When Anna MacLachlan joined Sensu as the director of content earlier this year, she needed to raise awareness of the company’s products with advertising more targeted than Twitter or Adwords.
Sensu’s monitoring technology is over seven years old and is used by a stellar set of customers. “But it is a crowded space,’’ MacLachlan says. “We needed to get our name out there and grow our thought leadership.’’
When Devada reached out about an advertising opportunity on DZone.com, she was happy to hear the pitch. “I had worked with Devada at my previous company,’’ she says. She was intrigued by the opportunity to sponsor the new DZone Open Source Zone. Sensu’s product is built on open source, so it seemed a logical fit. Better yet, she liked that her display and native ads would be placed in other Zones.
For the first few months, Sensu was getting a solid six digits in monthly impressions that led to a handful of leads. MacLachlan said she was satisfied because awareness was her goal. But her DZone account manager thought the ads could do better. He called and suggested she switch her sponsorship to the Performance Zone.
“It was his idea. I hadn’t even expressed unhappiness with our ad performance,’’ MacLachlan says.
Within a month of the move, Sensu tripled the number of leads it was receiving. “It was so nice that my account manager mentioned moving, and it wasn’t an upsell. They weren’t trying to charge me more,’’ MacLachlan says. “DZone folks are very responsive and they seem to care. We aren’t their biggest advertiser, but I feel that our business is valued.’’
Making the Most of a DZone Sponsorship
For tech companies considering advertising on DZone, MacLachlan recommends having a solid piece of content to offer to people who click on the calls-to-action in your ads. Having worked in developer marketing for several years, MacLachlan understands developers don’t like to be marketed to; they strongly prefer helpful content that “isn’t fluffy.”
One aspect of working with Devada that MacLachlan likes is she doesn’t need to keep commissioning unique pieces. Some content syndicators insist on that. Devada leaves it up to the company. “That’s important when you have a lean (but agile) marketing team.”
Even before Sensu switched Zones, leads inched up when the call-to-action led to an informational white paper written by Sensu’s CEO. “You need robust pieces of content to offer.’’
MacLachlan’s positive experience has encouraged her to take a look at other DZone solutions. She is specifically looking at Refcards, in-depth technical tutorials that offer detailed information on a narrow topic. “We get access to DZone.com’s writers and designers, so I know it will be done well. And we can reuse the asset for our own resources section and for lead generation.’’
The awareness, regular check-ins with account managers, and growing leads help MacLachlan make the case for advertising with DZone. “It’s important for me to be able to put a number to DZone’s worth.”