B Justificati on Requirem ent ROI Buying Cycle Implemen tation Summer Internship Project Selection Page 25 SDM IMD The Vendors can be classified as Visionaries, who comes up with ground breaking ideas, and Veterans, who have a proven track record (Grant, Tom, 2010).
Both veterans and visionaries play a role in the buying process of a customer. While visionaries play the strongest role in justification phase, Veterans play an important role in the selection phase because of their track recor d. However, a thought leader plays an important role in both justification as well as selection phase of a buying cycle. The quality of their ideas and their proven track record plays an important role in winning customers. Thought leadership helps the company to reach out to the customers by providing them with information that they seek for.
Also, the research done as a part of Thought leadership activities will help in identifying client needs. It will help in increasing the visibility of the firm. Methodology It’s difficult to have any quantifiable metrics to measure how successful a company is as a thought leader. To have an understanding of how the companies are using thought leadership marketing, we decided to analyse the channels they have incorporated for the same. We chose 14 channels based on Gartner’s report “Marketing essentials: How to Use Thought Leadership Marketing for IT Service Providers” (Jester, Rolf and Adams, Christine, 2009).
We observed TCS and its co mpetitors in the insurance ISU, based on these channels. We analysed the information obtained through this analysis and mentioned few recommendations that can be incorporated for thought leadership marketing by TCS. Analysis The table below depicts the fourteen channels identified to carry out the analysis along with the comparison amongst all the companies under observation. Our analysis is a report on what role each channel plays in thought leadership, and how is it beneficial to the organization.
We have further analysed if each channel is being implemented by the companies and also made a special mention of the best practices. Summer Internship Project Page 26 SDM IMD Figure 15: Analysis of channels of Thought leadership TCS Wipro IBM Infosys CSC Accenture CTS Speakers X X X X X X X Research Publications X X X X X X X White papers X X X X X X X Case studies X X X X X X X Research Journal Paper – X X X – X – Reprints – – X X – – – Business books – – X X X X – Association with universities – X X X – X – Newsletters X X X X X X X Proprietary Journals X X X X X X X Website X X X X X X X Webcasts, Podcasts, Webinars X X X X X X X
Blogs – X X X X X X Social Network Media – X X X X X X Speakers or Events An event organized by a credible organizer gives a good range of exposure for the speaker to reach his target audience. This channel is one of the most effective tools of thought leadership marketing. An event can be chosen based on likely audience based on previous performance and a simple follow up mechanism will help the companies to acquire new clients. According to, North American and European B2B Social Technographics Online Survey ( Ernst, Jeff, 2010), 49 percent chose speakers as one of the three important factors that affects their purchase decision.
There is no definite way to measure the success of speakers at an event. To quantify one can always look at the number of people who registered for the event, who attended and how many of them contacted for more information All the seven companies considered i. e. , TCS and its competitors are actively involved in several events across different domains. Their participation could be through a representative celebrity speaker, or a speaker who is part of the organization who is involved in speeches and presentations at these events.
IBM IBM organizes a large number of events to maintain its presence in the thought leadership sphere. They also have their own specialists and keynote speakers who speak at their events or go to other esteemed events to make IBM‘s presence felt. Most of these speakers are C level executives, general Summer Internship Project Page 27 SDM IMD managers etc. They also invite highly esteemed and distinguished speakers to their events, for example Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia was a keynote speaker at the IBM Government Forum 2011.
IBM hosts innumerable events in almost all the spheres imaginable; they have technical events, business events, software events to name a few. As IBM provide s solutions for aerospace and defence, it holds seminars in the field too. Figure 16: Various kinds of events IBM organizes IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of technical training and education services designed for individuals, companies, and public organizations to acquire, maintain, and optimize their IT skills. Hence, it organizes loads of conferences and events for the same. Figure 17: Training conferences by IBM
IBM hosts or sponsors retail events too. Figure 18: Retail events by IBM Summer Internship Project Page 28 SDM IMD Archived events IBM archives the events that have been conducted and keeps the presentations which are available for download. This is helpful for interested parties who could not make it to the event or also for people who like to review or keep a record. This very simple step makes the events permanent and retrievable. Figure 19: Snapshot of Archived events by IBM Infosys Infosys is considered almost synonymous with thought leadership.
According to a report in the Economic Times, a survey by London-based TLG (Shruti Sabharwal, 2011), a consultancy firm Infosys tops the list when it comes to tho ught leadership. Infosys hosts, organizes, sponsors and participates in a host of events, where the eminent thought leaders represent the company. A few examples of the events that Infosys organizes is as follows: ? Smart Expo Conference 2011: Infosys showcased their capabilities and solutions for building flexibility into supply chains. ? Confluence 2010, ? Building Tomorrow’s Enterprise? :Featured the world’s best thinkers and commentators on business strategy and technology. MarkLogic User Conference 2011: Keynote speaker being Kiran Karadi, Principal Strategist, iEngage, Infosys Technologies. Summer Internship Project Page 29 SDM IMD Figure 20: Example for Speakers at events TCS TCS also has a plethora of events that it hosts, organizes and sponsors. A few examples are as follows: ? Amplify 2011: A conference on innovation and thought leadership, where the following eminent speakers participated. o Ananth Krishnan – Chief Technology Officer, TCS ? o Vijaya Deepti-VP Strategy, Sales & Delivery, TCS. (Regarded as India’s first Businesswoman of the Year in 2009)
Nomura Pan-Asia technology forum 2011: o S Mahalingam – Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director o Kedar Shirali – Director, Investor Relations ? Innovation Forum 2011: A premier annual innovation event that brings together senior technology executives, researchers from renowned institutions and the TCS Co -Innovation Summer Internship Project Page 30 SDM IMD Figure 21: Snapshot of events organised by TCS Research Publications Research publications are one of the effective channels of thought leadership marketing. These research publications mainly contain proprietary research.
The real need of the defined audience is known and this is catered to by the product or service offering through research publications. ? IBM IBM has a range of research publications comprising of areas such as Telecom and mobile research, next generation systems and smarter planet solutions, information management, Human language technologies and Business analytics and optimization ? Infosys Research publications brought out by researchers working at Software Engineering & Technology Labs (SETlabs) and Education & Research group, mainly focus on technologies that will become more relevant for enterprises in the long -term. TCS TCS Innovation Labs are involved in sophisticated IT research in leading -edge technologies as well as in various domains and are also connected to academic research centers of international repute for various collaborative research projects. Summer Internship Project Page 31 SDM IMD Noteworthy features of Competitors ? CTS CTS have a simple strategic plan for developing innovative solutions and these are provided as articles. Ex: Sentiment Analyzer: extract customer’s sentiment from social media ? Wipro
The research publications are brought through business research, industry research and academia collaboration. Ex: Greening the supply chain, Credit card charges off etc ? Accenture Accenture delivers insights of Management consulting, outsourcing consulting and technology to its clients through research publications ? CSC CSC’s Leading Edge Forum helps organizations realize benefits from using advanced business and technology solutions and focuses on key business and technology trends, and identifies specific practices for exploiting these trends.
White Paper White papers are marketing communications documents designed to promote a specific company’s or group’s solutions or products. As a marketing tool, these papers will highlight information favourable to the company authorizing or sponsoring the paper. They are often used to generate sales leads, establish thought leadership, make a business cas e, or to educate customers. All the companies under observation have incorporated this very essential channel to their thought leadership marketing campaig n. They heavily endorse the same on their websites.
The companies‘ have white papers catering to all the verticals, segments and services. Case studies This tool can be used to tell the marketing story in a way that the person, who reads it, remembers it and can relate to it when faced by a similar problem or situation. A Gartner‘s report –? How to Tell Better Marketing Stories? (Fouts ,Richard , 2010) give few important pointers to write a successful case study. Report states that a case study should be customer centric and not product/service centric. The case study should begin with the business outcome the client received a nd it should be quantified to upport the same. Customer testimonials and validation by a reliable third party source strengthens the case. It also states the case study should be authentic in terms of the problems faced, followed by how it was solved and finally by call to action. Summer Internship Project Page 32 SDM IMD The success metric would be to see how many users clicked on the link to read the overview of the case study and how many users downloaded the case study. All the companies have case studies on their websites, categorised based on their domains or services.
Few of the important information like name of the client and the quantifiable factors which reflect the success are missing in the case study due to certain policies Research Journal Paper Research journal papers are the papers published in business journals. The immediate impact may be small because the emphasis in the article will not be on the authors’ affiliation. The marketing value comes from ancillary uses of the material, such as reprints. The long -term indirect value can be quite high. Figure 22: Example for Infosys and IBM’s research journal paper Infosys
IBM Summer Internship Project Page 33 SDM IMD Noteworthy features of Competitors Accenture with association The Wall Street journal and the Harvard Business review have come out with series of articles, insights from business experts and highlights of Accenture’s High Performance Business Research—all in the context of today’s business challenges and advertorials respectively Reprints Reprints are mainly the licensed reprints of media articles written by the company resources. The articles originally printed in some other medium can be used to leverage the same.
It’s helpful in initiat ing sales discussions. Infosys :Streamlining compliance: a strategic approach to know your customer policies originally published in ACAMS Today. IBM has quite a number of reprints present. Below is the screen shot of the same: Figure 23: Example for Reprints: IBM Reprints for other competitors are as follows: Summer Internship Project Page 34 ? SDM IMD CSC: Fragmentation Frustration by George Lillington Published in Post Magazine, 20 October 2005 ? House of Cards: The Trend Toward In-House Card Processing: Reprinted from International Banking Systems Journal Wipro: Learning the Fine Art of Global Collaboration – HBR by Alan MacCormack and Theodore Forbath Theodore Business books Business books as a marketing tool can be very valuable. The tough part is to make it in the market in a big way. It‘s a crowded market and only true breakthrough ideas or how to books make good sales. It can always be used as give-aways or as three- dimensional mailers to key prospects. The company can test waters by creating an e-book and proceed to a printed edition after analyzing the success in terms of sign in for downloads.
Infosys have come with mainly technology books and have clearly publicised the same on their website. A user can view the table of contents and sample chapter from the site. They lack the option of a user buying a book off the site. IBM with partnership with the Pearson publications comes out with a range of books regarding technology and business. The user can read about a book and they have link to the external site where the books can be bought . Figure 24: Example for Business books: Infosys Summer Internship Project Page 35 SDM IMD Association with universities and other branded institutes
Companies can collaborate in various ways with universities and other branded institutes to idea te, innovate and communicate the same. It can be important source of influence as well as talent. The companies in collaboration come out with articles, journals and books. Companies also involve in providing endowments of professorships to collaborative r esearch. IBM IBM is working closely with industry and academia to develop smarter skills that will prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. This includes promoting critical thinking, creativity, and innovation with leadership, global awareness, and technology literacy.
IBM encourages university innovation through a variety of outreach initiatives that range from technology education, student projects to curriculum enhancement and collaborative research. IBM has tie ups with about sixty reputed colleges across India which includes the NITs and IITs Infosys Infosys and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, jointly institutes, the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award (WIBTA). It celebrates excellence and innovation in information technology with industry-wide impact. TCS
Tata Consultancy Services entered into a five-year collaboration in August 2010 with the US-based Stanford University for research in the critical area of data privacy. Under the agreement, TCS and the university’s computer science department will work on joint projects in the area of data privacy. Noteworthy features of Competitors Accenture uses the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting at Davos to launch some of its more significant research. E. g. , in January 2009, Accenture launched its third report in the “Multipolar World” series at Davos. In February 2009, the same company co -branded a report on “Supply Chain Decarbonization” with WEF.
Accenture in association with Montgomery research has come out with ? Defying t he Limits? series of CRM publications which focuses on the importance of the branded customer experience. The Joe W. Forehand/Accenture Distinguished Professorship was created by Accenture and Auburn University. Made possible by a $1 million gift from Accenture, the endowed professorship is named in honour of the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company’s retired chairman and 1971 Auburn graduate Joe Forehand. Summer Internship Project Page 36 SDM IMD
Wipro collaborates with top professors from leading universitie s like Harvard, Wharton, LBS, Stanford, INSEAD to name a few to bring out insights, useful views, best practices that can assist companies in their IT and business strategies Newsletter An online newsletter is the perfect way for a company to increase its brand awareness. Customers receive this online marketing tool on a regular basis and are thus confronted over and over again with the products or services a company has to offer. A newsletter can also help a company‘s image and reputation with existing customers and prospects.
In short: it‘s a great and effective online marketing tool. The reach of this marketing tool is less compared to other channels but the few that are read form part of the necessary stream of information to the target market. Figure 25: Details of News letter’s of various companies Company Accenture News letter Insight Enabled Details View on digital marketing, marketing analytics and media management Aims to communicate the latest CSC The CSC India Times happenings and events within CSC in India Osmosis Synapses 2. 0 IBM For analysts and advisors About customer solution practises IBM RedBooks weekly
Updates about IBM RedBooks Provides information and content that IBM Software newsletter can be used to get the most from IBM software To explore new business opportunities Infosys Thought floor and develop innovative solutions in manufacturing InNews TCS A sustainable footprint Transpire About TCS BPO services TCS BaNcs Newsletter Wipro eNation Quarterly newsletter from TCS Financial Solutions Connecting citizens. Providing various solutions at national level. Proprietary Journal Research journals have a limited audience, but for the right provider and the right audience, they are valuable.
The content, not the medium, is the expensive part in this case. Summer Internship Project Page 37 SDM IMD Infosys ? SETLabs Briefings Infosys’ SETLabs Briefings is a peer-reviewed journal that shares strategic and experiential insights on technology management themes. ? Infosys BPO Journal This journal showcases thought leadership in business process outsourcing. ? FINsights, a quarterly journal from Infosys’ Banking and Capital Markets practice, offers technology insights through articles written by Infosys leaders and analysts.

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