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Ciena soft sells Ethernet products

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Ciena Corp.'s global customer base already included major communication service providers, corporations and governmental agencies that all rely on the network specialist's systems and software. But when the company introduced new Ethernet products to its portfolio in 2007, it knew it had to reframe how the marketplace viewed them. A prospecting campaign had to extend the brand, explain the new products and entice decision-makers and recommenders to seek more information. “We wanted people to consider us a specialist in Ethernet technology,'' said Joe Cumello, senior director of global marketing at Ciena. “We were trying to educate the whole market at once that we had this technology and it was available for people to get.'' The company looked to Babcock & Jenkins to help it craft a direct marketing effort introducing its FlexSelect for Ethernet. To soften the market for the messaging that was to come, Ciena launched an integrated media campaign March 1, 2007, a few weeks before it dropped its first piece of mail. Banner ads, webinars and e-newsletters were used to set the stage, and all used the tagline “Now arriving.'' Later that month, a simple intrigue piece of mail landed on the desks of 16,957 decision-makers and recommenders worldwide. Polybagged and designed to resemble an airline boarding pass, the mailer didn't offer any details about the new Ethernet architecture, just that it had arrived. Recipients were directed to a microsite (www.ethernetnow.com) and could use a personal PIN supplied in the mailer to learn more details. On that microsite, the only personal information they were asked to input was how soon they would make a purchase and their role in their organization. Those who went on the site could access white papers and product information. Three weeks after that, another mailer arrived—this one in a red polybag and much more detailed in its explanation of the architecture. Again, recipients were invited to visit the microsite, using an enclosed PIN number. Finally, three to four weeks later, Ciena sent e-mails to 7,000 people—those on the original list for which it had addresses—asking them to visit the microsite. The campaign generated an overall response rate of 7%, a registration rate of 4.25% and produced 721 unique leads. Of those leads, 74 asked to be contacted immediately. More than 75% of all responders opted to keep receiving materials from Ciena. M
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