Telling the story

Part 1 of 3

Julie Roehm, senior vice president of marketing and “chief storyteller” is new to SAP. She is helping the company change the way it talks, using digital media to communicate internally and externally.

Also new at SAP is Roehm’s team, Customer Central. “The opportunity we see with this position and team is to be the proof point for SAP’s work,” Roehm says. “We want to be the megaphone for the voice of the customers, relating their stories and describing how SAP helps them and their customers operate more efficiently. We tell these stories through the customers’ eyes.”

The concept behind the chief storyteller role is to relate conversations between people. Roehm says this will change the perception of SAP, opening doors, motivating dialogue and accelerating sales.

“We are connecting SAP to all of its many customers,” she says. “Our team is gathering content-rich stories about where and how SAP helps our customers realize their vision and solve their biggest problems. We publish these stories externally and internally too, so that our sales people can have more holistic and customer-driven conversations. By relating stories of others who have faced similar problems and opportunities, or are part of the same industry or geography, we are creating partnerships from a ‘business-person to business-person’ perspective.”

Roehm says that her team’s approach provides context to what might be perceived as complex technological solutions. Customer Central helped create an internal database and an iPad application to showcase customer stories that include quotes, timelines, customer video testimonials, business outcomes and benefits.  “As all of this rolls out, it will change the way we interface with our customers,” Roehm says. The team plans to use “many different digital realms “ to tell its stories.

“The ability to connect and share stories, distribute white papers and other thought leadership pieces is invaluable,” she says. “We are making the most of new technology and digital formats to communicate the value our company creates in a holistic and humanistic way.”


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