A balancing act

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When you’re selling a technology product, even one targeted at CIOs and storage professionals, there’s a fine line between providing detailed specifications and information and technology overload, said Peter Fuller, VP-marketing and business development at Scale Computing.

Last June, Fuller, who is also the co-founder, introduced the new company, which sells midmarket clustered storage solutions. Here’s how the new company made Forbes list of America’s 20 Most Promising Young Companies last year, as well as raised its second round of venture capital.

Inside Technology Marketing: How did you come up with a marketing strategy?
Peter Fuller: Our first campaign was a 12-month campaign to get the message out that there was a third-generation storage technology on the market. To do that, we had to do a lot of research to come up with messaging. With b-to-b, it’s all about the wedge you can drive in the marketplace. You don’t want to be so new and so cutting-edge, though; it’s got to be something real that someone can grab hold of now. For our launch, we boiled it down to three words: cost, control and convenience. We took data storage and wrapped it around those three words that relate to the pain people have.

ITM: What was your media strategy?
Fuller: We have a very active social media strategy that includes Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are constantly doing something in the social space to push the message out there. We also used banner ads and sponsorships on TechTarget, and did telemarketing. We took most major marketing weapons except television, put them together and created a massive campaign.

ITM: How do you use LinkedIn?
Fuller: LinkedIn is fantastic for a couple of reasons. Everyone has their own groups of people, so when you post something, you also link it so it goes out to your Twitter feed. We ask everyone in the company to do this. We also have many of our employees join LinkedIn groups. It’s an anti-advertising way to tell your colleagues what you’re up to. You have to be very careful with social marketing. You can’t market overtly on social networks. If you use social marketing as part of your strategy, you’ve got to do it in a statement-of-fact way. We try and make everything [we post on LinkedIn] very interesting and useful so people will repost it to different groups.

ITM: How do you judge the effectiveness of LinkedIn?
Fuller: Right now, we can already prove brand awareness. We’re receiving amazing resumés from people who have heard about us in LinkedIn groups. We’re getting resumés from someone who knew someone else. We got a sale through LinkedIn, too. Overall, our social strategy is really helping us—we doubled our weekly website hits in only 16 weeks after initiating our social media campaign, and many of the in-bound leads are coming from social sources. During the past year, we’ve won more than 10 different awards and garnered more than 150 million impressions in the press. But the best measure is probably that we’ve launched a company and took it from sales in the 10s of thousands per quarter to sales in the millions per quarter this year.

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