Jan 16 2011

Cisco’s B2B Social Media Case Study


by Andrew DiFiore

When Cisco decided to introduce its new Aggregated Services Router (ASR) exclusively online to reach their target audience (network engineers), the news itself attracted a great deal of media attention. But when the official campaign numbers came out, there were plenty of latte spit-takes from all, even the “gurus” of social media-dom. Here are just some of the highlights:

  • 9,000 people attended the social media product launch event (90 times more attendees than in the past)
  • Nearly three times as many press articles than traditional outreach methods
  • More than 1,000 blog posts and 40 million online impressions
  • One-sixth the cost of a traditional launch (shaving over $100,000 off its launch expenses)

Cisco’s use of social media and gaming channels for its product launch is a shining example of online marketing done right. No newbie to social media, Cisco was not shy leveraging its 22 blogs, 300+ YouTube channels, 100,000+ Facebook fans, or 2 million Twitter followers. Cisco developed content specific to the launch, including a social media widget, a 3D game, and a virtual concert in Second Life featuring eight rock bands.

I was going to aggregate all the details of this case study here but then found Casey Hibbard’s superb post on Social Media Examiner. No point reinventing the wheel so here is the full monty on Cisco’s B2B Social Media Case Study. Enjoy!


Sep 22 2009

IBM’s B2B Social Media Case Study


by Andrew DiFiore

One of the featured case studies at last week’s B2B Social Communications event held by the Business Development Institute in New York City was IBM’s use of Social Media, specifically, their YouTube viral video series entitled Mainframe: The Art of the Sale. The brainchild of comedian Tim Washer, the series started 3 years ago and has since dramatically increase awareness of the company’s mainframe computers not only with IT execs but with college students (the next generation).

The take-away for B2B communicators and marketers: leverage your in-house resources, use “absurdity” to tell your story, and don’t let fear hold you back. You can watch part of Tim Washer’s presentation on 3 Minute AdAge.


Jul 6 2009

Tourism Queensland Smart Integrated Marketing Strategy


by Andrew DiFiore

This month Ben Southall, the winning applicant of The Best Job in the World, officially assumes his duties as the Caretaker of a group of islands off the coast of Queensland, which includes maintaining a weekly video blog. By now you have heard about the massively successful marketing campaign put on by the Australian government to raise global awareness about the islands of the Great Barrier Reef  and attract more tourists to this breathlessly beautiful region (lets hope it stays that way).

Tourism Queensland broke the story via traditional media and then sustained the buzz through social networks including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. The web site for the contest received a million hits the day after its launch. By the time the campaign was done it had attracted 34,684 applicants from 201 countries and generated over $150 million worth of international publicity (including a BBC documentary), all on a $1.2 million budget. Watch the video above for the full case study.

Although similar in concept to the ING Direct Professional Fan campaign launched last year to increase people’s engagement with Spanish F1 driver Fernando Alonso, this was nevertheless brilliantly executed by CumminsNitro which recently won three Grand Prix awards at this 2009 Cannes Advertising Festival.

I like this campaign as a good example of a smart integrated marketing strategy. It doesn’t hurt that Tourism Queensland has a great product to promote (who wouldn’t love to visit paradise) but they didn’t decide to just run full page ads in Traveller magazine or ask Tony Wheeler to blog about it on Lonely Planet, no, the The Best Job in the World combined both old and new media channels in an extremely effective manner. Each element of the campaign had its part to play but what really made this smart was facilitating real people to help tell the story: first through video responses (over 600 hours of user-generated content) and then ongoing engagement via branded social media pages (e.g. Facebook).  This in turn created a viral phenomenon so compelling that mainstream media outlets had to cover it (free publicity). And it was done without sex or shock! Imagine that.