Since joining Juniper Networks almost four years ago, Lauren Flaherty, exec VP-CMO, has been focused on establishing the networking provider as a category thought leader. It's just one of the ways she's helping the company stand out from the competition, but she sees it as one of the most significant.
“If you're only known in tech for features, functions [and] benefits, you're never really going to wind up on the short list when companies are looking to make decisions,” Flaherty said.
Her push for thought leadership was evident in the integrated marketing campaign the company kicked off last year to introduce its qFabric data center network architecture. The campaign targeted an audience that was new for Juniper—enterprises, rather than telecom companies—so the goal was to introduce the new product but also enhance perception of the company as one with deep scholarship in networking, she said.
Messaging for the campaign—which included print and online advertising, social, online videos and a live event—focused on challenging the status quo and illustrating how qFabric addresses customer pain points, such as the financial challenges of running a data center. Flaherty and her team used contextual targeting to make sure online ads were appearing near editorial mentions of its competitors. “We were far more effectively targeting with this launch than we'd been ever before,” she said.
The campaign, created by John McNeil Studio, Berkeley, Calif., generated 60 million ad impressions across digital, print and mobile. Google search and display results generated more than 4,900 leads—2,600 more than the company's goal.
Juniper also focused heavily on analyst relations in advance of the qFabric launch, something Flaherty said is too often overlooked in tech marketing. “We had to make sure they had a deep understanding of what the orientation of the product was and what the competitive advantage was,” she said. “[Decision-makers] respond to advertising, and direct and all those things that we do; but the next phone call they typically make is to the analyst community to understand "how do I look at this versus the competition.' ”