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2019 Effie Case Study Series: Ask the Cloud

This series showcases a selection of winning cases from the 2019 Effie Awards United States competition. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Effie Awards, which recognize effectiveness in any and all forms of marketing communications that contribute to a brand's success.

Category:  Software & Apps

Client:  Google Cloud

Agency:  MullenLowe

Challenge: Get CTOs to raise their hand for a meeting with a Google Cloud expert. 

In the growing B2B cloud computing market, Google is in the unfamiliar position of being a challenger brand. Google Cloud had changed its name and branding multiple times in the last few years, resulting in some CTOs thinking that Google was not taking the enterprise seriously.



Strategic Insight:CTOs have lots of questions about migrating to the cloud but don’t ask them, for fear of appearing to lack adequate knowledge.

As you would expect, CTOs are really smart about technology. They knew that migration to the cloud-based solutions was inevitable. But, as with any major shift in technology, there was a learning curve and real implications for business. Naturally they had questions. But these questions, ultimately, went unasked. 

Think about it. You’re the chief technology officer. You’re supposed to be the expert in all things technology. This was the key tension: CTOs were afraid to ask their questions for fear of seeming unknowledgeable. That’s why they often opted for the “safe” choice of AWS or Azure. It wasn’t a decision motivated by wanting to make the right choice. It was a decision motivated by not wanting to look dumb!

Solution:If you have questions about the cloud, ask the cloud. 

 “Ask the Cloud” allowed CTOs to ask all of their questions about the cloud to the cloud itself, thus avoiding that whole fear-of-looking-dumb thing. Using the Google Home Voice Assistant, we essentially created an AI salesperson that could field CTOs’ questions about the cloud, without judgment. Here’s how it worked:

  1. Create the tech

Partnering with Google Cloud Experts to create a conversation architecture in the Google Home Voice Assistant, we “hacked” Google Home and gave it the information to be able to answer CTOs’ questions about Google Cloud. 

  1. Phased outreach.

In delivering a campaign for Google Cloud, the obvious choice would be to deliver it through digital channels. But in B2B marketing, this can be easily ignored. So we went retro and used direct mail as the primary channel. 

DM1: Sent personalized Google Home bases, case studies and info to 3,500 target CTO prospects in New York City, Silicon Valley, and Austin. Recipients were asked to log into a personalized URL where they could request a meeting with a Google Cloud Expert. 

DM2: Once they’d requested a meeting, we sent them the Google Home device, to continue the conversation with Google Cloud after they had spoken to the Google Cloud Expert. 

DM3: If prospects did not respond to request a meeting, they were sent a follow-up reminder mailer encouraging them to take action. 

Results: This product demo inside of a product demo achieved a 16% response rate—almost unheard of in B2B—and 1,853 qualified leads worth a potential $235 million.

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