Case Study

CommVault Case Study: Creating an Industry Leadership Event


On June 13th 2013, CommVault Australia ran a major industry event in Sydney on Big Data.

The event demonstrated their thought leadership, particularly in the areas of data and information management.

They attracted a whopping 194 Registrations from senior IT Executives from Australia's major organisations, across Government, Education and Healthcare industries

They also attracted the attention of the Australian press, with the result that articles favourable to CommVault were published in the Financial Review, Australian, ARN, IT Wire and GTR.

The event's aim was to target prospects and to generate high quality leads for their direct and indirect channels.

From a Channel Marketing perspective, the event was also unique because CommVault were able to promote the event through multiple resellers, simultaneously.

In this case study, we explain the thinking behind the event that made it so successful. We also describe the process that enabled multiple resellers to promote the event at the same time, without running into any of the normal channel conflicts.

The Concept: Create a Honey Pot

If you want to demonstrate your industry leadership and attract large numbers of prospects to your event then you need to create a honey pot, an event that is so special that it will attract attention just like bees to a honey pot. It all starts with the speakers.

This is who CommVault selected:

Notice the titles and companies. There is a truism in conference production: the delegate profile matches the speaker profile.

So if you want high level IT professionals from major corporations to attend, then you need high level speakers from major corporations. You do not, as some people think, need to invite extremely expensive analysts at $10,000 a pop.

In this case, CommVault choose to target the industry sectors of Government, Health and Education, which is why they invited speakers from each of these industries.

Of course, attracting high quality major corporate speakers is not easy. It requires the skills of a professional conference producer, so Mike Malyon from StrategyMix was given the task.

Marketing the Event through multiple resellers simultaneously

CommVault knew that it was extremely important to involve the channel in this event. They adopted a pretty simple concept: If you want to attract say 150 delegates, then you just need 5 resellers who might attract 20 delegates each, leaving you with only 50 to attract via your own marketing.

Charley Coates of San Systems, one of CommVault's distributors, was given the task of recruiting the resellers.

Solving the data problem

The difficulty to be overcome with inviting multiple resellers to participate is that most resellers are reluctant to provide their vendors with their most valuable data - their best prospects, opportunities and customers. Why? Because if they do, then they fear that some of their contacts might wind up in the hands of other resellers with whom they compete.

This is a classic channel problem and also a very real one. Given what has happened in the past, with other vendors, resellers in general, have good reasons to be sceptical and wary when it comes to sharing their data.

The solution however was pretty simple. StrategyMix provided each reseller with their own separate StrategyMix Marketing System so that there was absolutely no chance that their data could fall into the wrong hands. To back this up, StrategyMIx also signed an NDA with each reseller.

This then was the process. StrategyMix imported the contact data into each separate system, from which the event campaigns were launched. All emails and telemarketing calls were implemented in that system and all the subsequent registrations were taken in that system. All the leads belonged to the reseller and only they knew the identity of those leads.

We even went one step further. We only printed the first names and last names on the delegate name badges, leaving the company name out, which meant that none of the resellers could easily snipe any leads that didn't belong to them.

All this meant that the resellers could feel confident that they could invite their best prospects to the event and why wouldn't they? It is a honey pot. They wanted to promote the event because it was in their interest to do so.

Hear what one reseller had to say:

"We participated in the last CommVault event. Working with StrategyMix team was easy, our data was kept sound and secure and we got some really great leads. Strategymix helps to synergize the function between vendor channel marketing and partner b2b marketing; we'll definitely be participating again."

Sharlene Tee, Marketing Executive, VMtech

Solving the brand problem

As we all know, resellers value their brand independence and so want all their marketing communications to look like their own and not those of a vendor. To overcome this "Brand Problem", CommVault asked StrategyMix to provide each reseller with email templates and landing pages that had the same look and feel as the reseller's website, as shown by the examples below:

Landing Page Examples

As you can see the Reseller's landing page is based on their own website design.

Email Template Examples

And the Reseller's email design is based on their own design and not on the design of the vendors' email.

While CommVault appreciates the need for their resellers to promote their own brand identity, it was also important to convey a consistent message, so the content was tightly controlled centrally by StrategyMix.

The importance of Telemarketing Support

Even with a great agenda and high profile speakers, you've still got to attract the attention of senior, time-poor, executives. Sometimes they just don't read their emails, so it was important to support the event with an ongoing telemarketing campaign.

The StrategyMix telemarketing team, led by Seana Morris, was used to not only ensure that prospects had read the email invitation, but also to build the database with new prospects and use the event as a "conversational opportunity" to obtain emails and related opt-in permission.

Improving the database for both CommVault and their participating resellers was one of the hidden, but extremely important benefits of running the event. An improved database creates latent value, because it makes it even easier to run future campaigns.

Involving the Press

Given the high profile of the speakers, it was relatively easy for CommVault's PR agency, Howarths to invite quality journalists to the event.

In addition to attending the event, the journalists were given access to the speakers in a closed question and answer session held just after the event.

The resulting articles were published in the Financial Review, Australian, ARN, IT Wire and GTR:

Lights, Cameras, Action

CommVault knew that even though they were going to attract a large audience there would still be a lot of prospects who, for reasons of time or geography, would not be able to attend. So it was decided to record each of the speakers on video, thus providing a databank of high quality and time enduring content to use for future campaigns.

Recording the videos requires 2 cameras. One to record the speaker, the other to act as a reference camera to record the screen. This allows the power points and screen content to be superimposed "behind" the speaker in each of the videos, as shown below:

Speaker Transcripts

Not everyone wants to watch an online video. Many senior level executives prefer their information to be written down. For this reason, each of the presentations was recorded so each audio file could be transcribed and the speaker presentation slides inserted as appropriate.

Reading the transcript is almost like being there.

The long tail, expected to triple registrations

When an event comes to an end then, for many companies, so does their marketing. This is not the case with CommVault.

Their videos and transcripts can now be used to feed a continuous stream of lead generating marketing campaigns.

And most importantly of all, these campaigns will not just be run by CommVault but can also be run by any of their resellers, including those that didn't participate in the event itself.

The videos and transcripts are expected to at least double the event registrations. That's an awful lot of buzz.

The CommVault Experience

"StrategyMix helped pull together an event that provided us with quality speakers, a method to involve our reseller channel and a pan to re-use the content in future campaigns. We've already planned to do this again!"

Tim Hill, Marketing Manager, CommVault Australia

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