Awards case study: Sophos doubles pipeline through live event marketing and customer engagement
Discover how Sophos achieved over £1 million pipeline and a 20:1 ROI through live event marketing and customer engagement
Sophos produces antivirus products to help secure the networks used by 100 million people in 150 countries. They sell to channel partners (distributors/ resellers) yet also maintain excellent relationships with end users.
Challenge and objectives
Competition is fierce and competitors regularly run events to incentivise channel partners to sell their products. Partner engagement is challenging and Sophos needs activities to position itself as the market leader and stay front of mind.
Sophos competes with other well-known players in the antivirus software market including Symantec and McAfee. These competitors’ names are often better recognised than Sophos. Overcoming this lack of awareness is one of Sophos’ biggest challenges.
The objectives were to:
- Position Sophos as the market leader in order to ultimately generate increased revenue from the channel, in excess of £500k pipeline.
- Train 500 sales people in 15 locations with engaging events, a sustained communications campaign and exciting creative hooks.
Media, channels and techniques used
The following strategic and sustained online and offline activities took place. An integrated mix of media was chosen to use before, during and after the events, to target sales people and end users with a lively and creative theme.
A creative hook
Junction executed the overarching theme of Discover Sophos, featuring the Sophos Basecamp, the ‘five peaks challenge’ and complementary activities. These were designed to draw in the young target audience (for example, a climbing wall machine, snow dome and adventure activities).
Sophos’ marketing team gained buy-in for this event internally by making sure everyone knew and was excited about the tour. All the relevant information, such as dates, themes, locations, objectives and how to invite guests was available well before the tour commenced and communicated by email and internal presentations, supported by Junction.
Email campaigns were created to inform sales teams at partner companies about the Basecamp theme, the dates, the activities and prizes. These were sent out, inviting them to attend, creating a buzz around the event and building up hype.
Emails were sent to channel partner marketing teams, helping them to organise the day, the event layout and the timings. Emails were created for channel partners to send to their own customers (end users) inviting them to attend.
Follow-up email campaigns were sent to embed the Sophos brand and key learnings from the day, and to encourage attendance for 2016.
Flyers, microsites, social media, video and online survey
Flyers were created and left on desks building anticipation. Microsites were created by Junction (for partner companies and end users); somewhere email recipients could go to find out more about what to expect, register their interest, learn about the competitions and prizes, see competition scores and the leaderboard, download the presentations, and link to social media to see/upload pictures.
Facebook and Twitter were used. Sales teams were asked to take pictures of colleagues completing the five peak challenge activities (ski slalom game, climbing wall etc). Tweeters had the chance to win an additional prize. Videos were created and promoted during and post the tour, continuing the hype after the events.
A post event survey was distributed via email. The feedback was highly positive - unusual from a typically ambivalent audience. Findings will shape and support the 2016 tour and future events.
Results and timescale
The campaign ran for six months from May 2015 to November 2015.
In order to achieve the ultimate objective of generating increased revenue from, and for the channel, sales pipeline and deal registrations were the chosen measures.
- 40% uplift in pipeline and 25% improvement in deal registrations attributed to the events
- Sales pipeline £1m+ (versus £500k target)
- ROI 20:1
- Shortlisted for a CRN award
- 600 individuals trained
- 100+ photos tweeted
- 119 five peak challenges completed
- 121 ski slope slaloms took place
- 223 people climbed the climbing wall.
“The Junction team take the time to thoroughly understand our needs and offer the best possible advice and strategy. This event work was amazing – spot-on creative that engaged a tough audience, and achieved unheralded results here at Sophos.” Head of marketing UKI, Sophos