Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Some Creative Inspiration

Every self-respecting marketing person would dress up like a hippie for the sake of a marketing promotion, right?

Wait. Don’t answer that. Let me explain…

About three months ago my fellow FaceTime marketing colleagues and I came up with a video idea to promote the company’s no URL filtering fees promotion. We staged a take-off on Animal Planet where we observed a near extinct species: the URL filtering sales guy.

Response was great, really positive; people liked seeing a technology company injecting humor into things. We spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., then to build on the momentum we turned that one idea into a series we call the Larissa and Sarah Show, where my UK-based marketing cohort Sarah Carter and I star as roving reporters for FaceTime's Web Security Channel bringing viewers the latest developments and news in the world of Web security, compliance and management.

We’ve interviewed President Obama, we’ve taken a road trip to observe an IT manager…then last month we took it live, to the RSA Conference in San Francisco. Three and a half days of back to back Larissa and Sarah Shows in a 20x20 booth – I can still give the presentation in my sleep! And we combined it with an old-fashioned 60’s-style protest against high-priced URL filtering fees. It was a marketer’s dream – full creative freedom to carry an idea all the way through. We had tie-dye, we had protest signs, we had a protest singer….we got our message across, and we made it memorable!

Our presence at RSA landed us some press and blog coverage - NetworkWorld even named FaceTime a security company to follow on Twitter, specifically calling out the Larissa and Sarah Show videos as quirky (which we took as a compliment:-)). The best part? The prospects liked it - our sales people are hearing things like ‘you guys had the best booth at RSA!’ You have to agree it’s much easier to begin a sales conversation with that kind of opener.

I thought I’d share our fun marketing idea for some inspiration. It worked for our company – the humor, the slight way we’re making fun of ourselves instead of pointing to the competition – and we kept it personal. Sarah and I are real people. Real people who don’t mind crouching under a tree in a parking lot.:)

Camo and tie-dye might not be your thing, but there’s a unique idea out there for your company, too. What is it?

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