SAP – How social media use drives marketing reach

pchatter    November 8, 2015


Organization Name:  SAP SE

Industry:  Software

Web References: Twitter Facebook

SAP SE is a software company based out of Waldorf, Germany.  SAP provides solutions in the space of enterprise software, which helps companies around the world, manage their business operations and customer relations.  SAP operates in over 190 countries, affecting over 293,500 customers.

Along with more traditional forms of marketing, SAP has been actively involved in using Social Media to engage with its customers.  At SAP, I work as the Senior Director of Product Marketing within the Enterprise Performance Management suite of products.  This includes products such as SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) that helps the Office of the CFO (oCFO) / Finance departments perform tasks such as Budgeting, Forecasting, Consolidations and Profitability Analysis.

Social Media is an integral part of our Marketing platform to ensure we have a reach to this oCFO customer base.  Among the various tools being used, Facebook is a primary focus.  The specific Facebook group created that updates customers on latest developments, customer stories, events and such is the SAP Finance Facebook page.

Twitter is also another powerful handle, because of its ease of use and also the ability to leverage re-tweets in a multiplier capacity.  The @SAPFinance handle has over 5,000 followers and with the reach the followers have in terms of their own followers and ability to retweet it is a powerful medium in being able to spread very quickly the latest updates and marketing messages in this portfolio.

Unlike traditional consumer goods, oCFO users leveraging SAP products in this space have made a large investment in leveraging these products.  Primarily because these products are being used to prepare financial forecasts and budgets the oCFO users must always be aware of latest trends in this industry (e.g. what are their peers doing), what new features and products have been released that can ease the burden on them performing manual activities and spending more time analyzing.  Last but not least for Consolidations, this functionality is of the utmost importance for organizations reporting their numbers monthly, quarterly and annually.  With all of this in mind, oCFO users that are looking to purchase SAP solutions in this space perform quite a bit of diligence before choosing our products or competing solutions.

This is where LinkedIn as a social platform I find is quite powerful as marketing tool.  Everything within LinkedIn, whether its posts, announcements, “likes” can be targeted to oCFO users based on the groups they belong to.  Within LinkedIn there are a multitude of groups catering to Finance.  Groups that are dedicated to CFO’s, Finance Technology, SAP CFO and others.  All these groups provide a powerful medium through which marketing messages and knowledge can be passed especially in the form of blogs.

CFO Knowledge is an extremely important site through which members or ex-members of SAP’s Line of Business Finance team post blogs that focus on all aspects of the role of the finance professional, from strategy management to transaction processing.  The site is not endorsed by SAP nor does it constitute any official communication on behalf of SAP.  On CFO Knoweldge, as information stewards of SAP products and direction, in this space we can write blogs of all sort and communicate in great detail outside the scope of the SAP brand standards but rather in a comprehensive and free flowing manner.  I’ve in fact written many blogs on this site that focus not just on SAP technology but trends in the general finance space.  The blogs from CFO Knowledge can also be posted to LinkedIn thus sharing with the various Finance user groups, as well promoted with the mediums mentioned earlier (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).

With the realities of the new normal of finance (e.g. globalization, economic volatility, focus on risk) in place and more and more being accepted by finance departments, those looking at oCFO solutions such as that which SAP offers need to be certain that they are receiving a consistent messaging when searching for information across the various platforms.  This is why one of the challenges and obligations the marketing team at SAP has across the various Social Media platforms.  According to Karuna Mukherjea, Senior Director of Product Marketing at SAP for Enterprise Performance Management “Through the course of blogs, tweets, facebook posts and videos, we need to ensure that all the mediums have a consistent message and information.  Our audience the oCFO is extremely busy and have no time for confusion other than a succinct message regardless of platform.”

Lessons Learned:

The SAP Enterprise Performance Management Product Marketing team engages with the top forms of social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogs to convey their message to the oCFO audience.  The key lessons are to keep the messaging coming and relevant based on market conditions as per the use of their software.  Additionally with all the various social media platforms that are available the messaging and marketing programs conveyed and utilized across the various platforms must always be in complete sync.

Submitted By: Pras Chatterjee

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If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.