Little splash surrounds the bold, red statement that appears on the home page of Novell's BrainShare conference: “Making IT work as one depends on our ecosystem of partners. We can compete in the marketplace and add value for our customers in large part because of our strategic partnerships. Past BrainShare sponsors include IBM, HP, Microsoft ...”
That text, appearing on the bottom right corner of the screen, still makes an impact in the right circles, though.
Phil Juliano knows that. He tested the concept.
Juliano, VP-global brand management and corporate communications, took a scientific approach to the repositioning of Novell 's brand as the company developed the “Making IT Work As One” campaign that debuted this year.
“We believe it is important to have measurements,” he said, describing three months of market testing in the first quarter of the year. “We did our homework and talked to IT executives. We took a snapshot of our brand.”
The company learned that the partnerships now listed on the BrainShare site resonated with executives. It also found the core around which to rally the brand—the promise that the company can help its customers integrate mixed IT environments.
The resulting campaign has seen brand awareness rise substantially, Juliano said. It has also seen the company develop a nimble, results-oriented marketing approach that emphasizes Web tactics.
“We won't run an ad if it's not above the norm [in regard to metrics],” Juliano said. “We'll replace the ad. We're so much more adaptable and flexible. With new media, you can change things within a campaign.”
Online messaging comprises 70% of the company's budget in 2008, Juliano said, up from 20% three years ago. Novell has overhauled its Web site and developed banner ads, as well as interactive elements like 10-minute webcasts housed on YouTube.
The company sponsors a column on the Network World site, associating its brand with third-party content. A “Making IT Work As One” widget at the top of the screen provides links to Novell marketing videos, white papers and the Novell site.
“It's a thought leadership element to our marketing,” Juliano said.
Web 2.0 elements can be adapted to the needs of geographic regions and the demands of various stakeholders, Juliano added.
The campaign also features print and direct mail components, as well as search marketing. In addition, the company attends a number of events and hosts its own BrainShare conference.
Current initiatives include the development of a new collateral architecture, Juliano said. New messaging will define each Novell solution in terms of the “Making IT Work As One” campaign umbrella.
The campaign has received positive feedback from analysts covering the company and has helped Novell better target its message.
“It's given Novell something to rally around,” Juliano said. —C.W.