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
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st 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 devic...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DX World Expo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 150 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.