Every decision counts.
Our team at Turn makes hundreds, even thousands, of decisions a week about how to best market our company. There are the small ones, such as a word choice or graphics layout. There are the large ones, such as determining amount of resources to invest in a particular strategy.
Every so often there is a bold one: Such as deciding to purchase a one-time advertisement on the season finale of “Mad Men.” Sure, for some brand marketers, television advertising is a regular part of the mix. But Turn operates in the business-to-business realm. Turn’s cloud marketing platform helps advertisers use big data to get a better picture of their customers, and then precisely execute cross-channel digital advertising campaigns that target those customers. Marketing to marketers generally lends itself best to webinars and trade shows. TV? Well, that’s just crazy.
Here are some of the data points that were considered when making our big decision to move forward with our moment on TV:
-Our product is ready for prime time. Turn’s platform is battle tested, and ready to take on the increased scrutiny that comes from this type of publicity. We’re already delivering amazing results for very large customers across a variety of industries, and we’ve seen first-hand how our cross-channel product delivers results. This gave us the confidence to be bold – in our decision to advertise, in our creative style, in our choice of words, and in our call to action.
-It has to be about more than the 30 second spot. The Turn platform is all about using big data to make split-second, highly-targeted marketing decisions. At first glance, television advertising for us seems like a sharpshooter using a shotgun (as one Twitter user commented to me). The team never looked at the spot as a standalone, however. Instead, we saw an opportunity to tell a story to advertisers about how they, too, can cross the bridge from offline to online. It’s a claim Turn makes in its marketing materials, but having a real-world, first-person case study now makes us that much more credible when speaking with customers.
-The target audience needs to be inspired. The advertising community loves to celebrate great ideas that inspire humans to take action. Silicon Valley technology like what Turn provides is a means to that end, but its not the protagonist in the journey. Yet, our technology is amazing in what is accomplishes. This meant our creative strategy needed to tell a human story first, to first engage the storyteller within the marketer, and after that deliver the payload message about our technology. Our final spot, wonderfully conceived by our agency, gyro, does just this: The viewer immediately is immersed in a scene of romance, when suddenly, a woman with a gun bursts in. Who are the two people sharing drinks? Who is this woman and why did she enter the room? Who is she aiming at? All of these elements draw the marketer in. Then comes the dramatic firing of the gun. The viewer expects this scene to be full speed, yet we slow down to emphasize our point: In the time it takes for this bullet to cross the room, Turn’s technology accomplishes amazing feats for marketers. This technique helps us connect with the viewer by taking our technology’s speed from a conceptual “10 milliseconds” to a very real, very identifiable image. The entire journey happens in just 30 seconds.
-Conditions must be right for success to occur. “Mad Men” delivers marketers as a core audience component not only while the show airs, but also before and after. All of the major advertising trades write “Mad Men” blogs, and the show is a frequent trending topic on social networks. Further, the season finale is almost certainly “appointment TV,” and we internally have hopeful visions of this episode, complete with our spot, lingering on the DVRs of CMOs for the entire summer. All of this means a tremendous branding opportunity for Turn, and ideal conditions for our PR agency, Access Communications, to do what they do best. Access secured an exclusive placement with The New York Times, and we were off to the races.
With all of these data points nicely aligned, Turn boldly decided to move forward.
The initial reaction from our customers, partners, and employees has been amazing. They’re excited to see us make a strong public statement, and they were even more thrilled to see our brand associated with one of their favorite shows. Mission accomplished: customers are inspired, and Turn is a part of the industry conversation.
The experience has highlighted one of the core underpinnings of our brand: With a great product, the right strategy, and a smart way to connect with our target customers, Turn was confident at our moment of decision.
Paul Alfieri is Vice President of Marketing at Turn. He is a guest contributor for gyro.
Follow Paul @palfieri