Q Associates, NetApp & Sharper

Festive Fun & Prizes to be won

The Headlines:

  • £2,000,000+ pipeline generated

  • 1:173 Return on Investment

  • NetApp award for Best Partner Marketing Campaign EMEA 2020/21


Here's how we did it...


Following the success of our Big Bad Vendor campaign, (see our SCC case study), NetApp asked us to give them a call the next time we had a ‘cool idea’ (their words, not ours), which could help them take their Partner Marketing campaigns to the next level.

So, when the inspiration lightning bolt hit (we have lots of cool ideas, so it didn’t take long), we called them up first thing and told them all about a Digital Advent Calendar campaign idea we were excited about.

Much like us, they loved the concept and were keen to get cracking with a reseller partner. They introduced us to the amazing team at Q Associates and the rest, as they say, is history.

'That sounds fun' you might think. Unless you hate Christmas, you scrooge you. But there was a serious commercial angle underpinning this feel-good campaign.

What's the angle?

Well, when you hear the phrase Advent Calendar, you might think "well, that’s been done before". But, in typical Sharper fashion, this wasn’t any old Advent calendar.

This was a fully interactive, 8-bit style retro online calendar, to appeal to the famously tricky to interest Senior IT decision-maker audience that Q Associates wanted to engage.

The idea of the campaign was to generate brand awareness with an audience of target accounts, and to collect contact data, to generate a warm leads pipeline for 2021 and beyond.

Participants had to register for exclusive calendar access (nice bit of data capture of future follow up here you see), and then they also received daily email reminders following registration, keeping Q Associates and NetApp front and centre of their mind for a whole month.

But why would they sign up in the first place?

Well, every single working day in December, Q Associates was offering a prize behind the ‘digital’ calendar door. Prizes ranged from Coffee Machines, to Moet Hampers and Tablets, which perhaps, unsurprisingly drummed up a lot of interest.

And, that's not all...


Behind every ‘door’ (or inside the present box as the design transpired) participants had to open to register for the prize draw, there was a valuable piece of branded content about Q Associates and/or NetApp.

So every single working day, those that registered and opened the calendar were given more information about the products, capabilities and services that Q and NetApp can offer. Clever hey.

The calendar was built and hosted on its own microsite www.christmaswithq.com (complete with back-end data capture and analytics) and there was a co-ordinated campaign to drive sign ups to the calendar across email and social (both paid and organic via LinkedIn).

All campaigns were written in a suitably festive style with accompanying 8-bit graphics and too many Christmas puns to mention. 'ho-ho-home working' being a particular favourite of Q Associates and the NetApp team.

The Results...

Well, besides being a really fun project to work on, the Digital Advent Calendar performed even better than we’d projected (which is always a bonus).

From the initial sign-up drive emails - which drove over 1300 unique calendar sign up visits - to the daily engagement emails we delivered an average open rate across the 25 day run of 51% (against an average 5-8% open rate on a traditional email campaign).

Engagement with the calendar itself was consistently high too, delivering a 42% engagement rate across the life of the campaign.

That all translated to 900+ positive engagements with the NetApp/Q associates brands in the space of 3 weeks.

And, the 2 LinkedIn Paid Social campaigns we ran performed equally well.

A CTR of 0.29% on the first (LinkedIn’s forecast was 0.19-0.28%) and a CTR of 0.49% on the second ad stream (more than double 0.22% predicted!) meant we delivered over 37,300 impressions from a modest Ad Spend of just £900.

People clearly love a Christmas Pun!

Need to take a more exciting, fun, but commercially savvy approach to your campaigns? You know where we are…