Do you remember the heyday of jingles? The short song that accompanied commercials for your favorite products, one that started playing out of the blue in your head, even if you hadn’t seen the ad in days, weeks, months, years? Even after all this time, I still hum the topic for Klondike Bars, Band-Aid Brand, and Oscar Meyer … maybe it’s my brain’s subliminal message telling me I’m hungry.
Like any new marketer out of college, I originally thought my days would be spent brainstorming ideas for the next big hit campaign. But like many of us, I found my real calling in business technology rather than consumer products, which get all the media fame. While many of the goals are the same – ultimately, we’re trying to get someone to buy things – the content that is used to reach our audiences tends to be different. Instead of catchy radio or television advertising, we reach our potential customers through well thought-out content such as eGuides, white papers, brief technical information and case studies.
While these assets are vital to our sales reps, distributors, and customers, I kept wondering why we couldn’t use the same strategies to create brand affinity as our peers in the consumer industry, since what they did is that Awareness of them sharpened brands AND increased demand for a lot more fun. In my humble opinion, there is a vast blue ocean of creative marketing opportunities in enterprise technology. And while I’ve had great success with some of my other tech companies, none of them have had the built-in branding opportunity that a name like Wasabi has.
So my team and I decided to try it out.
Personification of our added value through song
At Wasabi, we only focus on delivering the world’s best cloud storage platform. We work closely with IT Value Added Distributors (VADs), Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who sell our unique cloud storage to our customers across the enterprise tech landscape. We have (and always will) equipped our sales channels with technical content that effectively demonstrates our value creation. After all, our main customers are IT managers who are tech-savvy and rely on such content to make informed purchasing decisions. However, almost all of our current and potential customers come to us to resolve the same issues – expensive data storage infrastructure costs, limited flexibility, and inadequate supplier agreements.
We could have told our customer story in a number of ways – an infographic, a series of short social media videos, or banner ads telling the story of the frustrated IT pro. But we had a unique resource that had not yet been tapped.
You know how we refer to people who are particularly talented in their work as “rock stars”? Well, at Wasabi we don’t have a real “rock star”, but we have a man who worked very closely with them.
Our CEO and co-founder David Friend began his entrepreneurial journey by founding ARP Instruments – a company that made synthesizers used by The Who and Led Zeppelin (music icons among others). He then founded numerous technology companies – but music was his first love.
Who better to come up with a crazy idea for a B2B tech cloud storage company? Instead of sticking to our traditional marketing approaches, create a full-length music video to get others interested.
David came up with the idea and played an important role in the song development, which led to “Nate, the IT Guy”.
While the production of the music video was a lot of fun and work, none of it would matter if our campaign wasn’t well received.
Nate in the “IT wild”
The start of the “Migrate with Nate” campaign involved numerous target group tests. However, we realized very quickly how much response IT experts had with the video. It told their own very real stories. It triggered specific emotions that IT professionals felt on a daily basis. They had to make management aware of the importance of storage and explain the rising IT costs to finance. On countless occasions I’ve heard of people say, “I’m Nate” or “I’ve felt this way for so long!” It seems that our friend Nate freed a legion of long-suppressed IT professionals.
Our campaign results were impressive with a 10% click-through rate for impressions, two million video views in total, more than 158 hours and over 2 million impressions.
A new approach to reaching the B2B audience
While my team and I are thrilled with the results, what strikes me most about this experience is how firm we can stay as marketing professionals. We weren’t looking for a completely new medium for our campaigns, but we are fortunate to have found a clear hole in the industry.
This use case isn’t unique to cloud storage, however, and I could easily see that the same approach is being applied elsewhere in enterprise technology. For example, why couldn’t Nate be the overworked developer looking for a more user-friendly DevOps environment, or a security professional who doesn’t have the right tools to keep a company’s network secure?
I anticipate that marketing approaches will also change as tech continues to heat up for companies as the rapid digital transformation drive continues. It just takes the right mind, risk taking, and a reminder of the original marketing tactic that inspired you to get into the business in the first place.
Image credit: Wasabi
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