B2B Viral Marketing

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Marketing Sherpa turned me onto a case study around Arbor Networks, Network Security Firms, viral marketing initiatives from 06. It turned out to be a success because the team thought about the marketing in a holistic manner. Everything was tied together, and they really covered their bases.

The team created a game featuring “real” techie-types fighting an evil virus, then they created a 12 episode podcast with Captains of Industry, a series based on “a fictional financial institution was being extorted by cyberterrorists who were taking down the network.” They pushed their initiatives through advertising, blogging, PR, trade show activities and sposorships , direct mail, online ads, print ads, glued in offers and email ads in ezines.

The response, for the B2B space, were phenomenal. They made sure they stood out, the pushed everything the right way. Their traffic doubled each quarter, they recieved 40,000 visits to their blog, the podcasts were downloaded 24,000 times and they’ve been getting targeted traffic from search. Nice work Arbor Networks, way to engage you’re audience.


Undercover Marketing

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“Examples of undercover marketing:

Sony Ericsson used stealth marketing in 2002 when they hired 60 actors in 10 major cities, and had them “accost strangers and ask them: Would you mind taking my picture?” The actor then handed the stranger a brand new picture phone while talking about how cool the new device was. “And thus an act of civility was converted into a branding event.” (Taken from Walker, Rob. The Hidden (In Plain Sight) Persuaders. New York Times Magazine; Dec 5, 2004; New York Times pg. 68)

Rumour has it that, in 2003, Canon Inc. did something similar when they sent out couples to Staten Island and Battery Park who were dressed and acted like Japanese tourists, who would randomly ask passers-by to take their photos. They would hand them the newest Canon camera, and the target would subconsciously learn how easy, smart, and fun it was to use the camera.

The topic of undercover marketing is explored as part of the 2003 documentary film, The Corporation.”