we sell in recession or else

recession_information

recession_marketing_challenge 
IBM Korea is a late-comer in the data protection software market, which has witnessed a solid market share among large enterprises achieved by such competitors as Acronis and Symantec. Furthermore, they have started targeting the mid market sector (small and medium-sized companies) to expand their business.

In November 2008 IBM finally entered the market with their solution of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) FastBack with a very aggressive strategy of offering reduced prices. The strategy, however, backfired as it failed to achieve any business wins, and reinforced the negative perception of the product as cheap and unreliable.
In January 2009 IBM decided to take a corrective measure through this campaign with the express objectives of:

1. repositioning the product as relevant to the targets’ biggest pain point
2. raising targets’ awareness and preference levels with regards to this product
3. collecting data on potential opportunities


recession_target_ markets 
recession_ibm_clockThe direct targets are IT managers at small and medium-sized companies (termed as mid market) in Korea that use Windows-based servers with the number of employees ranging from 100 to 999. IBM mainly used their proprietary database with the above conditions working as a filter.


They understand the importance of securing the ever-increasing data as they are usually pressured by their line of business colleagues who turn to them for recovering the relevant data once they are lost for various reasons. This means their line of business colleagues qualify as substantial influencers, especially if they are not satisfied with their IT support on this issue. Therefore, selected external databases from local IT journals were rented to cover this segment as well.

Unlike large enterprises, the mid market space are not well prepared for protecting their data as they tend to not afford to invest in it as much. Added to this is another issue that these companies suffer from resource shortages, including a lack of information that is relevant to their real needs.
On the other hand, most of the marketing communications messages on data protection are of insurance nature by conjuring up a picture of disasters if unprepared. This falls short of sufficient information that help the targets make the right decision.

recession_strategy 

The direct targets are IT managers at small and medium-sized companies (termed as mid market) in Korea that use Windows-based servers with the number of employees ranging from 100 to 999. IBM mainly used their proprietary database with the above conditions working as a filter.

They understand the importance of securing the ever-increasing data as they are usually pressured by their line of business colleagues who turn to them for recovering the relevant data once they are lost for various reasons. This means their line of business colleagues qualify as substantial influencers, especially if they are not satisfied with their IT support on this issue. Therefore, selected external databases from local IT journals were rented to cover this segment as well.

Unlike large enterprises, the mid market space are not well prepared for protecting their data as they tend to not afford to invest in it as much. Added to this is another issue that these companies suffer from resource shortages, including a lack of information that is relevant to their real needs.

On the other hand, most of the marketing communications messages on data protection are of insurance nature by conjuring up a picture of disasters if unprepared. This falls short of sufficient information that help the targets make the right decision.

recession_campaign_results

For the duration of one month when the campaign was running, IBM achieved the following results:

1) More than 6,000 targets visited the website through the email, which helped raise the level of awareness of the product. This also serves as an evidence that the differentiated messaging worked.

2) Almost 1,300 of those shared their data via quiz participation. This leaves IBM with a sufficient pool of targets to nurture for the rest of the year. It proves that the usage of both personal and business offers worked.

3) The most surprising result is that 373 qualified leads were generated right away. They are being followed up by the sales team. Though it’s a bit too early to assess the value of these leads, it definitely shoots up the expense-revenue ratio of this campaign.

Although this result was not expected at the time of campaign planning, it indicates that the mid market sector is full of opportunities, and they can be identified at a substantially low cost as long as the relevance of the communications is ensured.

recession downlaod pdf

Date: December 02, 2009
Office: Ogilvy & Mather Korea