Overview

End-to-End HPC Storage.

Providing the backbone for 2/3 of the Top100® fastest supercomputers in the world has been standard for DDN Storage for years. Many organizations and prospects in the high performance data storage industry recognize DDN Storage as the leader, but it was not clear why. We worked with the DDN team to create an integrated marketing campaign designed to connect with prospects online and in person, with a focus on positioning DDN Storage as the leader in 4 distinct categories.

Discovery

The goal: positioning & awareness.

The purpose of the campaign was clear: to not only educate existing customers and strengthen the perception of DDN as the leader in HPC Storage, but also help inform and create further market awareness among prospects and those new to DDN.

We used this premise to inspire the name of the campaign: “Did You Know?” With a simple question, we would arouse curiosity and draw attention to the company. Behind it would be a list of carefully organized facts about DDN. Since DDN is in a highly specialized and technical market niche, we needed to ensure these facts were both engaging and compelling.

Content is king.

With the theme of the campaign set, we looked to our research to guide us in what prospects cared about most when choosing data storage infrastructure vendors. We then worked as a team to categorize these needs and turn them into impactful facts that correlated with compelling value propositions.


Four
Categories
of Content
Guidelines

Product Leadership

Performance & usage stats
Native/open source recognized soft/hardware
Growth & adoption rate


Market Leadership

Proof of recognizable existing customers
Proof of success with those customers
Third party validation: analyst & industry

Technology Leadership

Level of innovation with current & future tech
Integration differentiation
Organizational capability


Benefits Leadership

Type of support offered
Ability to scale at the customer’s request
Competitive pricing/differentiation

Design

Visualizing the framework

Using visual storytelling, we designed an infographic that would weave in the story, facts, and call to action in a compelling way. Titled after the namesake campaign, “Did You Know?”, it was only fitting the question mark would get special design treatment to draw the reader in.

Identity
Style

Red
Company Colors


Vintage Gold
Premium feel

Application

Experience

Multi-channel, form-factor agnostic.

Launching the campaign in a setting that would generate the most visibility and interaction was key. We decided on the company’s biggest tradeshow, the Supercomputing conference, where we could also leverage the company’s PR and product announcements. We designed an interactive experience that began online and could be reinforced offline at the conference, combining multiple channels and form factors.

Social

Twitter Cards promoted & organically tweeted out along with the dedicated hashtag #IKnowDDN.

Infographic

Designed to bring the DDN story to life while providing readers with engagement.

Gaming

We enticed passing conference traffic with the chance to win a drone giving them two ways to enter: writing down any 3 of the 12 “did you know facts” and/or taking a selfie with DDN equipment and emailing it in. Writing the facts down ensured individuals had learned something new, while snapping a selfie that could be tweeted and retweeted expanded our network of impressions. Individuals doubled their chances if they did both.

Visual City Themed Freebie

With the conference located in New Orleans that year, we decided on beaded light up shot glasses as a low cost, branded item ‘tchotchke’ that would also draw attention as booth visitors walked the conference floor and city at night with their DDN branded shot glasses around their necks.

Video

Animated video created to promote facts, drive traffic, raise web ranking, and advertising.

Web & Email

Destination for web traffic – the company’s hub for all things DDN, as well as a point for meeting registration and competition announcements.

Heat Map

We created a booth conference map on the back of the Infographic to show conference attendees which existing partners and customers currently use DDN. In no uncertain terms, the heat map clearly showed the sheer dominance of DDN in the HPC industry.

Relevant Big Giveaway

With drones gaining interest and traction in 2014, booth traffic were highly motivated to win the drone draw.

Branded Shirts

While standard for company employees to wear logo’d shirts, we also took this opportunity to reinforce the message and offer booth traffic another way to look for facts, which also led to more sales discussions.

Strategy

Connecting it all together.

What good would it be to create all these assets and then not connect them? The campaign message had to be simple in order to be compelling enough for booth traffic to engage with DDN amid so much other ‘noise’ at a such a large conference. It also needed to be believable given that many of DDN’s prospects and customers are PhD’s, technology buffs, and turned off by gratuitous advertising. The campaign succeeded in combining relevant conference information, as well as appropriate and useful giveaways that netted in a positive experience as visitors explored the future of HPC with DDN.

Before Conference

During Conference

Results

Maintaining an unrivalled position.

The campaign was a huge success. Given it’s shelf life, the marketing and sales team were also able to use it throughout the year at dozens of other conferences, including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Conference and as a recruiting tool for the company to assist in onboarding over 50 new team members. It provided the global brand unprecedented engagement with its existing users, as well as prospects, and dramatically increased social engagement.

In all, the campaign delivered on its goals: to solidify its leadership position in the market and educate users and prospects on why.

3000+

New Leads Over
The Year

1000+

Did You Know Entries

1500+

Video Views

250+

New Twitter
Followers

200+

Online Registration

100+

Selfies Taken