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
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, 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.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...