Stories of design across all media


Making Seagate Sexy for the Twitter Generation

Unless you’re something of a propeller head, the thought of buying a new hard drive probably makes your eyes glaze over – something storage solutions company Seagate knows all too well.

  • In-store
  • Digital
  • Video
  • Print

But by deploying an innovative cross-media campaign, San Jose’s Zooka Creative was able to shift the focus of Seagate’s marketing from hard drives themselves to the myriad ways in which people use them every day without even realizing it.


Marketing to…Everybody
It doesn’t take a genius to see that consumers are no longer just sitting for hours in front of a computer. Instead, they are taking selfies, streaming movies and storing photos on their tablets and smartphones. Seagate recognized that people need storage now more than ever to do all these things. However, many still look at storage as nothing more than a box  connected to, or lurking within, their PC.

That’s because though technology and the way the world uses it has changed, the way storage solutions are marketed and sold has not, says Joanne Chan, Seagate’s senior manager for global retail channel marketing.

“We…had identified that our retail partners were missing out on a great opportunity to speak to their customers in a new way about consumer storage needs. The new consumer isn’t impressed by a hard drive’s speed. Today’s consumer wants to know if the drive will help him or her store more of what is important to them, whether it’s photos, videos, documents or music.”

“Seagate realized it would be in the industry’s best interest to better connect with today’s audience, and use language and images that reflect the many ways that storage is transforming consumers’ lives today,” adds Jeff Fochtman, Seagate’s senior director of global product marketing. “We wanted to show consumers that all of their family’s photos, music, videos and documents could be stored in one drive, yet accessible via any device.”

That would require retailers to market storage in a brand new way. And that’s where Zooka Creative came in.


A New Way of Thinking
The best way to convince technology retailers to take a different approach was to show them something that would benefit the category as a whole, not just one storage manufacturer. Zooka Creative and Seagate came up with a mock retailer space to do just that for January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – one of the largest technology events in the world.

Technology executives and other attendees could see first-hand how images of consumers sharing photos and streaming videos had a stronger emotional appeal than a description of a hard drive’s speed.

But the initiative did not stop there. Once attendees walked through the mock store and saw how items were positioned, they were given a printed storybook that continued to tell the story.

More memorable than a PowerPoint presentation, the book included research, background information and visuals “so that people could walk into the mock store, see the way the products were organized, and then walk away with a hardbound book that basically explained what to do,” says Zooka Creative President Steve Decker.


They also used video presentations to show just how technology has changed in recent years. For example, one slide showed how in 1990 people would be dancing and waving their hands at a concert, while in 2015, those same people would be recording, sharing and tweeting the concert footage from their smartphones.


Another part of the initiative involves a “text-to-learn-more” feature. People browsing in a store would be able to send a text to a specified number; in return, they’d receive a link to a Web page educating them about different types of storage devices. Someone buying a tablet might text to learn more about how to get additional storage on their new purchase.

Since Seagate is a global company, the storybooks and presentations have been translated into 12 different languages, which presented its own unique challenges as the nuances of each language and culture had to be reflected. For instance, the presentation that was translated into Arabic had to accommodate the fact that when reading in that language, one does so from right to left.

A Lasting Impact
The initiative is ongoing, as Zooka Creative still works closely with Seagate to come up with new ways to refresh the images and some of the phrasing used in the campaign.

“Rather than trying to market to the same old people, we want to make the pie bigger by marketing a totally different way with lifestyle imagery and by talking about benefits,” Decker says. “It’s not about all the technical gobbledygook.”

So far, this new approach has been well received. At CES, an executive from Costco said about the campaign, “this will move [Seagate] from a PC accessory manufacturer to a consumer product company.”

Decker is in complete agreement. “If we do this right, not only will we sell more products, all of Seagate’s competitors will sell more products. Everybody wins.”



Author: Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a freelance writer and editor who has written extensively about business, careers and success for such publications as Working Mother, Real Simple, and AARP Bulletin.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *