Going Beyond The Banner With Complex Products

Let me guess, you keep hearing the same buzz words over and over again: Opt-in email, permission marketing, targeted audience, affiliate networks. If you think building a successful online promotional campaign is tricky for products such as computers, software and books, just try to wade through the complicated online world of telecommunications.

My dilemma: Drive traffic to the Tekelec web site through a strong online advertising campaign in an industry with uneven online results.

Companies that might help identify opportunities for online promotions, couldn’t. The complexity of both Tekelec’s target market (ever heard of a CLEC, IXC, or RBOC?) and the technology we are selling (million dollar large switching and diagnostic systems) proved to be too much to handle for every online marketing and promotional company I spoke with.

Many of the opportunities for online advertising, whether it be a simple web site link or a banner ad, are priced at a flat rate rather than according to traffic generated. Many of the Telecomm online resources have very few numbers, very poor statistical tracking, and even poorer click-through rates. (Would you pay $3,000 for 15 click-throughs?)

The solution – get creative. Don’t just think of online promotions in general terms (the banner), think of the process your customer goes through to find similar products or services online.

The process of creating an online promotional campaign never ends, it evolves over time. Don’t accept high prices and shaky promises for “targeted” traffic without proven results from the online sources you are working with. If they don’t work, drop them.

Here’s a snapshot of four diverse online opportunities Tekelec is using to promote our products:

Product Marketplace

Telezoo.com is billed as a telecommunications marketplace, providing one stop shopping for customers looking to identify complex telecommunications products and solutions. Instead of implementing a strategy that looks only at driving traffic to the Tekelec web site, we took advantage of the reach of Telezoo.com as a leading site for telecommunications customers to research and select equipment.

Customers can ask for a quote from vendors, send them a request for proposal, and review vendor technical white papers in one convenient location. As a user of telezoo.com, I’m able to update Tekelec product listings and white papers, receive automated notices on proposals from throughout the world (giving us international reach), and receive requests for quotes directly.

Technology Resource

Internet Telephony magazine is an online technology resource. The evolving telecommunications landscape demands that experts in the field continually update their understanding of the technologies available.

Tekelec sponsors a telecom topic (Intelligent Networks) on which users want tutorials, news, and product information, thereby increasing mindshare (Tekelec = Intelligent Networks). In this way, targeted banner ads are also delivered displaying the Tekelec message. This medium provides an effective and non-intrusive way of penetrating the mindshare of a large, targeted customer base.

Opt-In Email

CTIA Wireless Daily Email: Tekelec sponsored 10 non-continuous daily email news updates hosted by a Wireless industry organization. Each daily email is delivered to 30,000+ wireless professionals who opt to receive quick wireless industry updates without having to surf everywhere to get these critical updates.

Tekelec runs web banners with wireless-targeted messages via this email news update. Because the campaign is over 10 days, the worst banners can be removed and replaced with more effective banners.

Traditional Banner Ads

Total Telecom: Reaching out to an International audience through an online medium continues to be an ongoing challenge. Online publications targeting the international audience are worth their virtual weight in gold – if you can find them.

Tekelec identified Totaltelec.com, an online publication that could guarantee page views per month, rotate ad banner placements, and most importantly, provide a breakdown of traffic that was over 70 percent internationally focused. Tekelec is implementing a longer campaign to introduce the Tekelec brand to a diverse international audience via this first step.

Conclusion

  • Don’t accept high prices from the online resources you’ve talked to.

  • Demand to see statistics and proven results.
  • Don’t use an ad banner placement firm that doesn’t understand your business.
  • Researching pricing, page view guarantees, and traffic demographics will also help you see how easy it is do to most of the work yourself, without paying the premium to the ad placement firm.
  • And finally… no matter what you are trying to promote, don’t stop researching online until you find opportunities that meet or exceed your expectations.

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