Running a startup at-scale.
Kyndryl deploys a new martech stack from the ground up with Adobe Experience Cloud.
Build a new marketing technology stack from scratch after the company spins off from IBM
Maintain global market presence to support 4,000 existing customers
Develop marketing and technology strategy to nurture customers through long sales cycles
Improve content supply chain with integrated workflows for content creation and management
Launched a new website in eight weeks using flexible cloud deployment
Rolled out websites in 14 global markets using out-of-the-box templates and components
Reduced page building process from 1+ days with a developer to less than an hour with a marketer
Created a foundation for personalization across website and marketing using data and analytics
Not every new company starts out with a global market presence and $19 billion in annual revenue. But that was Kyndryl’s unusual start after it spun off the Infrastructure Services business from IBM in 2021. The company focuses on designing, building, and managing large-scale IT systems for its 4,000 global customers — including 75 of the Fortune 100 companies.
“We describe ourselves as a startup at-scale,” says Matt Stryker, Vice President of Transformation & Operations at Kyndryl. “While we carried over a lot of systems from IBM, we had the opportunity to build our marketing technology new from the ground up. It’s really a unique, and once in a career situation. We had a clean slate.”
Akesh Bhalla, Vice President of Transformation & Operations, led the development of a new digital strategy for Kyndryl — one designed just for the company. IBM’s systems need to support a more complicated and diverse business. Kyndryl, on the other hand, has a singular focus — infrastructure services for large companies.
“We’re much more embedded in our clients’ businesses, which creates a very different mindset for marketing,” explains Bhalla. “After separating from IBM, we had an opportunity to build systems specifically to deliver the data, analytics, and digital tools needed to engage and grow our accounts effectively.”
While Bhalla and Stryker were excited by the prospect of building a new marketing technology platform, they were still supporting a $19 billion company that had to continue normal operations for customers around the world. The company needed to transition quickly to a new marketing technology stack that could support all its digital goals, including a new website and account-based marketing campaigns delivered across channels.
“IBM had already evaluated martech solutions and chosen Adobe Experience Cloud as the ideal set of applications,” explains Stryker. “When we looked at our priorities, speed and potential for scale topped our list. Adobe Experience Cloud continued to be the best choice for us. Adobe has been a true partner to us since the start, helping us quickly move to our new martech stack.”
“We chose to deploy Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service to take advantage of speed and scalability that we needed to get our new website online as quickly as possible.”
Vice President Transformation & Operations, Kyndryl
Building from scratch
Rather than wait for various infrastructure decisions to be made with the new business before determining how to deploy a new website, Bhalla and Stryker chose to move quickly with Adobe’s cloud-based solution. With support from Adobe, Kyndryl launched its website on Adobe Experience Manager Sites in just eight weeks.
“We chose to deploy Experience Manager as a Cloud Service to take advantage of speed and scalability that we needed to get our new website online as quickly as possible,” says Bhalla. “We don’t need to worry about setting up infrastructure or managing updates. Everything is taken care of so that we can concentrate on growing our digital presence.”
Having a single content management system allows Kyndryl to deliver consistent experiences across dozens of countries and languages. The U.S. website first launched with 89 pages, with much of the content created by non-technical marketing staff in less than 10 days. Since then, the number of main site pages has nearly doubled. The team uses the Live Copy functionality in Multi Site Manager to replicate pages across 14 country sites, where content is translated into seven different languages using the native translation workflow in Experience Manager. The company also hosts, translates, and maintains a smaller web footprint for 27 strategic markets, bringing its total reach to 41 countries and 25 languages.
Custom components, templates, and Content Fragments enable non-technical content authors to create pages in less than an hour, a process that previously took a developer at least a day to complete. Using a dynamic newsroom experience, the communications team has created and published over 200 press releases and articles without marketing or developer involvement. Because of this, customers continually benefit from fresh, relevant content across industries and topics critical to their businesses.
Adobe Experience Manager Assets serves as the global digital asset management (DAM) platform for all digital channels. Taking advantage of automatic tagging and cropping of images and video enabled by Adobe Sensei AI capabilities reduces time-consuming asset management tasks, while Dynamic Media helps Kyndryl marketers scale production of asset variations for cross-channel delivery. That means an image created for an article on the website is automatically available for use in an email campaign and for social posts promoting the content. Marketers will soon be able to take advantage of search to easily find assets and use them as starting points for new campaigns worldwide.
“Now that we run on Experience Manager, we can focus on new priorities through data and analytics,” says Bhalla. “Adobe Analytics gives us insights into our customers and what they want in real time. We need our martech stack to evolve with our changing priorities, and with the integrated Experience Cloud apps, we can do just that.”
“Marketo Engage enables us to understand the relationships between a growing number of contacts and build relationships through nurture campaigns.”
Vice President of Transformation & Operations, Kyndryl
Reaching out to accounts
Bhalla believes that successful marketing revolves around experience — both creating excellent experiences for customers and giving marketers solutions that make their jobs faster and more efficient. Adobe Marketo Engage brings together many different touchpoints throughout a long sales cycle and adds automation that accelerates account-based marketing.
“A big foundation of our business is account-based marketing,” explains Bhalla. “Marketo Engage enables us to understand the relationships between a growing number of contacts and build relationships through nurture campaigns.”
Using account-based marketing integrated with its CRM, Kyndryl’s marketing team can build target lists, send personalized content based on segments, track customer engagement, and alert sales when customers are ready for direct outreach.
The next step for Kyndryl involves streamlining processes with Adobe Workfront. “We are consolidating all our marketing processes into Workfront. It’s one of our “power links” for all marketers, as one stop to get their work done,” says Stryker.
The work management solution replaces emails, spreadsheets, and disconnected custom tools with a centralized location to assign and manage all parts of a project, from requesting creative assets to managing asset storage and use. Through seamless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud, designers can see tasks, collaborate with stakeholders, and even log time without leaving their creative apps. And with native integration between Workfront and Experience Manager Assets, approved assets along with project metadata are automatically uploaded to the DAM for activation.
The ability to manage content creation will be particularly important as Kyndryl ramps up personalization, using Adobe Target to add dynamic content to the website or create tailored emails to different audiences. “We’re still in the early stage of personalization, but the ability to integrate Target into our digital marketing stack will make it easier for us to scale personalization faster and build closer relationships with our customers and leads,” says Stryker.
“Adobe is an obvious choice as a partner that supports the scale and importance of the work that we do to maintain mission-critical operations for businesses around the world.”
Vice President of Transformation & Operations, Kyndryl
Strong partnerships for a strong company
With the digital foundations in place, Kyndryl can focus on using data to drive marketing that improves relationships, reputation, and revenue. Adobe apps will support the continued growth as the company continues to scale and mature its strategies.
“We believe that strategic partnerships are critical to building a strong company,” says Stryker. “Adobe is an obvious choice as a partner that supports the scale and importance of the work that we do to maintain mission-critical operations for businesses around the world.”