A global cybersecurity provider, SonicWall had grown steadily for over three decades and had plans for expansion. To achieve this, they needed to differentiate among busy cyber buyers and channel partners in the U.S. SonicWall partnered with Alloy to position it as the industry leader, siphoning share of voice away from an increasingly noisy competitor set.
SonicWall’s biannual Cyber Threat Report was one of the company’s primary brand awareness and lead gen drivers. When Alloy was engaged, the report was already a heavily quoted source on ransomware, but began to face steep competition for media coverage and buyer attention as data reports gained in popularity.
Starting with an expedited media, competitor and messaging audit, Alloy uncovered opportunities for SonicWall to tie its data to trending themes and highlight its robust solutions. Notably, our evaluation also found that while the company had recently rolled out new positioning focusing on its partner-centric approach and new term, “Boundless Security," its key messages were not being pulled through in its coverage, hindering its growth strategy.
Alloy developed a comprehensive program designed to bring its positioning to life in the market and reach its awareness and demand goals.
SonicWall retained Alloy just 14 days before its 2022 threat report was set to go-live. With limited time and big goals, Alloy expedited the development of a strategic campaign plan to ensure a successful launch, moving traditional onboarding, planning and ongoing PR initiatives to a later date. The campaign garnered over 90 pieces of coverage within the first quarter and nearly 4,000 report downloads and 1,381 MQLs within 24 hours - an all-time day one record for SonicWall.
By combining strong narratives and data with an SEO-backed approach to PR, Alloy increased SonicWall’s share of voice and drove significant demand for its solutions.
Tying data to trending themes
With a goal of setting new records for SonicWall’s threat report, we distributed the piece via an exclusive strategy to top tier reporters, emphasizing key data points and narratives that showcased the company’s cybersecurity expertise. Promoting the data to secure briefings at the company’s top conference for the year - RSA - garnered additional exposure.
Creating a vertical strategy
In order to maximize visibility for SonicWall among its target personas, Alloy created a long-tail strategy going beyond tech, business, and cybersecurity press to focus on a variety of the brand’s verticals including healthcare, retail, government, education, and financial services. Leveraging proprietary data, commentary and sector thought leadership, we penetrated a number of vertical outlets for the first time.
Deploying a rapid response engine
Meeting SonicWall’s Share of Voice and competitive differentiation goals required consistent media outreach and coverage. In addition to creating and executing against a news and content pipeline, Alloy developed a newsjacking strategy and process that would allow our teams to jump on breaking news quickly. By monitoring the rapidly evolving news cycle and offering compelling SME commentary, Alloy and SonicWall propelled company thought leaders and outranked competitor coverage.
Connecting PR efforts to SEO
With increased goals for competitive differentiation and demand, Alloy collaborated with SonicWall’s SEO team to identify keyword gaps and priorities that could be infused into the media program - a new initiative for the brand. We also conducted a backlink audit to rank target outlets based on their ability to drive awareness, demand or both. This research fueled enabled the PR program to fuel gains in SEO, Domain Authority, website referrals, content downloads and leads.
“Within weeks of onboarding, alloy jumped in to lead the U.S. media strategy and distribution of our SonicWall Cyber Threat Report — the world’s most quoted ransomware threat intelligence publication. The team landed features in Tier 1 outlets like Fortune and VentureBeat, ultimately leading to the most successful set of KPIs in the report’s long history.”— Bret Fitzgerald, Sr. Director of Global Public Relations