Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Blog Feed Post

Anatomy of a (successful) Marketing Campaign

Last fall, our marketing radar picked up signals of a powerful opportunity.

We began hearing from our field teams, product management/development, partners, and even from our own internal IT team about an impending market transition. The SSL keylength of the RSA public encryption key was doubling from 1024-bits to 2048-bits.

According to the experts at F5, SSL is a cryptographic protocol used to secure communications over the Internet. SSL ensures secure end-to-end transmission and every web browser and web site worth its salt uses it.

This doubling of the keylength was imperative, the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued an edict driving conversion by January 2011.

Any website wishing to provide digital signing– anyone doing credit card transactions, for instance – would have to support the 2048 keylength.

(Hey, I am the marketing guy, OK? Learn more on the mechanics and requirements here.

The impact is huge. There is a significant increase in processing power required when you go from 1024-bit to 2048-bit, and webs sites performance takes a hit when key sizes increase, regardless of the platform or vendor.

Our product/solution teams had a solution.

Offloading encryption to the special purpose processors in BIG-IP helps reduce the performance impact of the conversion, and centralizing encryption across many application servers reduces the number of certificates required and thus cost. For more on the solution click here 

So, we were facing a marketers panacea – transitioning market conditions, obvious and understood customer pain point, straightforward proven solution, solid value proposition and powerful cost drivers. What’s not to like about this story?

Of course, we were not the only game in town, and time was short.  Then a competitor launched a program aimed right at the heart of the issue, and pretty darn close to the heart of our installed base. Yikes.

If we had one weakness in all this, it was that not all of our loyal and loving customers realized they could use BIG-IP to solve the problem. Thus, our customers were vulnerable to FUD from others if we did not inoculate them first.

Every marketer knows the ubiquitous floor wax/desert topping joke – well the government just had demanded every household wax its floors, and we already had delicious creamy desert topping that also shines floors in 90% of the refrigerators in the country. (Oh god, the product teams are going to kill me for this analogy). If we could just get customers to spray those cans of desert topping on the floor, it would shine like crazy, and they would buy a lot more cans!

We realized we needed to move fast. We wanted every BIG-IP customer to hear the message - F5 CAN HELP YOU SOLVE THE 2048 KEYLENGTH ISSUE! – before January 1st and before the other guys convinced them they needed new cans of floor wax. (Ok enough analogy).

We pulled everyone together – technical marketing, product management, field marketing, sales, field readiness, channels, community relations, operations, etc. We integrated email, social media, advertising, and web content. We reached out to sales teams in the field for success stories and incorporated them as proof points.

We built a technical webcast to discuss the issue and explain our solution. We decided on a slightly unusual approach for the webcast – instead of running it once in the US and promoting recorded versions world-wide, we opted to deliver three live webcasts on a follow-the-sun model, so everyone had a live experience and was able to have their questions answered in real time. We coordinated the event with partners and field sales to drive attendance.

To cap things off, we got on the phone, and contacted over 6,000 customers directly. Whether they joined the webcast or not, we were determined to get the message to every F5 customer we could.

Managing opportunities and following up was of paramount importance. While convincing customers to offload encryption was the goal, we knew this transition would drive new business.

Because we coordinated up front with our inside sales team they knew what marketing was doing to start and drive conversations and they knew what they could offer in terms of both information and solutions to follow up. They also knew these leads would be hot, so there was not throwing it over the fence from marketing to sales – both teams were running in parallel.

To paraphrase the old Monty Python song, Every Lead is Sacred, Every Lead is Great.

It took us three years to fine tune our lead management / marketing automation system. Again, we worked together – sales operations, marketing operations, inside sales, product and field marketing, etc. etc to create an integrated machine that I would hold up against anyone else in the industry. With it, we set scoring rules for incoming inquiries, and created lead nurturing tracks that take a common inquiry through several stages of qualification – instant email acknowledgement, 24 hour human contact, and very rapid escalation of hot revenue opportunities to sales teams and partners for fulfillment.

While the automation is all fine and good, human beings play a key role here as well so marketing and sales teams met before, during, and after the campaign to ensure no lead is wasted, (or Kirby gets quite irate…)

Bottom line – by the end of December we had touched upwards of 50,000 contacts, generated more than 3000 inquiries, and posted about $5M in sales pipe. Last time I checked, we were over $12M in pipe.

Now, that is a lot of floor wax, or desert topping, or…oh, never mind…

For more on this topic, there is a great case study write up done by RainToday posted here.
We will be speaking at the SiriusDecisions conference in May on this and other aspects of our sales/marketing alignment initiatives. Hope to see you there.


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kirby Wadsworth

Kirby is widely recognized throughout the storage industry for his expertise in marketing and business strategy.

A veteran of both startups and established storage vendors, Wadsworth was a founder of Storability and served as vice president of marketing prior to its sale to StorageTek. Earlier, as vice president and general manager of Compaq's Network Storage Services Business Unit, he envisioned and introduced Compaq's Enterprise Network Storage Architecture (ENSA) which is still widely recognized today.

As vice president of marketing for Digital's Storage Business Unit, Wadsworth launched Digital's StorageWorks product line into the open systems marketplace, and led the creation and introduction of the Enterprise Storage Array product family.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...