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IT consultancy uses Webcasting to educate targets

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CHALLENGE: CIBER Inc is an international information technology consultancy headquartered in Greenwood Village, Co. with more than 8,000 consultants in 17 countries. Its clients include Global 2000, midmarket and emerging companies, as well as agencies at all levels of government.

CIBER wanted to educate CIOs and senior-level IT managers about global outsourcing options and provide a framework for helping them decide if outsourcing application development and technical support functions was right for their businesses. The company had already penetrated a large percentage of the Fortune 1000 and wanted to focus on the U.S. midmarket. The midmarket, which comprises approximately 40,000 companies with 100 to 1,000 employees or revenues between $50 million and $2 billion, represents the largest and fastest-growing market for IT products and services. Finally, CIBER had determined that this market segment would benefit from its educational approach, which provides CIOs with a foundation that enables them to understand better the costs and benefits involved with each kind of outsourcing option.

“Many of our Fortune 1000 clients have been outsourcing for quite some time,” said CIBER VP-Marketing Robin Caputo. “Midmarket companies are now realizing that IT can be both a strategic advantage but also a significant expense. CIOs are looking for ways to cut costs and, quite simply, get more done with less. As a result, CIBER’s solutions are extremely attractive to midmarket CIOs. In fact, about half of our client base is composed of midmarket companies.”

Reaching this large market, which Caputo called “a huge growth opportunity,” was the issue.

SOLUTION: Caputo carefully weighed her options in media outlets for the CIBER campaign. “All of our marketing comes from an in-house department—essentially five people implementing marketing for a billion-dollar company,” she said. “As you can imagine, we’re very judicious about where we spend our money and our time.”

CIBER turned to IT publisher TechTarget, publisher of CIO Decisions and sister Web site SearchCIO.com, to reach these midmarket CIOs. Launched in April 2005, CIO Decisions mails to a controlled circulation of 60,000 CIOs and senior IT executives in the U.S. midmarket. SearchCIO.com, which covers news and provides expert advice for midmarket CIOs, has 134,000 registered members.

Working in tandem with CIO Decisions and SearchCIO.com, CIBER produced and promoted a Webcast featuring Gartner analyst and outsourcing expert Joseph Fieman. Fieman is well-known for a model he developed, which enables midmarket CIOs to quantify the soft costs of outsourcing their work.

In April, CIBER ran an advertisement in the debut issue of CIO Decisions magazine to promote a Vendor Webcast on SearchCIO.com. The integrated campaign allowed CIBER to achieve multiple objectives, which included generating leads and creating awareness of its offerings among a qualified audience.

Caputo believed that the print ad allowed the company’s Web ad to have extra impact. Five percent of its leads came straight from the unique URL in the print ad; prospects had to take the extra initiative to type the URL into the browser to reach the Webcast’s landing page.

“The Webcast on SearchCIO.com allowed us to reach prospects in the midmarket, a very attractive market for us,” Caputo said. “The leads we generated were as qualified as they get. Because of the landing page questions on SearchCIO.com, we were able to assess quickly how qualified the leads were. In addition, we tracked 10 different sources that fed registrations—from e-cards used by our sales people to the ad in CIO Decisions to our website to the online promotions featured on SearchCIO.com—which also gave us necessary business intelligence.”

RESULTS: Before working with TechTarget, the process of producing Webcasts had been a great source of concern for Caputo. With a small marketing department, a turnkey Webcast production capability was a must. Caputo said TechTarget’s Webcast team made the process virtually seamless, managing the schedules and deliverables, marketing the Webcast to the SearchCIO.com audience, and providing reliable technology for production.

“I’ve used five different Web hosting options, and TechTarget’s is by far the most intuitive, easiest to use for the participant, and easiest to set up from a marketer’s standpoint,” she said. “And with the TechTarget Webcast team managing the schedule, we were able to concentrate on creating the most effective content and helping sales invite their clients, rather than keeping track of minute details as part of a production schedule.”

Building on the success of its print ad and Webcast combination, CIBER plans to launch three more Webcasts and white papers featuring different CIBER services on TechTarget’s SearchCIO.com and SearchSAP.com, along with two more print ads in CIO Decisions.

About CIO Decisions, Caputo said, There’s no comparable source for midmarket CIOs. The magazine couldn’t have come at a better time.” Caputo added that she’d tried other IT publications and Web sites but had been unable to target the midmarket audience she wanted to reach.

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