The problem software developer Adobe Systems Inc. faced in rolling out its InDesign product was one marketers dealt with long before anyone ever knew a mouse could — or even should — be clicked. ? Most people are resistant to change. When they find something they’re comfortable with, they’ll stick with it — even if there’s another option that might better suit their needs. Saddled with a well-established competitor in QuarkXPress, Adobe knew its InDesign desktop publishing product would have an uphill battle. That’s why an integrated DM campaign to get creatives to consider the software was crucial.
“People have been using Quark for quite some time, and they get entrenched in the products they’re used to,” said Debra Basaldua, director of worldwide relationship marketing for the San Jose, CA company. “The biggest challenge is getting people to realize that InDesign is just as robust, and that the risk of switching over is not as significant as they might perceive.”
This spring, Adobe began a grassroots campaign in New York to target its core audience for the product — creative professionals at advertising agencies and design firms.
The effort was kicked off with an ad campaign created by Adobe’s new agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco. The creative — which included print ads in magazines like MacWorld, Print, and eDesign; billboards; subway and bus ads; and a huge ad in Times Square — was then leveraged into the ongoing direct marketing initiatives.
The first phase of the “Tools of the New Work” campaign was to generate awareness for the product in areas heavily populated with creatives. Then, a more targeted approach — including more than 500,000 direct mail pieces — invited prospects to seminars and events where they could actually try the product.
The educational component was key, said Basaldua, because in addition to basic resistance to change on the part of creatives, there was concern as to whether service providers would accept files created with InDesign, initially launched in spring 1999. The events included a general seminar that showed participants the basics of the product’s functionality. Hands-on workshops, which gave people basic training on how to use the software and let them actually try it out, were also conducted. “Those turned out to be the most successful,” she says.
Mac McIntosh, a North Kingston, RI B-to-B consultant who worked with Adobe on the campaign, notes that if an agency represented a big opportunity for Adobe, the company would send someone in for a day to work with the firm, offering to help create a design side-by-side on Quark and InDesign to give the prospect a comparison. “They’d really hold their hands through the process,” he says.