Awards case study: How Silver Agency won Gold for 'Most commercially successful campaign' for its work for Dell Technologies

Dell Technologies is one of the world’s leading technology companies, with a breadth of product portfolios and customers that’s unmatched among most global IT providers. However, they found themself behind the curve in terms of developing a strong, distinctive cloud proposition.

Having announced the launch of the Dell Technologies Cloud portfolio in May 2019, they needed to quickly raise awareness of this new technology among their influential channel partners to start gaining ground on competitors.

In response to the brief, Silver developed a multichannel campaign to drive awareness, demand and enablement of Dell Technologies Cloud solutions within Dell Technologies’ global partner network of high-tier distributors, resellers and specialist cloud providers.

Central to the campaign was the Partner Demand Generation Center – a microsite that houses relevant content and bespoke messaging. From here, regular ‘to’ and ‘through’ partner communications were executed via multiple channels, most notably social media, a nurture programme, events and CRM.

The campaign has delivered fantastic results, including a healthy pipeline, plenty of leads and a very strong ROI which is likely to increase due to elongated sales cycles.

Background to the campaign

As businesses started embracing cloud services, Dell Technologies found itself behind the curve in terms of developing a strong, cloud proposition. That is, until the launch of the innovative Dell Technologies Cloud portfolio in May 2019. Following this, the need was quite simply to raise awareness of the Cloud solutions among their influential channel partners to gain ground on competitors (generating opportunities).

With the role channel partners play in Dell Technologies, it was hugely important that this channel campaign was clear, memorable and action-orientated to achieve the desired impact in the market and generate a sustainable sales pipeline.

Additionally, Dell Technologies’ channel landscape is complex, vast and spans a number of regions, and thus languages, but is also comprised of many shapes and sizes. Specifically, partner size and capability, persona-type (sales, pre-sales, marketing and individuals in a hybrid role) and even partner type – whether distributor, managed service provider (MSP) or valued-added reseller (VAR).

In short, leaving Silver with the need to land an immense topic across a vast and varied audience with the ultimate goal of generating pipeline.

Objectives

Due to the need to gain ground in the race for Cloud, Silver clearly had to drive awareness, but, without question, educate and enable partners so that they could generate demand. Make no bones about it, the ultimate measure of success was pipeline and ROI.

More specifically, Silver's objectives can be broken down into the following groups. Where to-partner refers to items dedicated to the channel (resellers and distributors for their benefit) and through-partner items are ones they could use with their prospects and customers, tools for their arsenal as it were.

1. Drive awareness (to-partner) – outbound communication efforts.

Make resellers aware of Dell Technologies Cloud solutions and the benefits of selling it, generally and versus the competition, as well as the differentiators and USPs.

Targets:

  • 40% social media engagement rate
  • 25% InMail open rate
  • 150% increase in visitor traffic (to the partner portal/cloud pages).

2. Drive enablement (to-partner) – arm channel sales personas

Develop and roll-out resources to educate partners (primarily pre-sales and sales personas) and drive sales of Dell Technologies Cloud solutions.

Targets:

  • 15% ROI
  • Asset downloads.

3. Drive demand (through partner) – enable marketeers to market.

Encourage partners to execute demand generation activities that drive pipeline by using a range of tools, marketing guides and activation collateral.

Targets:

  • Asset downloads
  • 150% increase in visitor traffic
  • 200% increase in unique visits.

Strategy/creative execution

With a global audience in mind, together with hot topics to discuss, Silver had to consider an array of channels, media and platforms to reach partners and the varying personas within them.

Here’s how this was achieved.

Outreach to the Dell Technologies partners (external).

  1. Display: A home-page takeover utilising Dell Technologies CRN relationship, a go-to and high-traffic destination for channel partners, specifically in the Americas.
  2. Targeted media: Highly targeted media efforts, via LinkedIn using audience matching against Dell Technologies global partner data set, such as sponsored content, video and InMail – optimised and refined as the campaign was executed. This spanned various countries and languages.
  3. Organic (or owned) media: Use of Dell Technologies’ own profiles, including those of senior executives with a large following. Again, static and video linked to key destinations.
  4. Direct comms (nurture programme): Working closely with the channel comms team, Silver developed and rolled-out a targeted nurture programme to ‘best fit’ partners promoting both sales and marketing messages based on differing tracks defined by audience behaviours.
  5. Face-to-face: In a time where this was possible. The integration of key cloud messaging across varying events, whether they were big, small, technical or sales.

Communicating to partner account owners (internal)

Silver needed to ensure significant internal awareness and understanding from key partner contacts, such as partner marketing and sales managers, and also their executives to drive adoption. Here, an extensive comms strategy was developed to span a variety of channels, including emails, social media, WhatsApp and keynote presentations.

One destination. One tool.

These far-reaching and ongoing communications drove traffic to one of two locations.

  1. One destination: The partner-focused cloud page (both ungated to support media efforts and gated to protect sensitive content), which shared key messaging and provided access to sales and marketing materials. For sales, a suite of materials was created to help them with their pitch. Silver’s involvement here started from messaging all the way through to page and asset design.
  2. One tool: ‘The Digital Marketing Tool’ is a self-service tool for partners to explore marketing materials or simply download assets for their own use. For this, Silver developed a campaign for partners to adopt and utilise when generating demand.

Needless to say, these two destinations housed a plethora of deliverables specific to varying personas – from highly technical data sheets through to infographics – to help communicate the USPs of Dell Technologies Cloud Solutions.

Results

The campaign has delivered fantastic results! ROI and awareness continues to grow as longer sales cycles complete and campaign activity continues. Note: commercial results were not available for public viewing in this case study.

LinkedIn

  • Social engagement rate: 76% versus 16% benchmark (reported via Mediacom).
  • High social media engagement: Generating a large, earned media value equivalent to an extra $80k on the media budget.
  • InMail campaign open rate: 58% versus 50% industry benchmark.
  • Mediacom: “The results are hugely impressive and some of the highest seen.”

General campaign activity

In the last quarter, US and UK visits to the Cloud landing page jumped significantly:

  • Visits: +390%
  • Unique visitors: +536%
  • Views: +326%.

The campaign also registered the third-highest number of downloads across all Dell Technologies campaigns, whilst being deemed ‘best practice’ for audience nurture techniques.

“Silver has once again put an immense amount of effort, creative thinking and careful planning into delivering a channel marketing campaign that we’re all hugely proud of. Always highly responsive and keen to explore innovative approaches to maximise marketing spend, I know I can rely on Silver to exceed all expectations. This campaign has really delivered for the business.”

Julie Tatum, senior global channel campaign manager, Dell Technologies

The B2B Marketing Elevation Awards 2021

This entry won Gold for 'Most commercially succesful campaign' at the 2021 Elevation Awards

Check out all the winners here!

B2B Marketing Elevation Awards 2021