Is Advertising Genius Earned or Just Pure Luck?

E = mc2 is easy to remember but hard to explain.

This equation represents a complex relationship that many may not fully understand. Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity has simply become shorthand for genius.

Marketing enterprise hybrid cloud solutions is kind of like that.

Even CIOs and CTOs deciding which solutions provide the best fit for their companies don’t have the time or desire to wade through dense marketing pitches about said solutions.

Breaking through the noise with a sound that makes people stop and listen? Now that’s advertising genius.

The question is whether that genius is the result of following a ‘formula’ or process that explains expected results; or if it’s some unknowable concoction of wit, talent, insight and timing. We think breakthrough advertising requires both adherence to a proven process and smart creative imagined by incredibly talented minds (and mouse maneuvers).

Successful Marketing Campaigns Start with Research

Research is the foundation for fruitful work. It provides insight into a client’s needs, challenges, successes and audiences, as well as a host of other helpful matters. Following your gut on a campaign can lead to desirable results, but it can also leave you disappointed. We like to check our gut against the research because we know it drives results.

So, when Sirius asked us to build awareness around Sirius & EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solutions with a direct mail, email and lunch and learn event campaign, we immediately started thinking about the best way to accomplish the challenge in a way that would generate qualified leads.

The Big Idea

Everyone loves pizza; especially our target audience: males aged 35 – 55. As an ‘out of the box’ data storage solution with a variety of add-ons, there was a natural connection to ‘hot-’n-ready’ pizza, available in an array of toppings. However, that connection wasn’t the only reason pizza worked.

“‘Hybrid cloud’ is one of the hottest terms in technology today,” recalls Sarah Whipkey, our Creative Director/Copy. “Our research informed us that all vendors have a hybrid cloud strategy, but much like pizza, no two are alike. This campaign illustrated how clients can enjoy EMC right out of the box and embrace the new ‘flavors’ of IT: simple; agile; secure; and accelerated.”

Using language that resonated with our target audience and visuals that grabbed their attention served up a campaign worth savoring.

Sirius pizza oven mitt

Steaming Hot Results

  • Total Sales Qualified Opportunities: 10
  • Total Leads: 75
  • Projected Pipeline Revenue: $3,000,000
  • Combined Average Click-to-Open rate: 17.2% (above industry average of 11.9%)


Sirius pizza email campaign

“We think it achieved good results partially because the look was fun and modern without being cold and techy,” says Erica Rowe, our Creative Director/Design. Like other solutions providers in the crowded tech space, Sirius fights for the fleeting attention of extremely busy IT professionals, most of whom are inundated with email and direct mail marketing campaigns about the solutions Sirius sells.

“What made this campaign different was the creative team’s ability to craft visually compelling emails and direct mail pieces that grabbed IT professionals’ attention; enticed them to click through to an effective landing page; contained a compelling offer; and delivered promotional items that people wanted to keep,” says Rowe. “That’s a lot of boxes to check, but our talented designers and writers did just that.”

Sirius pizza landing page stat

Creating Consistent Campaigns

Our formula is proven: research leads to strategy, which leads to creative that drives results. It’s the kind of approach that makes an agency worth retaining. Businesses considering an agency of record relationship are wise to think of it as a recognition that deserves to be earned, not given. That’s how we look at it, because whether or not we are a client’s agency of record, we will always be their agency of results.

When was the last time an ad campaign caught your attention? What made it work, in your opinion? When can a great idea not be enough to generate desirable results? Do you think advertising genius is luck or process? Why?