Using targeted social media conversations and experiential marketing to create a buzzworthy product launch.

Product launch and awareness campaign

Case Study

Increasing share of voice in data governance conversation by


More than 5 million Twitter impressions

It’s not every day that you start working on a product launch when you don’t have a completely finalized product. Well, that’s how it went down when Centerline partnered with the IBM Information Integration & Governance (IIG) team to build a launch and awareness campaign that would drive engagement before, during, and after the IBM DataWorks announcement at Insight 2014.

While the client team finalized product messaging, we focused on engaging users in targeted conversations across social media properties, then to a microsite where they entered through one of three entry points. The microsite served as a content aggregator, so content could continue to evolve until the product launch was officially official – on the day of the event.

Our overall messaging strategy set a shared agenda across user groups: a more self-sufficient Data Ecosystem where clean, refined and secure data is available for all, anytime.

Content strategy

We were trying to reach three very different audience groups – Traditional IT, Lines of business and Developers – and lead them to a very specific end goal: driving them all towards relevant engagement in a single place. Early on we addressed messaging challenges, setting up a content strategy in four phases, each carefully targeted by audience, then stage in the awareness journey.

Data Ecosystem

Phase I: Set the shared agenda

Phase II: Align the solution

Phase III: The branded conversation

Phase IV: The event

Our overall messaging strategy set a shared agenda across all user groups: a more self-sufficient Data Ecosystem, where clean, refined and secure data is available anytime.

After users engaged in a targeted conversation across social media properties, they were driven to a microsite where they would enter and find a wealth of sharable information and the opportunity to further engage with the data governance message.

Campaign snapshot

Initially, content focused on the highest level of awareness with shareable videos and animations. Closer to the event, messaging became more targeted, attracting viewers by setting a shared agenda. An in-depth web series offered an authentic, deconstructed look at the details of the product.

Finally, at the event, we continued the conversation with printed handouts and a picket-line experience to generate buzz and drive users to the client’s booth. We were still working even after the event, pushing viewers to register for future events.

Creative execution:
creating buzz around the product

Our goal, first and foremost, was to curate a conversation strictly on social media – before even launching the microsite. From social content to animations and live-action videos, our net was cast far and wide – all driving users to the hashtag #makedatawork.

The activation plan included goals and KPIs, a high-level communications timeline, key assets for distribution, external influencers to target, and suggested social media copy.

Social media teams were empowered with everything they would need to set up a self-driving social deployment application, allowing them to focus on engaging with the community and create excitement around the campaign with an authentic IBM voice.

Positioning a microsite as a
curated content aggregator

Pre-launch, the goal of the DataWorks microsite was to curate relevant content and nurture a conversation based on end-user needs.

Centerline provided user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, site design, and development. Content was updated weekly in order to keep the microsite fresh and relevant for all visitors.

Dataworks microsite

Event content + experiential marketing

Dataworks presentation

Working closely with the IBM team, we created a hand-drawn animation that complimented the style and tone of the web series. As the presenter spoke, the concepts mentioned were illustrated in real-time – as if drawn on a whiteboard in a more intimate meeting.

With 10K attendees expected, it was important that our message was heard, loud and clear.

So we continued the conversation at the event with printed handouts and a picket-line experience to generate buzz and drive users to the IIG booth – and security was only called twice.

This anthemic opening video got the crowd’s attention, setting the tone for the event. A summary video for the brand’s YouTube channel increased post-event engagement.

Rob Thomas Genius Presentation slides


data governance graph

We compared IBM, Collibra, Informatica and SAP (identified as top performers from the June 2014 Forrester Wave Data Governance) in relation to the share of voice in conversation around data governance.

IBM initially owned 39% of the conversation, second to SAP with 44% of the conversation. Final share of voice days after the event has IBM well ahead, with 64% of all conversations.