Hacking the marketing remit

Could hackathons point to a way marketing chiefs can create virtual events to help solve problems and boost collaboration beyond the organisation?

As the coronavirus pandemic forces business functions to be reconfigured as virtual events, one CMO has turned to a hackathon as a collaborative, online initiative to problem solve and broaden marketing with the company’s extended ecosystem.

HCL Technologies is running the hackathon, #CodeforCOVID19, with Microsoft and International SOS and plans to match young coders with mentors / judges from the likes of Novartis, Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Manchester United. It is geared towards finding solutions for the way COVID-19 has impacted our lives and work, and is being led by HCL CMO, Arthur Filip. 

Many hackathons are launched for creation of proof of concepts, or to reach a short-term goal, and typically involve either academia or the business community. Filip said this one is different.

"The HCL hackathon uses a team-based approach for coders, who are given unlimited access to a mentor community from our partner and customer base, allowing them to create solutions that we hope will help us in our new ways of living and working," he told CMO. "At HCL, we saw the power of the hackathon model to bring an energised, positive competitive experience to solving a problem and decided that the results needed to address the effects of COVID-19”.

The enterprise technology business, which counts digital, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, security and analytics in its portfolio of solutions, launched the ‘Better Health Hackathon: #CodeforCOVID19’ in May to crowdsource technology innovation to find possible solutions for the immediate and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The competition was open to technology innovators and problem solvers from the global developer community working in teams to find solutions to a range of related issues such as pandemic containment, diagnosis and treatment, recovery and systemic solutions for future crises. 

“The goal is to bring additional technical and business oversight to the competition on top of the customers, academics, thought leaders and mentors currently engaged with the hackathon,” Filip explained.

The marketing chief told CMO this kind of virtual, collaborative event is a natural fit for the marketing function. He pointed to Deloitte research which found the CMO role of building collaboration with internal and external partners makes hackathons a smart choice.

“If we take a step back, the work from home phenomenon that resulted from COVID brought online much of the corporate contact to employees, customers and partners with the CMO suite leading many of the initiatives given the work that had been done with customer communications,” Filip said.

“The CMO role was stretched beyond online communication to online collaboration, with functions that had been done in-person moved to virtual environments. Given the success of many of these initiatives, and the power of technologies such as Zoom and MS Teams, we expect that the CMO will continue to lead collaborative, online initiatives that go beyond marketing with the company’s extended ecosystem.”

The list of those involved in HCL’s hackathon includes big names like the University of Cambridge, Johns Hopkins, Tuck School of Business, Johnson & Johnson, ING, Zurich Insurance, GSK, Equinor, Australian National University and Ascension. It has received more than 6000 registrations from 611 unique organisations and academic institutions spanning 350 global locations across 52 countries, and close to 150 ideas and projects are currently under development.

While the COVID-focused hackathon is a one-off event, at least right now, Filip believed it was significant for several reasons and pointed to new ways marketing can build connections among a range of stakeholders which offer an array of potential opportunities for an organisation.

The participation of academic as well as business leaders and thought leaders in judging and mentoring roles, along with the number of participants the event has attracted, creates synergies from a variety of areas of expertise, Filip continued. And it can build potentially powerful connections to problems and problem solving for organisations.

“We believe these types of virtual events will bridge the gap between solution conception and execution,” he said.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia


Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Thanks for nice information regarding Account-based Marketing. PRO IT MELBOURNE is best SEO Agency in Melbourne have a team of profession...

PRO IT MELBOURNE

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

Read more

The best part: optimizing your site for SEO enables you to generate high traffic, and hence free B2B lead generation. This is done throug...

Sergiu Alexei

The top 6 content challenges facing B2B firms

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Check out tiny twig for comfy and soft organic baby clothes.

Morgan mendoza

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

NetSuite started out as a cloud-based provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software or as NetSuite solution provider, which companies...

talalyousaf

NetSuite to acquire Bronto's digital marketing platform for US$200m

Read more

Blog Posts

Getting privacy right in a first-party data world

With continued advances in marketing technology, data privacy continues to play catchup in terms of regulation, safety and use. The laws that do exist are open to interpretation and potential misuse and that has led to consumer mistrust and increasing calls for a stronger regulatory framework to protect personal information.

Furqan Wasif

Head of biddable media, Tug

​Beyond greenwashing: Why brands need to get their house in order first

Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance is a hot topic for brands right now. But before you start thinking about doing good, Craig Flanders says you best sort out the basics.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

​The value of collaboration: how to keep it together

Through the ages, from the fields to the factories to the office towers and now to our kitchen tables, collaboration has played a pivotal role in how we live and work. Together. We find partners, live as families, socialise in groups and work as teams. Ultimately, we rely on these collaborative structures to survive and thrive.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in