IBM Originals

Domino

Re-energize an older brand—and create a movement.
 

How could a marketing campaign change the global attitudes and perceptions of a 20-year-old product that had been left to lie fallow? How could a huge tech brand re-energize and engage software developers and system administrators around the world, and turn them into advocates and ambassadors who would in turn help transform and bring back to life a legacy brand?

The Domino V10 release catapulted this old, reliable standby into the next era with a solution that’s faster, and more modern — with a lower total cost of ownership — than ever.

Its integrated marketing campaign followed suit, driving impressive sales gains and inspiring an empowered community of passionate users.

You can’t miss them, they wear bright yellow.

Challenge

IBM Domino is the engine that powers thousands of mission-critical applications at some of the world's most prominent companies, including the top-tier banks, international insurance leaders and telecom empires. Domino powers businesses around the world — for use in offices, ships, helicopters, and even oil rigs. It has been essential to business and IT developers alike for decades. Despite this, for the past few years, IBM had let the product flounder. There were no product updates and marketing went completely dark. CIOs didn’t even know that their companies still used Domino. We had lost the trust of our customers and the product's momentum had stagnated. 

In the fall of 2017, tech giant HCL Technologies signed on to be IBM’s tech-development partner for Domino. Together, we promised to create a new version, which could change the old, reliable standby into something more modern. But we had a big challenge. Most of the customers were skeptical at best, and many felt burned and mistrustful. We had a lot of work to do. We couldn't just build and sell a product, we had to build and sell trust

Solution

We knew we had to deliver an authentic user experience and content that mattered to our audience, so we invited the public to "ask us anything," front and center on our website. We didn't guess what people wanted, we asked what people wanted. We listened. We brought in the community. 

  • We launched 22 Domino user groups or in-person "jams" around the world

  • We listened to conversations and insights on social, every day

  • We launched a newsletter and a digital home called Destination Domino

  • We beta tested the product prototype — twice

  • We asked over and over what we could do better

  • We even sent Domino users and admins a Valentine

Results

After a few months, it started to get really fun…

  • Domino was trending on Twitter

  • Our first webinar had over 3,000 people tune in live and over 2,000 more on-demand

  • People brought to life the ad campaign from two decades ago 

  • Domino fans photo-bombed Ginny, the IBM CEO, at our biggest conference of the year

  • People started wearing the Domino product color. All over the world

When we rolled out the new product, the momentum was in full force:

  • 1,000 clients and business partners, clad in yellow, showed up at standing-room only launch events

  • We live-streamed this around the world, in a CNN-style interview program 

  • 7,000+ people were glued to it for more than an hour on average (2,000 more than tuned in for IBM’s previous winner, the Mainframe@50 celebration)

  • 4000+ non-IBMers visited the BuyDominoV10 page in the first two days after launch

  • Our engagement rate on Twitter was 3X times the industry benchmark

  • We saw an NPS lift of 1.5 points on our digital properties that first week 

  • And a 54% engagement rate on our “Destination Domino” hub

  • We reached 10X Twitter benchmarks

  • And our open rates for email were up to 70%

Domino V10, the new release, catapulted this old, reliable standby into the next era with a solution that’s faster, and more modern — with a lower total cost of ownership — than ever.

The results for the business were unexpected and astounding. We started the year with sales declining at -42% YOY, and because of the launch we did a complete direction change, and ended up the year at +43%, YOY.  From the launch through the end of 2018, 60% of our revenue was directly attributed to our marketing efforts. 

And we created not just momentum and global recognition and excitement for a new product, we created a movement. A movement where the community believes in us again.