Everyone Is a Consumer

SAP Chief Marketing Officer Alicia Tillman explains why SAP’s sales and marketing tactics must change.

SAP has a head start when it comes to telling its purpose story, says Alicia Tillman, the company’s chief marketing officer.

In the latest video in the Tea for Two series, Alicia, who took over the CMO role eight months ago, notes that unlike many other companies, SAP already has a clear purpose and mission: to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. But, she adds, “We need to tell that story better.”

“My mission since I became CMO has been to really make our purpose come to life internally and externally, because the reality is consumers are interested in authenticity and companies that stand for something — and SAP certainly does,” she says.

Buyers today are not only interested in technology that helps them solve the everyday practical challenges, they’re also looking for companies that stand for something and have purpose at their core. “A brand’s purpose has become a key competitive differentiator,” she says.

Alicia also believes that in today’s marketplace, the traditional division between B2B and B2C marketing no longer makes sense. Today, she says, “everyone is a consumer.”

Audiences are incredibly savvy and have a certain expectation based on their consumer technology experiences. Marketers stand to support significant growth by embracing similar, exceptional customer experiences and democratizing the way we connect with IT leaders and end users.

“We need to focus on creating exceptional user experiences with our technology,” she says. “We need to model the same technology you would experience as a consumer.”

Due to the new ways customers and businesses interact, brands are no longer judged solely on the quality of their products or services, but on the values they champion, and our tactics need to change accordingly.

The most successful companies, Alicia argues, will be those that create communities of users with shared values. “People want to buy from people who create communities that they feel part of,” she says.