WHEN HR AND MARKETING COLLABORATE, BIG
THINGS CAN HAPPEN IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
By Heather Hudson
The Popping Bottles celebration started with a simple challenge for the customer success
team at technology company BlueCat.
The challenge was this: In one month, get 50 customers to write positive reviews of
BlueCat on the research and advisory company Gartner’s website. With bragging rights
on the line for teams and individuals who garnered the most reviews, a ripple of excitement and
competition shot through the Toronto-based office.
While the contest was underway, HR was looped in and the promise of champagne and a
celebration was added. By month’s end, the customer success team inspired 69 glowing reviews.
Corks went flying, cheers went up and everyone went home happy.
Marketing dreamed it up. Customer success got it done. HR made sure people were recog-nized.
On social media, BlueCat shared a story that spoke to customers and employees alike:
BlueCat has great solutions and provides exceptional customer service. And, BlueCat is a fun
workplace where you can be challenged and rewarded for doing your job well.
The multi-department collaboration was anything but a one-off. When it comes to com-municating
a holistic brand image for BlueCat, VP of People, Cheryl Kerrigan, and VP of
Marketing, Jim Williams, have been co-conspirators for years.
“From a people standpoint, we want to make sure our employer brand is heard. We’re in a
competitive marketplace for talent and we want to differentiate ourselves. In marketing, Jim
is doing the same sort of thing from a customer standpoint, asking, ‘How do we get our name
and brand out there? ’” said Kerrigan.
“There’s a natural type of cohesion between what HR is driving, from a talent perspective
and what marketing is doing to create customer awareness.”
Kerrigan and Williams are set to discuss the intersection of HR and marketing at an HRPA
Executive Real Talk on Nov. 29. We caught up with them to learn how they work closely – and
why your HR organization should cozy up to your marketing department.
To grasp how marketing and HR converge at BlueCat, it helps to understand their business.
In a nutshell: “We sell networking and cybersecurity technology to some of the world’s biggest
companies,” said Williams.
Their solution is called Enterprise DNS, a platform that allows any application, service or
other platform to connect to a corporate network. While the product is complicated, the goal
of marketing it is simple.
“We help buyers discover BlueCat by articulating the problems we solve and how painful
they are, such as managing thousands of employees and their technological applications and
endpoint devices. It’s difficult for our customers to connect all of their technology in a secure
way,” said Williams.
BlueCat’s marketing is carried out through typical channels and activities like brand-ing,
advertising, content creation, thought leadership, PR and blogs. They also manage “sales
enablement” to keep the sales team up-to-speed on the latest trends in the marketplace. The
14-person marketing team is mostly based in Toronto, but there are a few spread between
Colorado, Vancouver and Texas.
On the HR side of things, Kerrigan says her team is focused on recruiting and retaining
the talent that helps the 400-person company run strong. They have offices around the world,
but are headquartered in the Toronto office. “The Toronto tech market is competitive and
we’re constantly on the lookout for developers and other types of tech talent, so lots of effort
goes into recruiting. Then, once they’re in the door, we want to make the employee experience
lightwise / 123RF
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ NOVEMBER 2018 ❚ 25