AHEAD Taps Into Marketing Strategy Alignment for Campaign Success
AHEAD places strategic marketing alignment and research at the center of a successful integrated program.
The transition to fully remote work created a renewed sense of urgency for digital transformation in many organizations — and motivated B2B tech marketing teams to amplify their brands’ voices in the marketplace. To take advantage of the opportunity, digital solutions and management provider AHEAD wanted to further define its position as a company driving delivery at scale. Sensing a critical need to refresh its position and approach, AHEAD engaged Walker Sands to analyze its current marketing state and make recommendations for marketing strategy alignment.
Walker Sands’ roadmap provided strategic insights that laid the groundwork for an integrated marketing program and creative campaign, delivering 62 media placements in the first year and 3.9M+ impressions in the first two months following the launch of AHEAD’s @Scale campaign.
top-tier media placements
AHEAD’s services were in high demand, but the cloud management provider was relying on a legacy marketing strategy and grasping at quick-fix solutions in an attempt to keep up with a rapidly changing industry. Without a strong marketing strategy and roadmap, the brand lacked a clear understanding of the market. This lack of clarity resulted in disjointed marketing efforts and an inability for AHEAD to define its brand, making it difficult to reach its target audience.
To increase brand awareness and mature its marketing function, AHEAD needed Walker Sands to help recapture missed opportunities in traffic, engagement and conversion across owned, earned and paid channels.
The Walker Sands team started by digging into AHEAD’s business and marketing goals — conducting in-depth discussions with key internal stakeholders and performing industry research to inform areas of opportunity and alignment for strategic marketing initiatives. The team then implemented a marketing strategy audit to analyze AHEAD’s marketing channels, strategies and operations. This critical step enabled the team to identify the brand’s current state, and align PR, creative and marketing business goals — a prerequisite for driving leads across channels. Walker Sands also completed an in-depth marketing analysis of key competitors to drive insights around market opportunity. The information uncovered helped our team refine themes and informed integrated campaigns that would drive awareness and leads across channels.
Building on our market research and analysis, the team developed the @Scale brand campaign to push awareness and present a unified theme for AHEAD. Several creative assets were developed to capture the attention of target audiences, including an animated video, animated/motion graphic illustrations, animated digital display ads and static backup ads, and a design for the Digital @Scale landing page template. Additionally, our team drafted content to amplify messaging around the attributes of Digital Transformation @Scale that would support the promotion of AHEAD’s Solutions @Scale and PR initiatives. Content assets included white papers, digital ads, print ads, and copywriting for the landing page.
To further increase awareness for AHEAD, our PR team developed various story angles for a media relations strategy that highlighted the @Scale campaign focus areas: cloud, automation, security, operations and apps. The team then leveraged messaging from the campaign to drive PR initiatives — incorporating it into outreach and maintaining a single voice across all channels for the brand.
AHEAD’s successful integrated campaign started with an in-depth marketing strategy and roadmap, including competitive and industry analysis, which was the key to unlocking critical insights the brand needed to outpace competitors. With these insights informing the integrated campaign, AHEAD achieved impressive program results, including 62 media placements, 5 of which were top-tier, and 3.9M+ impressions from the @Scale campaign.
Through AHEAD’s integrated campaign, our team proved that B2B tech brands’ success often hinges on marketing strategy and planning, especially in crowded industries.