Case Study: Riverbed



In 2013, Riverbed was the leader in WAN optimization. However, there was a widely-held perception that it was the company's entire focus. Connect was asked to develop a new strategy and messaging to change the perception of Riverbed to that of a company focused on the data center. Campaigns could not include top-level executives who were gun shy with the media.


Connect established powerful messaging, positioning the company as a hybrid enterprise platform, thought leadership, and social media strategies to build a broader brand story with the media, online influencers and ultimately Riverbed's customers. We developed a number of strategies and tactics to accomplish this goal.


As a result of our insight, engagement, and ability to execute, Connect was able to double Riverbed's coverage in 2014. We deployed the following key strategies to reach that goal:


We created a number of macro trends/topics that Riverbed could connect to including cloud computing, SDN/NFV, loT, and the hybrid enterprise. In 2014, we increased the number of contributed articles by 207 percent (44 articles, up from 13) in publications such as Forbes, Wired, and Network World. Additionally, we secured 6 ongoing columns by Riverbed experts with publications including Wired Innovations, JobberTechTalk, TMCNet, and Data Center Journal.


We established a program to up-level the number of customers that could talk about the solutions and macro trends as it related to their implementation of Riverbed. We secured media conversations and increased customer stories by 280 percent. (19 articles, up from 5)


Connect developed surveys that could be fielded at industry events like VM world and Interop to develop new materials, including news releases, contributed articles, and infographics. The surveys resulted in numerous conversations and articles with key tech trade publicatioins.


With new positioning and programs, we were able to expand the number of awards we pursued and increased the number of corporate, executive, channel, and product awards by 383 percent in one year. (29, up from 6)


Connect developed a complete social media strategy that included the following:

  • Influencer program - Focused at online influencers that Riverbed could engage with and contribute to the conversation.
  • Hangouts - Developed hangouts based on upcoming announcements and industry trends.
  • Social Support - Designed a fully functioning social program with policies, employee engagement program, and content creation for the various social channels.

In one year, we increased all of our metrics: We tripled the number of impressions, increased the followers by 2,500, and nearly tripled the overall social engagement.

An additional challenge

A few years later, Riverbed went private. As a company offering pure B2B technology infrastructure solutions it didn't have the flash appeal of tech giants such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Cisco. This made it challenging to garner the attention of the business media.


Our goal in 2016 was to secure 10 new business media introductions. Connect created a compelling storyline that positioned Riverbed as a disruptor to the traditional networking market - which as not built for the cloud and digital age. The narrative highlighted how digital transformation was leaving vendors like Microsoft and Cisco struggling to keep up with the shift to mobile and cloud.


By enforcing Riverbed's leadership in digital transformation with a disruptor approach, Connect exceed 10 business engagements with high-profile coverage in the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and NBC:HERE. Introductions were also made with Reuters, Bloomberg, Techonomy, Forbes, and Fortune.


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