Anritsu makes splash with agency's Flash

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Anritsu Corp.’s challenge was quite formidable: Persuade engineers, a notoriously elusive demographic, to buy Anritsu’s new broadband test and enhanced digital access platforms.

Rather than dropping an offline mailing to its prospects, the most common tactic for reaching engineers, Anritsu executed an e-mail campaign with a high-tech twist. It embedded Flash animation in the e-mail, helping to explain better than ever the company’s complicated testing platforms in a short, simple presentation.

Tokyo-based Anritsu tapped the expertise of SSD&W Inc., a Montvale, N.J.-based integrated marketing agency, to create the campaign. Anritsu, which had never marketed via e-mail, believed the stakes were too high to go it alone.

"We knew we had to do something that was going to capture their attention," said Stacie Mattos, marketing and communications specialist for Anritsu. "[E-mail] is a fairly new way of reaching our target audience. Working with SSD&W, we just gave them the scenario and let them run with it."

Establishing credibility

SSD&W decided that a Flash animation presentation—particularly one that was succinct and virtually all computers could handle—would be the best way to differentiate Anritsu from its competitors.

To establish credibility before introducing an out-of-the-box marketing approach, SSD&W included Anritsu’s logo in the e-mail header. "We didn’t want to just throw out a Flash movie and risk annoying the audience," said Frank Giarratano, exec VP at SSD&W.

SSD&W also took other precautions to prevent engineers from tuning out. For example, it kept the Flash presentation very short, at 20 seconds. "These are people who are at their computers all day long," Anristu’s Mattos said. "They don’t have time to open every piece of mail that comes to them."

SSD&W also sought to not overtax browsers, a shortcoming for a great deal of Flash presentations. "There’s nothing to download, it plays on Anritsu’s server," Giarratano said.

No fluff, just the facts

SSD&W was keen on striking the right marketing mix for Anritsu, making sure that the Flash video presentation was lively enough to attract engineers, but not too gaudy to put them off. "Engineers don’t want a lot of fluff, they want the facts," Giarratano said.

The presentation describes the benefits of the products—performance monitoring platforms that test company networks. Each product, when clicked on, is followed by five or six bullet points that succinctly explain that product.

A flashing red ball alerts viewers to common network problems and then provides explanations on how Anritsu can solve those problems.

The idea, Mattos said, was to strike a balance between entertainment and information. "It shows them in a fun, high-tech way an example of what we can do for them," she said. "It’s visually appealing and it doesn’t require reading a lot of text."

Anritsu’s success was impressive, proving to the company that engineers are open to new ways of being reached. After sending out 2,925 targeted e-mails in May, the company received 746 hits to its Web site, a 26% response rate. Response rates to offline direct mail campaigns to engineers are typically in the 2% to 3% range.

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