Yesterday, I was reading a great post in the Salesforce.com’s blog written by Lynn Vojvodich, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce, which was talking about a great panel discussion that she was leading with well known Chief Marketing Officers: Beth Comstock (CMO at GE), Nick Besbeas ( VP of Marketing at LinkedIn) and Gabriel Stricker (Chief Communications Officer for Twitter). When you begin to read all lessons that Lynn learned from them, you will be amazed for the level of truth in the words from these Marketing leaders. I encourage you to enjoy the full video of the panel; it’s simple an eye-opener.
When you begin to analyze deeply the Marketing strategies behind these companies, you will see something in common: There is a powerful message behind it, and everything flows from there. Tech companies are great examples of constant innovation, and their Marketing strategies are not the exception: They love to create insightful campaigns to reach the right customers for their products. But, you should know that to make a compelling Marketing strategy in the tech world is hard for the huge quantity of products, services, offerings and more. So, when you want to learn how to do it in the right way, you always look for references. That’s the main objective of this post: to show you how Red Hat, Hortonworks, Skytree and Salesforce.com have understood all this, have created strong messages for their respective Marketing strategies and have lined with great tech events.
Red Hat: A Platform Without Boundaries
You should know that I’m a Red Hat’s fan (1, 2, 3). Being a Linux user for almost 10 years, I’ve been an active witness for the many contributions that the company has done to the Open Source world. If you think in a good Open Source project, you always see a Red Hatter inside it.
I personally admire the amazing Engineering team behind Red Hat; and I think that the message that the company gives to the world so powerful, that everyone in the company understood the importance behind this phrase:
“A Platform Without Boundaries”
If you analyze some of the core products of the company, they are big players in every IT Management area:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is the perfect foundation for critical applications.
- Red Hat’s OpenStack
- Red Hat Virtualization Suite
- OpenShift, the private/public Platform As A Service (PaaS), with more than 2 million of apps hosted and growing is a clear player in the PaaS space.
But how Red Hat delivers a global message about its products? They use a lot of ways for this. First, they organize or act as sponsors for a lot of annual events: Red Hat Summit + JBoss World,OpenStack Summit and more. I will talk about the first one, which is my favorite by far. Red Hat Summit gathers a very large crowd including CTO, CIO, Red Hatters, Open Source enthusiasts, Cloud experts, Security experts and more; so Red Hat takes a big advantage of this, and it have become in the perfect place and time to make big announcements, make panels with current big customers in great keynotes, etc. And then is when Red Hatters understand that each of them could be a perfect Brand Ambassador.
For example, every presentation of Thomas Cameron (@thomasdcameron) (Chief Architect at Red Hat, RHCA, RHCX, RHCVA, RHCSS, RHCDS, one of the most respected professionals of the company) is shared at Twitter (with the #redhatsummit and #summitjbw hashtags), Facebook and more mainly for the level of insights and knowledge that always he put in their talks. If you want to know more about SELinux, Best Security practices with Red Hat, Red Hat Satellite; you must see every of his talks about these topics. The same happens with Dan Walsh (Principal Product Manager for SELinux at Red Hat) with his talks about SELinux; Sanjay Rao (Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat) with his great talks about how to tune your RHEL for Databases or Diane Muller (Community Manager for OpenShift at Red Hat) talking about the benefits to host your app at OpenShift.
But the journey doesn’t end when the Summit finishes. Red Hat has a lot of followers in every major Social Media platform (They are in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) a very good YouTube channel dedicated to the Summit with all available talks for free, and its Global Marketing Team helps to every of these “brands ambassadors” to build a powerful image by themselves at Twitter, encouraging to use the best practices for it: Use images in the Tweets, Use the right hashtags to reach more users, Use Promoted Tweets wisely. The message that Red Hat gives to their employees is simple:
“If you are the Principal Product Manager for a particular product, or if you are a Jr. Software Engineer for the same product; you are the best person to talk about it, if you are proud what are you doing at Red Hat; you are the best guy/woman to deliver that exciting message to our customers”
Hortonworks: A Modern Data Architecture
This is one of the my favorite companies in the Tech world, because the level of innovation that they are bringing to the Big Data Analytics space with its Hortonworks Data Platform is amazing. This team is working in Apache Hadoop and all related technologies, but the most remarkable thing about this, is that HDP is free to use; and that’s why I admire them, because they strongly believe in the power of Open Source and its communities; for that reason all development that they are doing for Hadoop, they share it with all the community.
If you analyze deeply HDP, it’s an amazing piece of Engineering, gathering together the most recent releases of Apache Hadoop (YARN version), HBase, Apache Tez, Apache Storm, Flume and more; all packaged in a single platform, or if you want to use it right now; you can download the HDP Sandbox, a prepared Virtual Machine (based in Vmware or Virtuabox) with all these packages pre-installed.
But the genius things about the powerful Marketing message of:
Hortonworks can help you to define a Modern Data Architecture
is behind the selected partnerships that the company as chosen to truly support this message. For example, if you are a current Oracle user, and you want to take advantage of your Oracle databases making a joint analysis with your Hadoop cluster, you could simple use the new Oracle Data Integrator that is certified with HDP 2.1; or if you use SAP HANA, you can do the same with HDP, with the two companies working very hard on it. The same happens with Microsoft (with its HDInsights), Teradata, Red Hat (through OpenShift), Rackspace and many more (They wrote a post called How to Think About Partnerships in the Enterprise Hadoop Ecosystem talking about this topic).
So, the company uses several vehicles to spread the world about Modern Data Architectures based in Hadoop: Webinars (see the last one focused on Retail industry with Greg Girard, Program Director for Omni-channel Analytics Strategies at IDC Retail Insights and Mark Ledbetter, VP for Industry Solutions at Hortonworks), events like Hadoop Summit and Hadoop Summit Europe, where they invite to everyone interested in Hadoop and its related ecosystem to be inmerse the last trends, news and use-cases for the platform; useful blog posts focused in how you could use Hadoop in several industries like Financial Services, Telecom and more, and the perfect event to highlight all this is the upcoming StrataConf + Hadoop World, where they will be in Booth # 117.
Skytree: The Machine Learning Company
Machine Learning is exploding right now, and if you see a company saying thay they are:
The Machine Learning Company
Yes, this is a strong message. That’s what Skytree is doing with its Marketing efforts, trying to place themselves like the company to look for if you want to develop and deploy a Machine Learning model in this Big Data era. The three pillars of the company are: best-in-class machine learning, data visualization and high performance computing, and like Adoreboard, Skytree is helping their customers turn their Big Data assets into actionable predictive intelligence.
The most recent release of the company is called Skytree Infinity, which the description says:
“Skytree Infinity provides interoperability through Python and Java SDKs that provide Skytree REST APIs access to the entire data science project life cycle including: data transformation, data preparation, model training, model tuning, model testing, predictions and model scoring”
Like the others companies, they use events, Social Media Marketing strategies and posts like the main sources to spread the word about their services. For example, they will be too in the Booth # 431 in Strata + Hadoop World 2014, showing interactive demonstrations of Skytree Infinity, and making targeted announcements about critical partnerships for the company. So, I think that they are in the right track to deliver their message of the Machine Learning Company. If you want to know more about the company and its services, stay tuned to their Social media profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+), or if you have the chance to participate in Strata + Hadoop World, just go to the Booth # 431.
Salesforce.com: 1–800-NO-SOFTWARE and the Road to #DF14
This is one of my favorite examples here because Salesforce.com is using every successful Marketing tactic to spread the world about its services and events. One of the best Marketing strategies that I’ve seen in years is precisely the campaign behind the upcoming Dreamforce 2014, the annual event of the company, where every point of the company is used to spread the message about why you must participate in the event. Salesforce.com is a leader in Enterprise Cloud Computing and Software-As-A-Service spaces and in this event gathers more than 90,000 attenders in all sessions, so, it’s a great opportunity for the company and its partners to make announcements, deliver great keynotes and more.
- Bring a Can to Dreamforce — Help Us Reach One Million Meals!
- Start Up Right at Dreamforce
- #DF14Gamification: Gamification at Dreamforce
- Will.i.am to Unveil New Wearable Device at Dreamforce
- Dreamforce ’14: The Can’t Miss Sessions for IT Professionals
- #DF14Emerging: Emerging Technology Trends at Dreamforce ‘14
So, after a post, every Social Media profile of the company is constantly updated with the links and targeted quotes. For example, you can see how Lynn (@lvojvodich) uses Twitter wisely to talk about the #DFGives campaign to fight hunger:
And if you analyze the Social Media profiles stats of the company, you should see that they are working very hard: its Facebook page has more than 180,000 fans, its Twitter followers grows exponentially with time and it’s one of the best company pages examples at LinkedIn, so the powerful message of the company is being delivered in a very good shape:
“No Hardware, No Software. No Headaches. Move your business to the cloud with the trusted leader in Cloud Computing and CRM”
making the strong point to the Enterprise world why they should embrace today the cloud and how Salesforce could help in this transition. For that reason, they make all bets in their event. I remembered the DreamForce 2012’s keynote where Marc Bernioff (Salesforce.com’s CEO and founder) talked about the Social Revolution, and then, companies like Activision, Commonwealth Bank and Yelp touched the point with insightful examples. And if you see the keynotes of this year, I think that you remember this event for years. So, if you really want to catch up all this, you need to be at DF14.
So, like you can see, there are a lot of good examples how a company can define a message and then center all Marketing efforts around that message. If that message is so powerful like the ones that I talked above, you could create a successful strategy to deliver it to the whole world, but remember the lessons here:
- Use highly targeted messages to engage and bring the right customers on board
- Use the right tactic in every case