B2B Beat: How to Get Noticed When You’re the New Guy on the Block

Whether your company is a fresh-out-of-the-gate startup or a well-established multinational enterprise, the challenges of breaking into a new market space are more or less the same. You need to develop leads. You have to establish credibility. Most importantly, you need prospective customers to know you’re there, with a solution to offer.

That was the situation Alcatel-Lucent found itself in in 2014.

The go-to provider of IP networking, ultra-broadband access, and cloud technologies for network operators around the world realized many of its solutions also met the needs of very large enterprises whose networks have grown nearly as big as — and in some cases bigger than — those of national service providers.

The challenge? Very few enterprise customers knew of Alcatel-Lucent.

To capture attention and put a stake in the ground, the company made a bold content marketing decision: to produce a humorous web series about an enterprise Chief Information Officer whose headaches reflect the everyday reality of enterprise CIOs.

The series — called The New Guy — has had more than 500,000 hits on YouTube since its launch in winter 2015. The Twitter account of the fictional CIO at the centre of the storyline, Alex, has upwards of 1,500 followers. And a new series is currently in the works.

We talked to Alcatel-Lucent Head of Large Enterprise Marketing and veteran Canadian marketer Brendan Ziolo about the ambitious content marketing project.



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