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Using an Announcement to Rise To the Top with PR and Marketing - Growth Hacking


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In July 2013, ProfitBricks, a cloud computing provider cut it’s pricing by 50% to assume the price/performance leadership position in the industry. Marketing (in-house) & PR (outsourced) worked together to create an inbound and outbound program I smashed all goals for traffic, mentions, backlinks, signups and customers. William Toll (@utollwi), VP, Marketing at ProfitBricks and Chuck Tanowitz (@ctanowitz) Vice President, Public Relations & Editorial Services at HB Agency will share the details of how they did it and provide some key tips for your next big announcement.

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Using an Announcement to Rise To the Top with PR and Marketing - Growth Hacking

  1. 1. Using a XXXXX (Pricing) Announcement To Rise To The Top Chuck Tanowitz Vice President PR and Editorial Strategy, HB Agency William Toll Vice President of Marketing, ProfitBricks Jan 16 2014
  2. 2. Agenda ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ State of the Market Decision to lower pricing Planning Content Creation Execution Results
  3. 3. INTROS
  4. 4. William Toll ■ ■ ■ ■ VP Marketing ProfitBricks Marketing & Product Management & Marketing Positions with: NaviSite,, Affinity Internet, NTT/Verio, ValueWeb @utollwi
  5. 5. ProfitBricks Mission Provide the next Generation of Cloud Computing IaaS. Details HQ in Berlin and Boston – 125 Employees Investors Achim Weiss – Co-founder, CEO Andreas Gauger – Co-founder, CMO United Internet Funding: Q1 2011 $18.8M Q1 2013 $19.5M Technology KVM Based – Cloud Computing IaaS service, built on InfiniBand network interconnects and in-house developed provisioning, metering and billing, built on premium commodity hardware and housed in top-tier data centers. Product IaaS – Compute, Networks, Storage in Top Tier Data Centers
  6. 6. Chuck Tanowitz ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ VP of PR and Editorial Services Co-Founder Fresh Ground Director Schwartz Communications @ctanowitz ctanowitz@hbagency. com
  7. 7. HB Agency Mission From Branding to PR – a one-stop show for creativity and experience Details Based in Newton MA Services Branding Design Media Relations Analyst Relations Content Marketing Influencer Relations Social Engagement Clients EMC VM Ware RedPoint Global Attivio
  9. 9. Cloud Computing, Web Hosting, Colocation Racing to the Public Cloud
  10. 10. Amazon AWS Weaknesses ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Performance Complex Deployments Difficult to use Pricing – Complex & Higher Than It Should Be Outages
  11. 11. Amazon AWS A Dominant Leader In A Growing Market
  13. 13. ProfitBricks – with price reduction: Now Offers A Savings of 43% to 80% off Amazon EC2, while still offering 2x the performance.
  14. 14. Timeline Of Working With A Client On A Big Announcement
  16. 16. Content for All Stages of Buyers Journey Asset Link Use Compare Cloud Pricing Lading Page & XLS, PDF links to pricing spreadsheets Great for top/middle/lower funnel as they look for affordable and fast cloud providers or compare ProfitBricks and compare us vs. Amazon & Rackspace How to Understand Secret World Of Cloud Pricing Webinar Registration Webinar that supports the 43-80% savings claim and supports the white paper. Performance Report Download Page Great for top/middle/lower funnel as they look for fast cloud providers or compare ProfitBricks Blog Post Explaining Ephemeral Storage Great for middle/lower funnel prospects – help them understand how to compare pricing White Paper – Secret World of Cloud Computing Pricing – How to Compare Apples and Oranges Among Cloud Providers Great for middle/lower funnel prospects – help them understand how to compare pricing Pricing Drop Press Release Share the press release CEO Blog Post Explains how and why we dropped our prices Evangelist Blog Post Provides a sample of the savings with ProfitBricks Video Simple overview of ProfitBricks – updated with new pricing 17 Confidenti
  17. 17. PR- PR - PR
  18. 18. Story Line Development & 3rd Party Support ■ Key message development – Focus on Price? Or Margins? – Which story will resonate – based on ProfitBricks market standing and the media’s interest? – Do we have the evidence? Can we make the case? – Who are we targeting? ■ ■ “Preventing the Cheap” label with price/performance leadership position Validating the Story – 3rd party support – Analysts/Thought Leaders, Customers
  19. 19. Story Line Development & 3rd Party Support ■ Content integration – Supporting the story ■ Timing – What day do we push? Key media availability, interviews, ability to extend story across multiple days ■ Know your media and thought leaders – Who leads? Who follows? ■ Contingency planning – “what if” scenarios.
  20. 20. Press Release • It’s all about the story. • Get quotes from customers & analysts • Provide specific details – quotable sentences – test them • Add an image – saves a reporter time • Include links to fresh content and call to actions – webinars, white papers, videos etc. These help attract links from sites when you secure coverage • Outreach, outreach and more outreach • Press release doesn’t GET coverage, it just supports it
  22. 22. TechCrunch In the end I’m impressed with ProfitBricks, but not for its claims of how much cheaper they are or how much more AWS could actually drop its own prices. More so, it’s the power of its platform and how the company is approaching the market that is most impressive. ProfitBricks charges only for compute and storage, and customers pay for what they consume, which speaks to the company’s pricing claims. They strive to be a pure-play service with InfiniBand networking, which makes their offering super fast. cks-drops-prices-makes-big-claims-aboutaws-and-its-high-costs/
  23. 23. GigaOM ProfitBricks, a German-based company with U.S. headquarters in Boston, pitches its view of scale-up cloud instances, paired with fast Infiniband connectivity, as an attractive alternative to Amazon Web Services. 013/07/31/takethat-amazonprofitbricks-cutscloud-pricing/
  24. 24. Ben Kepes, First the easy part. ProfitBricks is dropping its IaaS prices by 50% and in doing so is reaching a price point which is roughly half that of its major competitors. ProfitBricks is an interesting company. Their scale up as opposed to scale out approach is in contrast to the generally held consensus around the rightway to deliver IaaS. That said, the performance and price combination they’re offering starts to look promising. nz/priceperformance-orboth-profitbricksextends-theconversation/2013/0 7/31/
  25. 25. Some other analysts are buying into ProfitBricks' claims too. After being briefed by the company, Ben Kepes, a blogger, consultant and investor, questions why Amazon virtual machine instance price reductions have not gone down at the same pace as compute performance increases and Moore's Law. "Moore's Law expected price economies really haven't been borne out in actuality," he writes about Amazon pricing. 37446/Is_Amazon_Really_a_L ow_Margin_Cloud_Business_ ?taxonomyId=3024
  26. 26. Business Insider But the folks at cloud computing competitor ProfitBricks say that Amazon's low margins are a myth. They say that the company is really making 6080% profit. To prove that, ProfitBricks cut its prices in half on Wednesday, to a measly 3.25 cents an hour for compute time including 1G RAM (yes, less than 4 cents). And it says at that rate, it's still making plenty of profit. This compares to somewhere between 6 cents and 60 cents an hour for Amazon. http://www.busin azon-cloud-ishugely-profitable2013-7
  27. 27. "Amazon always makes the impression that it's lowering prices. But in reality, its gross margin is around 80 percent. That's why it's not difficult to undercut Amazon on pricing," Gauger told CRN in an interview. ProfitBricks also claims a performance advantage over its more established competitors. When processor, disk and network speeds are taken into account, ProfitBricks' cloud servers are twice as fast as Amazon and Rackspace, Gauger said. ProfitBricks' IaaS uses Infiniband, a supercomputing technology that allows for speedy networking connections between virtual machines, as well as flexible VM sizes. ProfitBricks uses a "scale-up" approach, which doesn't force customers to pick from a menu of set server configurations, and instead lets them choose the amount of CPU cores, RAM and storage they need. "If you want more RAM, you're not forced to buy more CPU, too. With us, you can configure your VMs any way you want," Gauger told CRN. d-startup-profitbricks-says-amazons-cloud-pricecuts-are-deceiving.htm
  28. 28. In terms of its technology, one of the ways that ProfitBricks has sought to distinguish itself is through the use of the faster InfiniBand technology instead of Ethernet, and all hardware at its facilities is equipped with dual InfiniBand network interface cards. The company has said it is the "first and so far only IaaS company using this technology."
  29. 29. Tweets (Sample)
  30. 30. Tweet Reach
  31. 31. Back Links & Referring Domains
  32. 32. Organic SEO Results
  33. 33. Unique Visitors: ProfitBricks USA
  34. 34. TIPS
  35. 35. Key Takeaways & Learning's • Executive Team, Marketing & PR must by in alignment • Identify the key storyline and sub-stories – test them with thought leaders and analysts • Target specific reporters, analysts, influencers and bloggers on your list – know who leads and follows. • Build Content – support your story • Make sure executives are available for interviews • Assign a “project owner” • Set goals for Traffic, Coverage, Links, Signups, Chats, Cost per Lead, Cost per Acquisition etc. • Make sure the website, signup forms and contact us are all working and optimized for conversions • Monitor and engage on social media • Get all employees involved.
  36. 36. Thank You William Toll VP, Marketing ProfitBricks @utollwi 201-220-5501 Chuck Tanowitz Vice President PR and Editorial Strategy @ctanowitz 617-575-9643