Christine Wickes, VP of Marketing and Communications, C&W Services

Christine is the VP of Marketing and Communications at C&W Services.  She is a marketing, branding and business development leader with extensive experience in building and managing marketing teams that deliver measurable results for service brands.

C&W Services is a leading facilities services and management company serving a diverse portfolio of clients and market segments

Digitent:  What are the top marketing ambitions for C&W Services?

Christine: Our top ambition has been to create a new brand and establish in our marketplace.  We spun off from the Cushman & Wakefield brand almost three years ago and our name had no brand recognition. We first wanted to get to the point where marketing was generating leads and contributing to the bottom line as quickly as possible.    We also had a cultural ambition, because a service brand starts with within a company’s culture.  The company name had changed multiple times over the prior five years and the clients and employees seemed disenfranchised.  We wanted to be sure the change to C&W Services  didn’t feel like one more change in the series..

We kicked off our brand strategy by listening to people throughout the organization.  We found that our employees are people who do heroic things on a daily basis and have a great personal affinity for their customers.  We’re very committed to our customers and their customer sites, but we also want them to be equally committed to us, the company.  So that’s been the other big ambition of our marketing program.  Make our people feel celebrated by us in the industry. We wanted to do more than talk about who we are and our capabilities to telling stories about individuals or teams that can solve customer problems.

Digitent:  Are those stories translating to measurable success?

Christine:  Yes, they are. Whether we’re in a new business or renewal pitch, the people on the decision committee are often very engaged with the people in those stories.   The stories really bring our service commitment to life   Of course, we also need to make sure that we’re talking about our technical expertise and what we do, what the customer’s challenges and needs are and how we can bring value.

In the past year we also developed specific technical and educational content integrated with the stories about the people. The best story is one where you have a team that understood a complex need and is innovative in fulfilling that need.  It bridges the gap between the personal connection that the team had with their client and their understanding of the client’s business. Those are great stories.

Digitent: What are the marketing challenges that are sitting in the back of your mind that you’ve had to tackle?

Christine:  I really think it’s retaining our great staff more than anything. It’s a tight labor market out there.  There’s a lot of opportunity and there’s a lot of technological innovation going on in marketing.  One way to keep talented people engaged is to be sure they’re getting exposed to new marketing technologies,  that we’re giving people career growth, that they’re learning new things. We want our team to feel like they’re keeping up with the best practices of marketing so that they stay and implement those practices and help us and instead of going someplace else that might be more mature as a brand, or more resource-rich.  It’s finding ways to be a leading marketing company so that we keep the great talent that we have.

Digitent: Do you find that marketing tech is something that’s tricky to get a handle on because there’s so much out there?

Christine: Yes.  There’s so much out there and I get so many pitches on a daily basis for people who seem to have offerings that overlap. It’s like a complicated Venn diagram that keeps changing. We have to keep up with what’s a good fit from what’s not the right investment. It can be overwhelming.