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BtoB's Best Marketers: Lauren Flaherty, Juniper Networks

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When Lauren Flaherty moved from Nortel Networks to Juniper Networks two years ago, a key part of her job remained the same—taking on networking giant Cisco Systems. Her first campaign for Juniper debuted in 2009 and featured the tagline “The New Network.” It is a simple tagline, but one with uncommon staying power because Juniper continually promises a new, improved network. The networks of today and into the future must continually get better at handling the data transmissions that make up more than 90% of network traffic, she said. “Juniper is all about innovation,” Flaherty said. “That's the company's heritage. That's fundamentally our differentiator.” The original “New Network” campaign has been well-received, taking top honors last year in the BtoB's Best awards competition. The campaign, created by John McNeil Studio, Berkeley, Calif., introduced the Junos operating system. The effort succeeded in reaching the target market. Flaherty said awareness has increased by more than 50% in the last 18 months. Juniper has raised its profile in the networking market so quickly that it may not technically be a “challenger brand” anymore, Flaherty said, adding, “We'll keep that challenger brand ethos. There's a certain humility about it.” Juniper's marketing and branding efforts go well beyond advertising. Like most b-to-b marketers, especially in the tech sector, the company has a sophisticated content marketing program. “It's about education, engagement and evangelism instead of straight selling,” she said. “It's about influencing the influencers.” Custom events are one of the most effective techniques Juniper has used in content marketing. Earlier this year, for instance, the company was the sole sponsor of Nextwork, a conference co-produced by Wired and The Economist. The invitation-only event, which attracted 325 attendees, presented Juniper as a thought leader, Flaherty said. —Sean Callahan
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