Special Report: Case study on Seagate Technology L.L.C.

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When Seagate Technology Inc. launched its Barracuda ATA III disc drive in February, which it dubbed "the world's fastest desktop drive," the goal of its integrated campaign was to drive value-added resellers to its Web site and register them for a new preferred partner program.

The company employed Lot21 for the online component, Burchill Advertising for print and Carat Freeman for media buying. With so many agencies involved in the integrated campaign, it was more important than ever to communicate the brand positioning and objectives of the campaign. Chris McGarry, director-worldwide brand management at Seagate, was the point person.

"It took a lot of talking, a lot of driving up and down the Valley, and a lot of consensus building," McGarry said. In addition to bringing together the product marketing, channel marketing and branding teams at Seagate, the company had the various agencies to work with.

Advertiser: Seagate Technology L.L.C., Scotts Valley, Calif.
Campaign: Barracuda ATA III disc drive launch
Objective: Drive value-added resellers to Web site to register for preferred partners program, readjust perception of company
Agencies: Lot21, online; Burchill Advertising, print; Carat Freeman, media
Budget: Undisclosed
Media: Print, online, site Results: 6-7 times normal Web site traffic
With the Barracuda ATA III launch, Seagate also wanted to adjust its perception in the marketplace from one of a company that had been around for a long time (about 30 years) to one that was cutting edge and current. Its new desktop drive, with a speed of 7,200 RPM and a seek time of 8.9 milliseconds, fit the image.

The creative for both print and online features a savvy-looking businessman handling the drive, with the message: "Finally. An ATA drive with attitude." Online and print ads pointed readers to the Seagate reseller site, which offers real-time pricing and availability online, as well as other benefits for partners in the Seagate preferred partner program.

However, the VAR market, which Internet research firm IntelliQuest estimates to be about 120,000 resellers, is a particularly hard one to reach, mainly because they are constantly bombarded with vendor offers and advertising.

"This target tends to be less responsive than most audiences," said Mark Stephens, director-media services at Lot21, pointing to a VAR click-through rate that is even lower than the 0.36% rates for the overall Internet audience, according to recent Nielsen//NetRatings data. "We knew we needed to stand out," Stephens said. So Lot21 used new, larger online ad formats, including vertical skyscrapers and digital inserts, which are behind-the-browser units that use Flash for impact. Once the campaign launched, Seagate realized an increase of six to seven times its average site traffic.

Now the company is launching a new campaign for another new product, the Barracuda 180 drive. Seagate is taking what it learned from the ATA campaign and building on it, making even more of a Web presence, with an online demo and other product information ads to drive customer acquisition.

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