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IBM - Creative Department of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: IBM, Armonk, NY, USA
Company Description: IBM is a values-based enterprise of individuals who create & apply technology to make the world work better. Today, more than 400,000 IBM employees around the world invent and integrate hardware, software and services to help forward-thinking enterprises, institutions and people succeed on a smarter planet.
Nomination Category: Creative Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Creative Department of the Year

Nomination Title: Welcome To The New Era Of Client Engagement

Tell the story about what this nominated department has achieved since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

As IBMers, we take pride in our ability to restlessly reinvent ourselves. In a dynamic landscape of Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain, it’s essential to differentiate as an innovation leader when interacting with clients.

To accelerate with market expectations, we broke out a core group of creatives in our organization last year and started up a new in-house agency focusing on creating exciting client experiences and reducing agency costs for the company.

We leverage our relations with sales and marketing teams across markets, industries and brands to design personalized customer journeys to unique needs, using magazines, videos, microsites and wall murals that convey memorable, engaging stories about the value of IBM’s solutions, seen from the lens of our clients.

Building the team and a new identity

With experience in creating innovative customer journeys for sales teams, we took an opportunity to turn our creative capabilities into our core business. We formed a small pilot based in Budapest and Madrid. We named our team, designed our logo, set up new ways of working – leveraging IBM Northstar guidelines, AGILE tools and IBM Design Thinking – and defined 3 hills for our mission strategy.

Pioneering a new operating model

Following IBM’s imperative to transform and streamline, we tested a new commercial model, where we charge internal clients for what we deliver and align our metrics to directly reflect their success factors. We set up a buy on-demand credit system that caters to a diversity of internal clients; like go-to-market teams, marketing, delivery teams, executives and more.

2017 pilot results

In our first 6 months, we supported over 50 opportunities and $1b of IBM qualified revenue at 9,8 average NPS (net promoter score). The average cost was only $1,350 per deliverable, which is 3x times cheaper than comparable benchmarks.

With 80% of our clients being referrals or returning customers, and more requests than we could handle, we had enough traction to go from pilot to deployment. We established a long-term partnership with IBM iX for 2018 and began to grasp at transatlantic opportunities.

Collaborating for client advocacy

Our new partnerships bring us close to clients, where we work to win the individual - from early engagement to follow through. One of the highlights was the Europe ‘Classroom to Client’ program where we shared the art of the possible in client communication, like Telenor and KBC.

2018 go-live results

Year to date 2018, we’ve kept a fantastic 10 average NPS over 70 engagements, with great testimonials. Our delivery has saved $220,000 for IBM so far, and we project to reach half million by year end.

Scaling our new model and capabilities

By early 2018, we doubled our team and expanded our portfolio with voiceover, cloud hosting, drawings and content strategy. A major leap was to further promote our video capabilities and engage clients in the creative process. We continue to seek new talent to grow and to take on students and contractors to cope with peaks and sustain our scalability.

Acting as engagement ambassadors

We reached over 1000 IBMers sharing what we’ve learned about client engagement practices and launched a new site to talk about the impact of a creative approach.

Our efforts to drive Agile practices in client interaction has paid off in speedy outcomes and they keep raising team engagement. We’re working on personal celebration cards to recognize our collaborations and team contributions. They will be launched in time for our first anniversary, on July 1st.

Furthering IBM collaboration and client integration

We’ve initiated partnerships with the IBM Client Centers, the IBM Design network and we act as an IBM Interactive Experience (iX) partner, collaborating with the IBM Cloud Studio to commercialize client activities.

One of our fruitful collaborations is for Airline SAS. The emulated in-flight magazine was featured in the 10th edition of the global iX newsletter, iXccelerate!

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominated department since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-In our first 6 months, we supported over 50 opportunities and $1b of IBM qualified revenue at 9,8 average NPS (net promoter score). The average cost was only $1,350 per deliverable, which is 3x times cheaper than comparable benchmarks.
-Year to date 2018, we’ve kept a fantastic 10 average NPS over 70 engagements, with great testimonials. Our delivery has saved $220,000 for IBM so far, and we project to reach half million by year end.

WHAT MAKES US PROUD

Our Client Engagement Design team has shown us how we provide a first class experience and drive advocacy for IBM” – VP, Enterprise Sales, IBM Europe

CED brings the magic to our proposals” - VP, Industry Solutions,IBM Europe