Ask Alex Bender about product launches and he’ll tell you that the traditional way of doing things is history. “We’re in a new age, which requires new thinking,” said Bender, Director, SMC Marketing at RSA, a division of EMC.
Bender was responsible for the high-profile launch of RSA Security Analytics, a set of data analytics tools from the security vendor. Under the tagline of “Big Data Transforms Security,” Bender and team sought to achieve ubiquity in RSA’s target market, as well as generate awareness within RSA and EMC. In addition, Bender’s team needed to attract net new sales leads and convert them into opportunities in the sales pipeline.
Product Launch 2.0
For Bender, the entire process of launching a product needs to be re-evaluated. In this age of social media and mobile computing, product marketers need to think outside of the proverbial box and develop a launch campaign that reaches the target audience wherever they happen to be.
As the foundation for his product launch, Bender selected the Online Events platform from INXPO. Bender required a solution that enabled RSA to be both ubiquitous (in their target market) and global (across all geographies).
An online events platform fit the bill perfectly and INXPO’s platform was attractive for itsregistration integration, social media integration, social gaming features and scalability. “We wanted to be everywhere, from Kansas City to Rome to Moscow. And we needed to show innovation. The INXPO online events platform enabled us to do all of that,” said Bender.
How to Generate Sales Pipeline from a Product Launch
The early results are in: RSA’s product launch generated 9,500 registrations and 2,300 attendees. Over 35 sales appointments (with new prospects) were secured. Let’s look further at how Bender’s team used an online product launch to dollars to RSA’s sales pipeline.
Leverage Mobile for Promotion and Registration
As marketers, Bender and team knew that the surge of mobile devices in the market was an opportunity to engage their target audience with content to drive registration. Along the theme of “thinking outside the box” Bender partnered with Trepoint to create a mobile marketing strategy that included mobile banner ads and more importantly a streamlined registration process with calendaring functionality.
The promotions included a call-to-action to register for the online product launch, right from the same device. “We wanted to use mobile advertising as a means to effectively lower the industry average cost per acquisition (CPA) to an acceptable range,” said Bender.
Ads and registration were optimized for delivery on mobile devices. It worked: 5,500 (nearly 60%) of the 9,500 registrations came from mobile devices, proving Bender’s research about his target market. In addition, Bender derived a lower CPA on mobile registrations compared to conventional web-based CPA programs (e.g. syndication, e-mail blasts, etc.).
Integrated Marketing Plan for Audience Generation
“There’s a really good chance that you knew about our product launch.”
To generate registrations for the online product launch, Bender and team left no stone unturned. To be ubiquitous in their market, they needed to be everywhere online. In addition to the mobile registration initiative, Bender’s team used a communiation strategy with emails, Facebook posts, Facebook ads, tweets, Twitter ads, YouTube videos, YouTube ads, LinkedIn posts, LinkedIn ads, blog postings and promotions within RSA and EMC-managed online communities, public facing websites and employee intranets. According to Bender, “If you’re in the security space or within EMC/RSA, there’s a really good chance that you knew about our product launch.”
Online Event Engagement Drives Sales Opportunities
Bender’s team utilized interactive features of INXPO’s online events platform to drive real-time engagement with RSA sales prospects. One tool they used was a “Request an Appointment” button that was conveniently placed in the event. The button allowed prospects to fill out a short form and schedule an appointment with an RSA sales representative. The result? Scheduled appointments for the RSA sales team.
Chat transcripts can yield signals for buying interest.
Bender also enabled a Trivia Challenge game available on the INXPO platform. Bender’s team provided the questions and answers for the game, which were tied directly to the theme of the product launch. The game’s leaderboard and chat area enabled security professionals to compete with one another for placement on the board.
The online event generated a high volume of chat activity, both in group chats, as well as private chats. After the event, Bender’s team reviewed the chat transcripts for clues on prospects’ sales readiness. “We looked for questions about pricing and other clues,” said Bender. His team compiled a list of “middle of the funnel” prospects and had sales representatives follow up.
To date, the 2,300+ attendees have led to 30+ sales appointments. In addition, the online launch event helped move existing accounts into new sales opportunities.
Said one RSA account executive, “I have one account we have pretty much given up on. What this event has led to is a webcast next week and a follow-on meeting the following week to see a full demonstration of the technology and do some architectural conversations.”
In addition, Bender has kept the online event open, during a 3-month on-demand archive period. Already, 5+ additional sales opportunities have resulted from on-demand visitors. If “Big Data transforms security,” then it must be said that “online events transform the product launch.”
Online Product Launches
Interested in doing your own online product launch? Feel free to contact us: contactsales@INXPO.com or 312.962.3708.
Post contributed by Dennis Shiao