This is Judi Uttal signing back in for my next Technology Marketing Center post.
Over the last six months our marketing department has been in the process of transitioning from a lead-generation focus to a campaign focus. Previously we were obsessively focused on lead gen, implementing a variety of events, webinars, paper syndication with the generalized goal of delivering a quantity of non-specific leads to the sales organization. But with the wave of a new, enlightened marketing management, we changed our focus to be campaign-centric. The new mindset centered on building campaigns that with a clear marketing focus, executed over a defined duration, to achieve very specific business objectives.
Previous campaigns I've executed were designed around thought leadership themes, such as virtualization or the cloud, new technology paradigms that IT needed to grasp and showing how our technology was critical to implementation. This time around we designed a portfolio of campaigns. Some focused on thought leadership themes, but the most successful campaigns were the highly targeted sales campaigns with very specific competitive objectives. These targeted-campaigns specified a set of customers with an aggressive offer. One campaign was focused on pushing customers to upgrade to the latest release. This was marketing to our installed base, specifically to those customers who had not made the transition to the latest software release. Customers who don’t make a practice of being on the current release lose interest in a product and ultimately switch to competing solutions. By aggressively emailing them with educational webinars and videos, we were able to convince them that the new release was attractive and would ultimately make them more successful. A compelling offer inspired over 300 customers to move to the new software release.
The second campaign was targeted at the customers of our competition. A particular competitor was going through a transition that caused them to sell off portions of their business, bifurcate their product line, and cause serious concern among both channel partners and customers. To attack this opportunity we built an actual list of our competitor's known customers and sent it out to our sales people. We educated our sales people on the competitor and their products, and equipped them with a deep discount to take business. Although not complete yet, this campaign has already identified several million dollars of opportunities.
What have I learned? The most successful campaigns are those that have a clear target market, a value proposition that is tangible and quantifiable to those prospects, a time-sensitive offer, and enthusiastic support from the sales team. Marketing’s role with this type of campaign is to wrap the package together, to provide marketing communication and sales support required to make the target customer aware of the promotion, and to fully equip sales to close the business.