|Rallying a global team to launch an innovative new product can be a grueling responsibility however, it can also be tremendously rewarding.|
In Spring 2001, the OgilvyOne team in Toronto was tasked to lead a World-wide launch for IBM's Storage division. Spanning teams in Toronto, New York, Paris and Seoul South Korea, the Toronto team were the principal architects of the communication strategy as well as liaison between the lead US client and local client/agency in the various regions.
At inception, the business opportunity for Networked-Attached Storage — or NAS- was considered large enough to warrant a multi-pronged Direct and Print initiative in North America and in key European markets. Adoption in Asia was slower in this particular technology resulting in a decision to principally use trade magazines as the communication foundation. On-line support and content were also deemed critical with a multi-language experience created by the Toronto office to support the off-line activity.
Working with IBM lists, OgilvyOne developed a number of high-value direct mail pieces for the North American and European Tier One markets. These were complemented with a robust trade magazine spend and on-line creative buy in North America. Follow-up mailings and call lists were created to ensure prospects were aware of the new technology and driven on-line for special offers and further education pieces.
Europe, by comparison, supplemented their initiative with several Sales Enablement pieces designed to boost the efforts of the local IBM sales teams. Altogether, a very multi-dimensional initiative across the two key geographies.
The NAS launch was personally rewarding as it provided the opportunity to lead an incredibly diverse team. The satisfaction of driving a cohesive group, despite some obvious challenges like time zones and geographies, was fantastic, coupled with the very positive feedback from both the US and European clients.
In business terms, the NAS launch was considered average in terms of the revenue driven. Post-program reviews cited the slower adoption of nascent technology like NAS as a contributing factor. The category has, in time, grown to be the opportunity it was believed to be in 2001 but, like many brilliant innovations, was perhaps a little too early.