My Blaze.com article & Uptime database strategy
OnePartner’s datacenter was the first commercial datacenter in North America to receive a Tier III design certification by the Uptime Institute. Tier certification correlates to high availability, or “uptime”. The challenges OnePartner faced were significant. Traditionally datacenters are located in large metropolitan areas, such as Atlanta, Dallas and Washington D.C. Overcoming this mindset would be a tremendous challenge even for an established brand. As a new company, OnePartner had no brand awareness and a minimal marketing budget.
Existing sales channels
Datacenter sales rely on referral sites, like Quotecolo.com, FindADatacenter.com and DatacenterMap.com. Unfortunately, listing on these sites affords no differentiation for OnePartner against strong brands, established buyer behavior and larger marketing expenditures.
Create a referral site that elevates OnePartner’s sole market advantage, the Tier certification (e.g. uptime) as a more important selection criteria than brand, location or price.
1. Obtained the domain “UPTIMEdatabase.com”
Selecting a domain name that has the most desirable keyword or positioning helps ensure a higher ranking on search engine results. This domain includes the word “uptime” and a user searching for an “uptime database” would find it higher in the search results than a less meaningful domain.
2. Create the main message
The site presents the focus information on the main screen. Each datacenter’s uptime (in days) is presented as the sole criteria. This is intended to reinforce the importance of this criteria above any other.
3. Draw in both sides of value chain
Consumers want guidance on datacenter selection. So I’ve written articles that are genuine, helpful and objective – citing numerous examples. These articles include:
- “Proximity Bias & Datacenter Commute Expense: Impact on Datacenter Selection”
- “Datacenter Integrity: The Level Zero Consideration”
- Consumers also appreciate information that is useful, interesting and interactive, like..
- Maps of each datacenter location with overlays for tornado, hurricane and lightning occurrence by state.
Datacenter providers seek connection with prospects (consumers)
- Listings are free
- An uptime seal is provided to each participating datacenter. Datacenter operators are encouraged to provide these seals to existing clients. Existing clients embed the seals on their web sites to showcase their datacenter’s uptime achievement. Each seal is hyperlinked back to the respective datacenter’s detail page on UPTIMEdatabase.com. The detail page includes a link to the datacenter.
The seals extend advertising for the datacenters to draw new prospects from the websites of existing clients and in the process…
- Send traffic back to UPTIMEdatabase.com
- Increase search engine weighting for UPTIMEdatabase.com
- Advocate the importance of uptime on each site
- Development of the seal (my cost): $500
4. Build traffic for UPTIMEdatabase.com
Referral sites’ largest expense is advertising. Without site traffic a model built upon introductions of buyers to suppliers creates no value. OnePartner’s marketing budget could not possibly compete with advertising expenditures of existing referral sites on search engine results or industry journal sites, so a more creative solution was necessary.
5. Find the people
Rather than paying to bring people to UPTIMEdatabase, the solution was to go where the people are and send them back. There are hundreds of high-traffic topics, fueled by media, movies, social networks, etc. Relating a low-traffic topic to a high-traffic topic allows the marketing effort to channel traffic.
6. Create a map overlay predicting “zombie survivability” by state
Why Zombie Survivability?
Brad Pitt’s “World War Z” will open on December 21, 2012. This movie is an iceberg tip of interest in zombies. Movies like “Contagion” build upon this interest, which at its core is based on society’s fear of itself.
Any other disaster meme could have been used (asteroid impact, mega-volcanoes, etc) but none of these has the public’s attention the way zombie/contagion memes do.
7. Reach out
Register member accounts in forums related to the high-traffic meme. Any sites that mention zombies are ideal venues to bring up the zombie survivability map overlay at UPTIMEdatabase. Visitors to these sites follow links back to UPTIMEdatabase.
On Sunday, September 18, TheBlaze.com ran an article on 18th century skeletal remains which were found with stones placed between the teeth. This story indicated that these fears of the undead are similar to modern society’s zombie interest.
I made a forum post on TheBlaze.com highlighting the zombie survivability maps at UPTIMEdatabase.
Within an hour of the post visitors increased at UPTIMEdatabase, including visitors from The Centers for Disease Control, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the Navy Network Information Center.
A screen capture was created (see Figure 1) of these visitors and sent to the editors of TheBlaze.com encouraging a story on the survivability rankings and the interest garnered within the government.
Editors called for an interview and ran the story on September 22.
Traffic to UPTIMEdatabase spiked with a 25x increase in unique visitors.
Thorough research (sources shown in Figure 2), creativity, diligence and an understanding of human behavior generated a result which would have otherwise been costly and unsustainable.
These characteristics should be transferrable into marketing any product/service.
A copy of the original series from TheBlaze.com is shown below.