Juniper drops toons campaign

03 Mar 2009

After five years, Juniper Networks has dropped its well-remembered cartoons, admitting they are "getting in the way" of its communications.

CMO Lauren Flaherty told it was time for a refresh. The consensus was the toons served their purpose a couple of years ago, but the company was outgrowing them.

"When you run that kind of approach in marketing, you do have to monitor the shelf life because over time the artifices can become the centerpiece as opposed to your message," she explained.

"So there was some sense that the toons might be getting in the way of what we needed to communicate about the company and how we wanted the company portrayed in the marketplace."

She said the new "Demand more" campaign was designed to leverage the strong sentiment in the current environment for greater value for money.

The addition of Flaherty, who joined in February after a couple of years with Nortel and 23 years with IBM, is part of a strategy to bring in big-company managers capable of scaling up its enterprise group. CEO Kevin Johnson joined in September from Microsoft, where he worked for 20-odd years. He replaced Scott Krien, who has led the company since 1997 and has stayed on as chairman.

"There is genuine intent to enable the company to really grow and move to the next level," Flaherty said. She said Juniper needed to build up its capability if it were going to seriously grow the enterprise business to match its domain experience in the service provider market. It has brought in a number of veterans from HP, IBM, Cisco and others with that domain expertise to ramp up the team quickly and build its capability.

One of the first concerns raised by the new CEO was the high cost of its enterprise sales compared to others in the industry. Johnson implemented a connected sales and marketing model to improve efficiency and bring down the cost as a percentage of revenue.

He also moved service support operations outside of sales with new leadership because he felt that improving customer satisfaction in a company that's scaling is vital. "I've seen businesses that are growing so quickly and in some cases forgotten to really take care of the customer. I wanted to make sure Juniper didn't fall into that trap."

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