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Spacenet Breaks Marketing Barriers With Integrated Initiatives

October 03, 2011

Spacenet, a Virginia-based managed services network provider, has been growing their company and gaining valuable marketing experience for the past 30 years.  Starting as a satellite company, Spacenet subsequently evolved into a larger organization that delivers more connectivity to more locations than ever before.  As a result, they’ve found the best approach is a truly integrated marketing approach to compete with larger companies who may have more time, budget, and resources, than mid-sized corporations.

Marketing Integration: This powerful practice has given Spacenet the opportunity to increase their presence to a targeted audience, with the  goal of leveraging each and every marketing activity, and asset, as much as possible. Here are some tips and best practices Spacenet has used to integrate their marketing activities, which includes sponsoring the Managed Networks channel on TMCnet.

Top Marketing Goals…and the Need to ‘Mix Things Up’

Spacenet, like many companies, is focused on 3 main objectives for their marketing activities: Generate Leads for the sales team, increase brand awareness in the market, and position their company as a thought leader.

What distinguishes them from other companies, however, is their approach.  As Jon Douglas (News - Alert), Marketing Director for Spacenet states, “when you read marketing insights, you hear ‘print is bad’ or ‘everything is social media’….but it really all comes down to your plan and how your audience gathers information.” Douglas states “every tactic is potentially effective, depending on what you’re trying to achieve,” which is why Spacenet mixes up their marketing techniques with a variety of online, print, direct marketing, telemarketing, social media and online community activities.  

What makes these various programs successful is not the individual effort that goes into each, but the fact that they are integrated, or tied-in with one another; this way, even though Spacenet does “less” than other companies, each piece has the potential to have a greater impact.

How Integration Works for Spacenet

Spacenet has worked with TMC (News - Alert) on integrating their marketing programs for 2 years, including print, online advertising and web based content. Douglas states “one of the best benefits is TMC really understands the impact of integration and leveraging of content.  Their approach is very conducive to our strategy of distributing key content to our audience at as many points as possible.  For example,  if we present a customer success story at  a show, we could shoot a video and push it to TMC to post as a testimonial, it could be re-purposed as a case study in print or online journals and links to all of the above can be pushed out through twitter, newsletters or e-blasts.”

Spacenet also integrates their marketing activities through their social media accounts. For example, they might post a link on Twitter, start a discussion on Facebook (News - Alert), and then distribute it to TMCnet and their own company website. This allows for greater SEO-opportunities and contributes to high search engine ranking since their content is being shared and leveraged across multiple sites.  

TIP: Don’t Get ‘Stuck’ on Social Media or Any One Tactic (It’s All About Your Audience (News - Alert)!) Though social media has worked for Spacenet as a marketing tool, Douglas recommends marketers not “get stuck” on a single communications media, or on the need to adjust your message to fit a tactic. As a best practice, Spacenet focuses on determining which particular audience they want to reach first, and what messages they need to deliver. Once that is established, then they determine which distribution channels and social media sites would be best to reach that group.  This prevents them from getting distracted by the vehicle, rather than the content, or substance of their pieces.

Spacenet also believes that partnering with industry sites is a great way to supplement social media and other marketing efforts, as it allows companies to reach a broader audience than they may be able to do on their own. This is one of the reasons Spacenet decided to sponsor the Managed Networks channel, since “TMC had a built-in audience, vertical markets and was technology specific, which allowed us to reach a larger audience than we could ourselves.”  Here are some ways Spacenet uses their channel to distribute strong messages and relevant information to their target audience:

1)      Pick a narrow focus for the channel content that reaches a very specific, targeted audience. (i.e. don’t try to reach everyone at once)

2)      Use content from other divisions or groups in your company to further establish your credibility in your market space (for example an enterprise audience might not be interested in military products, but might be very impressed that the military judges their line of products secure enough)

3)      Share human interest stories or unique perspectives about your company that might not be as widely known (such as Spacenet’s participation in Haiti efforts by supporting the Red Cross).

By giving their TMCnet editors these article ideas, and more, Spacenet is able to have high-quality content on their site that meets their needs and, most importantly, the needs of their target audience. Their mantra is: “The more you can share, the better: Anytime you can show specific benefits your product can deliver to a specific audience, you create a connection with that customer.  Don’t sell what you’re selling, sell what they’re buying”

Measuring Success

Spacenet has achieved much success from their integrated marketing approach. As Douglas states, to be successful, don’t get caught up with the latest technique: It all has its place if used effectively. That’s where the integration really comes in; a great print ad is useless if it’s not part of greater marketing strategy.” As a result, Spacenet is well-recognized in their industry, and their Managed Networks channel is ranked Number 1 in Google (News - Alert) organic search engine results.  In addition, the site receives an average 16,000 page views and 4,100 unique visitors per month.  To visit the site, go to http://it.tmcnet.com/channels/managed-networks/.

About Spacenet

Spacenet designs, develops, and manages services for wireline and wireless broadband network solutions. Our high-performance communications solutions meet the needs of business, government and industrial organizations that require fast, flexible, and geographically dispersed two-way Internet or private access. Utilizing nearly 30 years of industry leading experience, Spacenet serves more than 100,000 customer locations. Spacenet solutions deliver all the benefits of the next generation IP network leveraging the best available broadband technology to deliver cost efficient and reliable communications. To learn more visit http://www.spacenet.com

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About TMCnet Online Communities

TMCnet Online Communities are news-generated, content-rich portals that position your company as the leading “go-to resource” for your industry group. TMC has been building Online Communities for over 10 years, and continues to be the market leader at developing these successful sites for our customers. To learn more about the TMCnet Online Community program, please contact Anna Ritchie or call 203-852-6800 x 107. You can also visit us online.



Anna Ritchie is product manager for TMC's Online Community Program. Previously, she worked as a change and communications practitioner for a global consulting firm, and as a freelance marketing and communications specialist. She received her master's degree in English from Seton Hall University and her bachelor's degree in English from Loyola University.


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