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Xerox CMO Not Sold on Twitter and Pinterest

  |  April 26, 2012   |  Comments

Christa Carone, CMO at Xerox said a new Twitter ad test has resulted in some negative reactions from clients.

xerox-christa-caroneXerox sells big technology systems and services to businesses, and the firm recently began experimenting with Twitter paid advertising a couple weeks ago. The verdict so far: "An initial negative reaction from our more established clients."

That's according to Christa Carone, CMO at Xerox (left), who said some of her clients have suggested regarding Twitter advertising like Promoted Tweets, "You don't need to go this route." Carone spoke during this afternoon's Digitas NewFront event in New York. "I'm not sure it works for our campaigns and our messaging," she said of Twitter ads.

The firm is running Promoted Tweets from its @XeroxCorp account to drive traffic to a new video. "When u simplify the way the world works, that's progress. Watch #video to see how #Xerox helps: http://bit.ly/HMrEcJ #innovation Plz RT," states one promo tweet.

While Carone did not dismiss the importance of sharing Xerox branded digital content through social media, she indicated that certain social channels might not be suitable for all marketing purposes for the company, especially when it comes to selling multi-million dollar systems to businesses.

"I know that the CIOs of major companies are not going to be making a $5 million... deal based on their connection with Xerox on Facebook," she said. Same goes for more emerging social platforms like Pinterest, she suggested, noting that she's asked marketing colleagues, "Is Pinterest really where you want to go right now?"

Founded in the early 1900s, the firm is located in 160 countries, and takes a decentralized approach to its marketing departments - with a different marketing team in each country. That includes social media presences; the firm has dozens of Facebook pages, for example.

By no means is the company down on digital or social media, though. Xerox launched a YouTube video April 16 that has garnered nearly 150,000 views. The goal: Rather than fight what had become an uphill battle to steer the brand away from its antiquated tech firm image, Xerox decided to embrace it and help guide people toward understanding its evolution. "We want you to believe us that our brand can move... into this broader space," said Carone.

The "A World Made Simpler" video explains that Xerox started by making information easier to share. "We find ways to channel it all into simple streams of data, so you can focus on only the information you need and share it seamlessly," states the video.

As for metrics to gauge video success, Carone said that's not the point. "It's not so much about views on YouTube," she said, calling the video a "conversation starter" for salespeople and internal employee relations. "It starts a conversation that they can have with clients and prospects."

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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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