One of the best digital marketing campaigns in the world!

April 3, 2014

By: Trish Harriss

We are very pleased and proud that a Social Media campaign we worked on for our client Avaya has earned a prestigious slot in the soon-to-be-published ‘The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World II.

Full of behind-the-scenes insights into campaign strategy, implementation and results, the book explores how businesses and agencies large and small have harnessed social media, blogs, video, email, mobile and search to boost their brand and attract customers.

Avaya’s ‘The Power of Collaboration’ campaign is a perfect example of all that – and more. With over 7,000 follows, @Powercollab has seen exceptional growth on the back of pulling industry influencers together to collaborate on the hot topic of business collaboration, as well as the delivery of content which is of real value.

The campaign was conceived and planned with Avaya B2B marketer extraordinaire @nathaliebar – and we are delighted to see her work recognised in this way.

Here’s the case study in all its glory.

CASE STUDY: The Power of Collaboration

Avaya is a leading global provider of next-generation business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, real-time video collaboration, contact centre, networking and related services to companies of all sizes around the world.


Collaboration technology is central to Avaya’s value proposition. To cut through any existing conversations led by competitors and to establish Avaya as a thought leader in this field, DirectionGroup was appointed to engage the target audience through the targeted use of social media. From a standing start, the Power of Collaboration campaign combined acquiring, engaging and maintaining contact with an extensive group of Twitter and LinkedIn followers that held an active interest in collaboration. In addition, the campaign was designed to connect Avaya to key influencers and experts in the field and bring them all together with Avaya’s own users to establish an online community dedicated to the subject. Using a series of online polls, third party insight and Avaya- owned content, the Power of Collaboration has become the go-to resource for the sector. By focusing on real conversations rather than using social media as a means to simply push out marketing content engagement has been impressive – generating over 7,000 Twitter followers, 300 users of a dedicated LinkedIn discussion forum and over 9 million impressions during a live, one-hour TweetChat.

Strategy Collaboration is a key area of strategic focus for Avaya and a hot topic across the IT and communications sectors. A number of social media campaigns and discussions were already underway between Avaya and its prospects as well as between Avaya’s competitors and their prospects. Avaya wanted to utilise existing social media activity to bolster its position as a thought leader in the field of collaboration and, most importantly of all, to engage in a meaningful way with its target audiences. Avaya required an approach that would maximise the engagement potential of social media to establish a true dialogue and develop meaningful relationships rather than simply broadcasting marketing content. Avaya joined forces with influencers and experts in collaboration, so as to add credibility to the conversations and extend our audience reach. This unique approach is what stood to differentiate this social community.

Objectives of the campaign

Avaya’s aim was to dedicate a single social media marketing campaign to achieving three core objectives:

1. To substantiate Avaya’s position as a thought leader in the collaboration space.

2. To talk directly with industry influencers, customers and prospects and generate traction with insightful Avaya content.

3. To build an engaged community that would function as a new marketing channel and contribute to the pipeline over the long-term.

 The target audience

The campaign centred on UK/Ireland, Benelux and Nordics as English is well spoken plus key target countries France, Germany, Russia, Spain and Italy. Target audiences across all included: • End users (IT decision-makers) • Key influencers (in the fields of business collaboration and Unified Communications) • Partners (such as Avaya resellers or distributors) • Internal audiences (to get employees engaged

Media, channels or techniques used Social media helped underpin direct demand generation activities and spread campaign messages further through active channels. Avaya’s agency, DirectionGroup, established a creative theme for the campaign – The Power of Collaboration. By focusing on the benefits of collaboration, DirectionGroup set about building a community of interested prospects and expert commentators. Rather than spreading the conversation too thin, it was agreed that the best approach would be to focus on two channels.

Twitter and LinkedIn The Power of Collaboration Twitter account (@powercollab) was established as the ‘go to’ resource for all things collaboration – offering third party and Avaya-owned content, topical news stories and the ability to pose questions. DirectionGroup identified the influencers, customers and partners that were crucial to the debate. These were promptly ‘followed’ and invited to join a LinkedIn discussion group for more in-depth analysis of the issues. Reciprocal promotion between this LinkedIn account and the Twitter handle were used to encourage ongoing activity. The primary focus of activity was a series of online polls and ‘content curation’ activity in which followers were encouraged to debate the responses, supported by third party and Avaya analysis. ‘Promoted accounts’ and ‘promoted tweets’ were used to bolster community numbers prior to a live TweetChat. By actively targeting followers of other collaboration-focused accounts, identifying key influencers and adopting existing collaboration hashtags, in just two weeks follower numbers had increased ten-fold.

Power of Collaboration - Twitter

TweetChat To build a sphere of influence and fully engage the target audience, a live TweetChat was planned for March. Key influencers from the business and IT world (analysts, consultants and bloggers) were invited to participate. In total, 11 external influencers were briefed and took part in the programme, without fee. Between them they offered an extended reach of more than 300,000 followers. This real-time debate resulted in a number of key thoughts that added insight into a simultaneous research initiative. To ensure that momentum continued, a ‘Storify’ collection of the key take-aways from the TweetChat was collated and sent out to those who were unable to attend.

Storify page

DirectionGroup used the Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to ask pertinent questions about collaboration. This helped to demonstrate that the Power of Collaboration really was about collaborative learning and designed to foster two-way dialogue. Followers were invited to participate in an online survey that focused on the challenges, adoption and future of collaboration in enterprises. In total, 1,300 people responded to the eight- question survey through social media – more than all the other communication methods combined (including paid-for lead generation and email broadcasts) from a total of 2,143 respondents. The research initiative allowed us to create valuable content in the form of a research infographic and a detailed research report in 6 languages. These assets were promoted using the social channels, and allowed us to host a live results debate where the audience was invited to hear expert opinions on the findings, as well as share their thoughts and experiences.


With only a modest budget but a focused plan of action, the results from the Power of Collaboration campaign were impressive.


• Nine million impressions generated during the one-hour activity

• 103 active participants (tweet, re-tweet, favourite) in the live debate.

• 668 tweets exchanged in just one hour of activity • Audience reach extended to over 462,000 social media users

• Participation from 11 external experts

• TweetChat enabled @powercollab to overtake @ciscocollab in terms of share of voice:

Twitter & LinkedIn

• Established and engaged an audience of close to 8,000 Twitter followers with an active interest in collaboration: > Beginning of March 2013 – 450 followers > End of May 2013 – 7,625 > 6,360 followers added in March 2013 alone

• Brought together a dedicated group of 300 participants in the LinkedIn discussion group

• There were 946 Twitter interactions for the period

• LinkedIn demographics show that the campaign attracted a large following from senior executives: > Senior management – 28% > Directors – 13% > Owners – 9% > CXOs – 3% The campaign continues to generate conversations because the audience is engaged in a dialogue, instead of a one-way sales pitch. Ongoing interaction has helped marketing team members better understand how to use social media effectively (for example, using fewer hashtags, a clear call-to-action and more visual content).

The campaign continues to generate conversations because the audience is engaged in a dialogue, instead of a one-way sales pitch. Ongoing interaction has helped marketing team members better understand how to use social media effectively (for example, using fewer hashtags, a clear call-to-action and more visual content).

Results Pie Chart


About the author: Trish is joint MD of DirectionGroup, and specifically oversees the B2B side of the business. She is a passionate and results driven marketing and communications professional with over 20 years experience gained on both client and agency sides. Follow her here on Twitter.

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