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First Distribution: Microsoft Data Centre Launch

First Distribution is a value-added distributor of leading global brands, providing complex ICT solutions to the Enterprise and SME markets. First Distribution is trusted by leading brands in the Enterprise ICT market including IBM, Oracle, EMC, Microsoft, Riverbed, Samsung, AWS and many, others. Their global brands extend across multiple categories within the greater IT industry which includes Client Computing, Hosted Solutions, Security, Software, Virtualisation, Storage, Servers, Networking and Cloud Services.

Executive Summary

The release of the first Microsoft data centers in South Africa was imminent but the date was undisclosed. First Distribution, Africa’s leading Cloud distributor had to be ready and needed a partner who understood the demands of a fast-paced technology sector and chose Digital Kungfu, a purpose-built storytelling production outfit and lead generation company, as its marketing partner.

Digital Kungfu, recently voted as the Best Tech Startup in Africa, deployed their Lightning Strike system designed specifically to generate leads and build the brands of technology businesses using the power of story. Within 48 hours of launch, the campaign reached 43,132 enterprise and SME ICT professionals and generated 202 top-of funnel leads with a pipeline value of R10.1 million.

 

Some of their content

Brand Ad

Digital Radio Ad

Branded Photos

Media Placement

Challenges

There were two primary challenges: The first was that Microsoft was unable to disclose the release date of the data centers and First Distribution would only learn about the release via a Microsoft announcement in the media. This meant that speed to market would be critical as once Microsoft made the announcement, market competition would intensify exponentially. The second challenge was to effectively communicate the value of the Microsoft Azure Cloud to a network of 16,000 resellers while simultaneously differentiating First Distribution amongst competing Cloud Distributors.

How Product Helped

Digital Kungfu was notified of the release of the data centers on the 6th of March 2019 at 10:30am, and within 90 minutes the First Distribution Lightning Strike was deployed, featuring an aggressive surge of curated storytelling content across five of the most prominent media sites for ICT professionals in the country, including ITWeb, TechCentral, IT-Online, Channel Wise, Business Tech and The Margin.

This helped First Distribution monopolise the attention of businesses and Cloud resellers across the country by being in the right place, at the right time and ultimately with the right message. The media strike was followed up by a digital PR and content marketing program which comprised of over 200 creative executions, an Inside Microsoft Azure white paper and multiple conversion pages integrated with artificial intelligence driven lead generation technology which combined to maximise market share and generate leads to the value of over R10 million.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

The campaign for First Distribution was massively successful and took advantage of the exponential value of adopting an innovative and markedly different go-to-market approach for the technology sector.

Within 14 days a total of 43,132 ICT professionals were reached which generated 202 leads with a pipeline value of R10.1 million from a total spend of only R362,000 – this equates to a spend to pipeline return of 2800%.

Not only did this generate a significant return for First Distribution but it also reinforced First Distribution’s key point of difference of being Africa’s leading Cloud distributor in a highly competitive and clustered ICT and Cloud marketplace while maximising their market share.

Quote from First Distribution

“As Africa’s leading Cloud distributor, we found Digital Kungfu to be a fantastic partner to us. Their ability to convey the value of what we do as a business using their unique story telling approach was invaluable in helping our resellers understand the value of these innovative offerings from Microsoft and our specific role in the value chain”

Quote from Digital Kungfu

“We are incredibly happy to have a partner like First Distribution, and our Lightning Strike system validates Digital Kungfu’s category leading credentials as the Best Tech Startup in Africa.”

Microsoft Executive
Natasha Bezuidenhout

natash.bezuidenhout@firstdistribution.com

CEO, Digital Kungfu
Matt Brown
hello@digitalkungfu.co.za