Case Studies

Symantec

Challenge

As the use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones for business continues to rapidly expand, there are growing risks associated with these devices. With more and more information being accessed outside the corporate firewall through line-of-business apps available, it’s vital to minimize the risk of information loss or theft.

Symantec wanted to raise awareness of the need for mobile security to drive growth in their mobile division, and in response Connect Marketing suggested an experiment to generate media interest in the issue and strengthen Symantec’s position as security leaders. We therefore proposed and developed the Symantec Honey Stick Project, to highlight the dangers posed by poorly secured smartphones.

What We Did

The experiment consisted of specially configuring 50 smartphones to track user actions, and the inclusion of unsecured, dummy business data. The 50 phones were then placed in several busy metropolitan areas of North American cities, as though they were lost. Once the phones were in place, Symantec was able to track precisely what happened to the phones once they were found.

The results proved highly newsworthy. Symantec was able to determine that nearly all the smartphones were accessed once they were found. And, while most of the finders made attempts to access the corporate information (given obvious names such as HR Salaries or Remote Admin), only half of those who found the phones attempted to contact the owner to return the devices.

Results

As a result of this innovative experiment, Connect was able to secure a large amount of media interaction. Within six weeks, Symantec conducted 25 media briefings with media outlets including MSNBC, CNN and NBC Today Show, resulting in several prominent, nationally televised news segments and dozens of local broadcasts. In the same time period, 326 pieces of coverage were generated by publications such as the LA Times, NPR, Fox News, eWeek and CNET. The campaign also generated more than 400 blog posts, including notable blogs such as Boing Boing, Lifehacker and PC World Blogs, as well as over 10,000 social media interactions, with conversations focusing on concern for the safety of devices and the need to implement security features.

The campaign was a significant success, generating significant media interest and leading to thousands of online discussions on the consequences of losing a smartphone, and highlighting the need for increased user awareness of security. The Honey Stick Project campaign enabled Connect Marketing to solidify Symantec’s place as a leader in the mobility space, paving the way for future growth.

F5 Networks

Challenge

In 2002, F5 Networks found itself relatively unknown in a competitive industry. They had a market share of just 10 percent, while Cisco had 48 percent of the market share. F5 came to Connectsm with a desire to improve their visibility and establish themselves as thought leaders in the industry.

What We Did

Connectsm began by working with F5 to refine their messaging and establish points of differentiation with the competition. With this foundation in place, we could use a wide variety of marketing tools to establish F5’s place in the new data center.

We began by focusing on the basics, watching editorial calendars throughout the high technology industry. We used our network of media contacts to publish articles and case studies, and initiated a customer evidence program to show how F5’s solutions benefited their clients. In order to establish though leadership, we also held a series of roundtables and other relationship-building events. Connectsm also produced videos to create publicity for F5 and its technological innovations.

Results

Over the course of seven years, F5 was able to transform itself from a small player to the leader within the market. A business/financial media outreach campaign resulted in a quadrupling of coverage, yielding a total of 1,597 articles written about the company in 2009. Additionally, market share went from 10 percent to 38 percent, while their main competitor Cisco saw a reduction in influence to only 26 percent. Throughout the industry, F5 Networks is now universally recognized as a market leader.

Siemens

Challenge

Siemens was preparing to launch its new OpenScape UC Suite 2011, a comprehensive suite of enterprise applications designed for collaboration across several platforms. In preparation for the launch, Siemens acquired a company called FastView, a fast-growing provider of collaborative software. The solutions that Siemens developed promised significant improvements over competing products, but the challenge was to differentiate Siemens’ products from competitors who were also poised to roll out or update unified communications software.

What We Did

In the field of enterprise communications, trade publications and analyst opinions are vitally important. Connectsm worked with key editors in the industry to develop the proper announcements and place articles in key publications. The campaign also utilized social networking channels to allow news to spread virally.

The marketing messaging focused on the convenience of the OpenScape suite compared with other solutions, such as the ability to use it without installing new software. The messaging also centered around the product’s features and affordability compared with the alternatives.

Results

The campaign has proven very successful with the media around the world. Through December 10, 2010 a total of 88 unique articles had been generated, along with hundreds of reprints. The announcement was retweeted more than 200 times, showing traction in social networks. Given the media attention the OpenScape suite has generated and continues to generate, Siemens expects successful sales throughout 2011.

Network Instruments

Challenge

As Network Instruments prepared to attend the 2010 Interop trade show in Las Vegas, they were searching for the best way to generate media coverage. Interop is acknowledged as one of the leading trade shows in the IT industry, and a great place to garner media attention and market a company’s products. But without major corporate news to report, Network Instruments would likely receive far less coverage than the other companies which were making major announcements at the conference.

What We Did

Network Instruments worked with Connectsm to develop a survey to administer to conference attendees. The survey was designed to attract editorial interest by questioning IT professionals about current trending topics in IT, specifically cloud computing and virtualization. The survey was administered by Network Instruments staff members at their booth, with the results tallied for the final day of the show and pitched to the editors of technology publications who were attending the conference.

Results

The results of the survey showed a lack of IT preparation and resources in virtualization and cloud computing, which proved important to editors within the industry, resulting in more than 15 articles in trade publications, including Network World and CIO Insight. Overall, the survey proved very successful at creating interest. This coverage was far more complete than Network Instruments would have received had the survey not been conducted, in light of announcements made by competitors at the conference.