Global Reach, Local Execution: How IDG and HPE are Taking CIOs on a Worldwide Tour of Hybrid IT

IDG Communications’ year-long partnership with HPE has seen the continued development of the Strategic CIO’s Playbook – a global resource spanning four countries and providing peer-to-peer guidance on how CIOs can become business leaders.

Marketers today are increasingly looking to content to bring potential customers through the sales funnel. But there are considerable challenges to doing just that.

Chief among those challenges are time and resources, especially at the top of the funnel, where you need to educate, entertain, inform and delight the customer. This is often referred to as “thought leadership.”

Here, you need to understand the pain points of the audience, where they get their information, consider how and where your organization can help, and begin to offer them the relevant guidance through the most appropriate channels. By doing this, not only are you educating your target audience – and moving them down the funnel – but you are also building the trust and reputation of your brand.

One other significant challenge is that of execution, particularly when you are trying to convey one consistent marketing message across multiple markets. How do you ensure that message is consistent, yet localized and appropriate for each market? This continues to be a major challenge for marketers worldwide.

First Steps in Thought Leadership

About a year ago, HPE and IDG began working on a project around Hybrid IT – the term increasingly used to define IT infrastructure where some IT workloads are hosted in-house (on-premises) and others with third parties (typically, public cloud).

HPE wanted to engage CIOs on the topic with the ultimate objective of raising awareness of how HPE could help them build a more flexible and dynamic IT. To do that, they realized they needed a trusted and independent partner to distill the topic through the voices of leading CIOs and CTOs who had already embraced Hybrid IT.

In addition, with the Hybrid IT term relatively new (and, as such, interpreted differently by many), they needed to elevate the conversation to how Hybrid IT could become a driver for CIOs to become more strategic and business-led in their roles.

The Strategic CIO’s Playbook does just that. Combining IDG’s expertise in editorial and market research with the opinions of influential CIOs and CTOs, the Playbook was built as an online destination advising IT leaders on the precise steps they need to take to establish a Hybrid IT environment. By embracing Hybrid IT, CIOs would then be better placed to accelerate digital transformation.

Through the course of the campaign, which launched first in the U.S., IDG has leveraged its own research and editorial know-how and interviewed experts such as DreamWorks CTO Jeff Wike, Arup CTO John DiCamillio and AmeriPride CIO Steven John to build a trusted, respected and practical resource for CIOs looking to step up in their organization.

A Global Campaign for Hybrid IT

Given the success of the U.S. program, and with HPE and its media agency intent on taking its Hybrid IT message worldwide, the Strategic CIO’s Playbook campaign was extended into the European market in early 2018.

IDG’s marketing services teams across the U.S. and EMEA worked together closely with HPE and Digitas globally to consider ways in which the Playbook could be localized for the markets in UK, France and Germany.

Through a combination of custom editorial, custom research and video interviews with prominent European CIOs, IDG built local versions of the Playbook for UK, France and Germany. Each version features local content – produced by local editors who understand the market, localized custom research, as well as short, “snackable” video interviews with the European CIOs. The campaign has also seen the creation of infographics, motion graphics and social advertising.

As such, the Playbook has now become an international, multimedia resource for all CIOs, regardless whether they are from Michigan, Manchester, Montpellier or Munich.

Through close collaboration, trusted partnerships and widespread resource, HPE and IDG have executed a global campaign with local knowledge, helping CIOs stay informed wherever they are, and positioning HPE as a trusted resource to continue the conversation.

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