Cognizant's Advertising Audit

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Cognizant Advertising 2005-2011

After a thorough search, the research team was unable to find sufficient information to analyze Cognizant's advertising strategy between 2005-2011. However, we have included helpful information we found throughout the research process and a detailed explanation of our research strategy to explain why the information was unavailable.

HELPFUL FINDINGS

Research Strategy:

The research team started our search by looking through company annual reports to find information for company advertising strategies and examples. Annual reports for years 2005, 2006, and 2007 provided no useful information regarding Cognizant marketing strategies or campaigns. The annual reports from those years focused only on revenue growth caused by marketing, not specifying the strategies employed. The 2008, 2009, and 2010 annual reports provided some insights into the company's advertising strategies but the information was scarce and wasn't sufficient to create an analysis. Cognizant's 2011 annual report had information about the new Executive Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, but didn't provide any additional information on the company's marketing strategies employed that year. What was evident by looking through Cognizant annual reports was that the company markets services through staff and personnel, focusing on businesses with intensive information processing needs.

In order to find examples and to gather more data points to create an analysis, the research team decided to check third party publications looking for reports on the company's advertising campaigns from the given years. The research team searched through relevant third-party publications that are known to have published reports as early as 2005, such as hubspot.com, inc.com, and entrepreneur.com. Unfortunately, the search determined that the desired information regarding Cognizant was very scarce in third-party publications for the years 2005-2011, with the publications focusing on irrelevant things like company partnerships with other companies instead. No information was available in third-party publications regarding how the company advertised or what channels it used to advertise in the given time period.

Next, the research team identified advertising channels commonly used in 2005 and later to look for the company advertisements published in the time period to list examples and create analysis. I have checked Cognizant advertisements for years 2005-2011 on Facebook and YouTube as these social media platforms were launched in 2005 or earlier. We also checked the company's Instagram profile but found that the company has not been active on the platform prior to 2015. Searches determined the company joined YouTube and Facebook in 2013. The research team also searched for TV commercials aired before the end of 2011, but found that information regarding commercials aired before 2014 is unavailable. Using this strategy we found that Cognizant has started using its website in 2006 to inform public about financial and geographical expansion details and to occasionally promote new services.

We have also checked for Marketing or Advertising awards that the company received between 2005 and 2011 to trace the advertising campaigns behind them to create analysis. However, we found that the company received awards in other business fields such as technology or consumers choice, rather than Advertising or Marketing, in this time period. Due to this, we were unable to move forward with identifying advertisement campaigns to provide examples and general advertising analysis.

The research team then decided the information available on the public domain isn't sufficient to create an in-depth analysis of Cognizant's advertising strategies between 2005-2011. However, we have included information about the company related to marketing that we found throughout our research as helpful findings.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Cognizant Advertising 1994-2005

Between 1994 and 1999, Cognizant's advertising strategy focused on geographic expansion and incorporating new clients. Between 2000 and 2005, the company focused on strengthening their client relationships and reputation. Unfortunately, your research team was unable to uncover specific examples of creatives or advertisements for the period between 1994 and 2005.

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION STRATEGIES 1994-1999

  • During this time period, Cognizant's marketing strategy focused on expanding their geographic coverage and building its client base.
  • Their marketing campaigns centered on reaching blue chip companies, or companies that are stable, nationally recognized, and financially well-established.
  • The company began developing marketing infrastructure in 1997. In the first quarter of 1997, they began building North American marketing infrastructure, and in the first quarter of 1998, they began building marketing infrastructure in Europe.
  • Cognizant used press releases beginning in 1997 as a sales tactic to spread client testimonials and information about their new services.

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION STRATEGIES 2000-2005

  • Cognizant continued to expand its newly established marketing infrastructure, surpassing its competitors in investment in marketing. It focused on strengthening relationships with key clients and promoting the quality of their services.
  • Using external analyst agencies, Cognizant obtained "positive" and "promising" vendor ratings in 2003, which promotes their business capacities to potential clients.
  • Cognizant began creating closer customer relationships through the annual Cognizant Community event. At these events, they would share promotional materials like this one which advertised their services to attendees.
  • In 2003, the company won the American Business Award's Best Marketing Organization award.
  • Cognizant continued to use press releases as a sales tactic during this period.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Your research team was unable to uncover examples of advertisements or creatives from the years between 1994 and 2005. In our attempt to find examples, we first compiled a list of online advertisement databases and searched through each of them for Cognizant content. This search failed to reveal results prior to 2014.
Next, we searched for marketing awards that Cognizant had won, in an attempt to trace back the award-winning material. While we did find that Cognizant won "Best Marketing Organization" in 2003, we were unable to uncover any further information about the work that resulted in this award.
Lastly, we identified key employees that worked in marketing between 1994 and 2005, to try to identify their work. We identified executives like DK Sinha, a long-time Cognizant employee who has led marketing in the past, but were unable to connect him or other employees in marketing to any particular marketing campaigns.
One explanation for our failure to find examples of creatives or advertisements from Cognizant between 1994 and 2005 could be that the company did not use online advertising, or publicly available online advertising until later years. Their advertisements may have taken less traditional forms than TV ads or banner ads, and instead focused on more direct communication with target clients.

Part
03
of three
Part
03

Cognizant Advertising 2012-2019

Cognizant presents itself as an excellent digital solutions' provider that makes a real-life impact for businesses and their customers. This is evident from the way the company's commercials have transitioned from 2012 to 2019. While the ads used to be focused on technology in the past, the ads are currently more focused on user experience and the latest advancement in cutting edge technology.

COGNIZANT'S ADVERTISING STRATEGY (2012-2019)

  • Since the beginning of this decade, there has been an emerging trend in Cognizant's commercial advertisements. The trend has been growing continuously.
  • It is clear from Cognizant's video ads that the company is more focused on 'the client of its clients.'

1. A CONSUMER-CENTERED COMPANY

  • Cognizant is targeting companies by presenting itself as a solution that is helping the companies in reaching out to their target customers themselves. Cognizant has focused on digital technology since the beginning of this decade.
  • The company is more focused on seamlessly integrating the arising technological trends and marveling into its narrative of an efficient digital solutions' company.
  • Cognizant released an advertisement in 2018 in which a company's CEO came onstage and announced a technologically advanced application for mobiles that worked seamlessly with the latest technology like blockchain. The company represented itself as a solution that can make this a reality for any banking firm through the advertisement.
  • Another advertisement in 2018 displayed an employee going to Cognizant's office to learn new skills. They presented themselves as a forward-thinking organization that believes in an up-to-date skill portfolio.

2. TRANSITIONING INTO NEW TECHNOLOGY

  • The company used to heavily imply that its sole focus lies in improving end-user experience in its older advertisements.
  • In an insurance claim-related advertisement released in 2017, the company presented itself as an out-of-box tool. The advertisement shows how companies are using the data to make real-life predictions and how end-users are making real-life decisions much more clearly after being informed by Cognizant.
  • The company keeps the narrative of the ads focused on itself and presents itself as a pioneer technology company by not including itself in the ads. The company only displays its presence through screens, devices, and consumers' happy and satisfied faces.
  • Some of Cognizant's earlier ads were technology-based and focused on businesses and companies that wanted to improve their presence. However, the latest advertisements are more user-centric and breakthrough technology-centric.

3. THE FUTURE IS HERE

  • One of the company's ads from 2018 was about an old lady getting her eye checked through a machine learning application on a mobile phone. Similarly, another advertisement from the same year was about a lady checking her biomarkers through a screen displayed on a cupboard.
  • These ads presented Cognizant to the businesses as a solution that can make these seemingly futuristic changes happen.
  • Cognizant recently purchased a technological engineering firm called Softvision. Softvision excels in providing curated and personalized solutions.
  • Cognizant's ads claim that the company is a technically updated and forward company. The purchase will help in making the claim more believable.
  • An advertisement from 2018 shows a drone surveying a region to settle an insurance claim that would have been very difficult with a human or other traditional technologies. This advertisement shows the perfect blend of reach, speed, and efficiency, and it works in the company's favor.

CONCLUSION

  • Overall, Cognizant has moved on from just being a technology solution company to a company that is making a difference in the lives of people. This growing trend has been perfectly captured by its changing commercials.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "We market and sell our services directly through our professional staff, senior management and direct sales personnel operating out of our Teaneck, New Jersey headquarters and our business development offices"
  • "We focus our marketing efforts on businesses with intensive information processing needs. We maintain a prospect/customer database that is continuously updated and used throughout the sales cycle from prospect qualification to close. "
Quotes
  • "We market and sell our services directly through our professional staff, senior management and direct sales personnel operating out of our Teaneck, New Jersey headquarters and our business development offices"
  • "We focus our marketing efforts on businesses with intensive information processing needs. We maintain a prospect/customer database that is continuously updated and used throughout the sales cycle from prospect qualification to close. "
Quotes
  • "We market and sell our services directly through our professional staff, senior management and direct sales personnel operating out of our Teaneck, New Jersey headquarters and our business development offices"
  • "We focus our marketing efforts on businesses with intensive information processing needs. We maintain a prospect/customer database that is continuously updated and used throughout the sales cycle from prospect qualification to close. "
Quotes
  • "Malcolm Frank has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, where he will further the initiatives that have made Cognizant’s brand a symbol of industry leadership."
  • "We market and sell our services directly through our professional staff, senior management and direct sales personnel operating out of our Teaneck, New Jersey headquarters and our business development offices"
  • "We focus our marketing efforts on businesses with intensive information processing needs. We maintain a prospect/customer database that is continuously updated and used throughout the sales cycle from prospect qualification to close."
Quotes
  • "TEANECK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2005--Cognizant Technology Solutions (Nasdaq: CTSH), a leading provider of IT services, today announced it has acquired substantially all the assets of Fathom Solutions, L.L.C"
  • "Fathom has achieved significant growth through an entrepreneurial culture, and has differentiating strengths in IT strategy, process design, program management, and systems integration. Fathom brings a track record of high customer retention, with repeat business accounting for over 90% of revenues in the past two years. Fathom's clients include major industry players in telecommunications and financial services, and the Company also enjoys low attrition amongst a staff of 120 employees. In acquiring Fathom, Cognizant gains complementary offerings and expertise that strengthen Cognizant's consulting practice in the telecommunications and financial services industries."
  • ""The acquisition represents part of our successful ongoing strategy to combine industry-focused IT consulting with our top-tier onsite/offshore model," said Lakshmi Narayanan, President and CEO of Cognizant. "Fathom's strong industry consulting expertise will help Cognizant build deep partnerships with leading telecommunications services customers. In addition, Fathom's IT strategy capabilities will provide Cognizant with the opportunity to engage earlier in a customer's decision cycle.""