The RealPort Integrated PC Card was an ingenious design and contributed to the return of Xircom to the #1 position in the PC Card space. Getting there required displacing category leader 3Com, a task both challenging and fun. 3Com made the mistake of acknowledging some design weaknesses on their support website, opening the door for a competitive assault using a variety of media. Following animation was sent in a broad e-mail campaign.
As Worldwide Product Marketing Manager I was responsible for all worldwide post-launch product marketing activities for the RealPort Integrated PC Card, including competitive positioning, development of sales tools, customer needs analysis and relationship management with industry partners and special interest groups.
In June of 1998 I was promoted to Manager, Americas Customer Marketing to manage all aspects of customer marketing including demand generation initiatives, customer loyalty programs and events.
The battle against 3Com continued and this was by far the most fun period at Xircom. We were able to initiate several demand generations campaigns using a variety of new media.
The ‘operatives’ – targets were the CIOs of Fortune 500 companies – were sent a little, leather suitcase. It contained an operative brief (for the IS manager), a map (executive backgrounder), a ‘swiss’ bank book and a mission disk containing an ROI model (for the finance executive), a code card to reveal a ‘call to action’ using a spy camera, and a fully functional RealPort Integrated PC Card. As expected the information was shared among the key influencers and decision makers…
The campaign was a tremendous success and immediately raised Xircom’s visibility in America’s largest corporations. The result was the rapid adoption of the RealPort Integrated PC Card as the new corporate standard for mobile communications, a position long held by 3Com.
With a broad offering that extended far beyond just PC Cards, 3Com held a stranglehold on corporate networking procurement. We needed to make an impact, fast. The objective was to give key decision makers and influencers within a corporation the necessary information to switch to the RealPort Integrated PC Card. The result was a ‘spy kit’ that was both informative and entertaining, and created quite a buzz…Customer acquisition exceeded 70%. Even with a per unit cost of $120, the CPL was much lower than traditional, broad direct mail.