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Last week the ESD Alliance ran another workshop on digital marketing, with Nicolas Athanasopoulos of OneSpin and Dave Kelf (now at Breker, but who used to work with Nicolas at OneSpin). Unfortunately, they picked the same day as TSMC's OIP symposium, and so it was poorly attended compared to the first workshop they ran. Yes, they got more people at 8am with a few bagels and coffee than in the evening with dinner and beer. I actually talked to at least one person at the TSMC event who told me they signed up and paid for the workshop but were too wiped out to go along.
To read about the first workshop, see my posts:
The evening kicked off with an introduction by Jim Hogan (who I'm just assuming needs no introduction). His connection is that he is on the board of OneSpin, as well as the boards of many other small EDA (and other) companies. Since OneSpin is based in Munich, one of the perks is getting to go to Oktoberfest. Here's something that most Americans don't know: Oktoberfest is mostly held in September, because it finishes on the first Sunday in October, unless that is the 1st or 2nd, in which case the festival is extended to 3rd October, which is the day West and East Germany were reunified in 1990. All the beer served has to be brewed within the city limits of Munich.
As an investor, Jim reckons that the difference between a great exit, and an okay exit (or no exit) is not so much the technology (which is usually okay but immature) but the marketing launch and the sales efficiency. It is all about how to get to market quicker, fill the channel with qualified leads, and not burn too much money doing it.
Jim then had to rush off since his daughter was having another grandchild that evening, which I guess counts as a really good excuse for baling.
Nicolas had two main messages:
Traditional EDA marketing has a sort of annual cycle with major conferences such as DVCon and DAC (or is that SEMICON now...I'm not going there today). There are product launches which end up in good months that don't have lots of holidays or vacations. This creates a static environment where budgets are planned and assigned annually but the ROI is hardly visible until new bookings come in, which might be 12-18 months later.
Traditional marketing also cannot adjust dynamically. For example, you can't have a big booth at DAC on the first day, a smaller booth on the second, and not go on the 3rd. Or have a huge booth on the second day because the first day was wildly successful
Digital marketing is not like that. You can do the equivalent of varying your booth size by the minute.
Planning needs to be at least quarterly in frequency, and the budget can be adjusted with a mouse click. Operational checking needs to be done daily, meaning feedback is real-time. Campaigns must be changed based on performance. The ROI can be tracked precisely.
Digital marketing is inbound-focused which requires a change in mindset. Traditional marketer-centric outbound marketing is focused on cold-calling, cold emails (aka spam), mass channel ads. By comparison, digital marketing needs to be customer-centric with valuable content (valuable to the customer). The ads that drive engagement must be highly targeted. The tools exist to make it so—when my son was doing player acquisition for Zynga I said that I never saw any Zynga ads and he told me that's because the targeting works and I'm not the target audience.
Above is a picture that summarizes digital marketing. If you attended the last workshop or read my posts then you'll have seen this already.
But a lot has changed in the last couple of years. Content marketing is not new and a lot of companies have created a lot of content assets, meaning that it is harder and harder to get the user to pay attention. This means that customer acquisition costs have risen about 50% in the last 5 years. The solution is to let your customer do the marketing, and to disrupt your existing marketing channels.
Digital content has a lot of advantages over offline content (like print ads) or quasi-offline content. The big one is that it can be customized to the user. There is also full analytic history of viewership data, and changes based on that data can be deployed in seconds.
Metrics are important but they have to be the right ones. Avoid page views, impressions, or sessions. These are what Nicolas calls "honey traps". The numbers might be big and impressive but they are not really measuring engagement. More relevant are:
Here's a summary of the first half of Nicolas's presentation.
Nicolas pointed out that metrics are also a way of convincing the rest of the organization. When he worked at 3M before joining OneSpin, they had a hard time convincing anyone else to spend any money on digital marketing...until they saw the metrics.
The rest of the evening tomorrow.
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