RocketBridge, which designs online security solutions, created a comic book to promote the recent debut of a new product and sent 8,500 copies to attendees of the RSA Security trade show in San Francisco.
The direct mail campaign was the first component of a multimedia effort, which includes a print campaign that started in May and will continue until year's end.
The piece — which the company mailed prior to the April trade show — generated a jump in the number of unique visitors to the company's Web site and helped to produce 300 quality leads from the show, said Michelle Blechman, chief marketing officer at RocketBridge, Chicago.
However, because of the six- to nine-month sales cycle, Blechman said, the company does not expect to have conversion numbers until the end of the year.
The new offering, called Jupiter Authentication, is a suite of products designed to allow the business-to-business community to verify the identity of their online consumers with the information in the Trans Union consumer information file. The cost to customers starts at $3 per transaction.
RocketBridge, previously the Internet Business Group of Trans Union, launched in August.
As part of the comic book mailing, RocketBridge is targeting midsize and large companies in the financial services and healthcare industries as well as Web development and consulting services whose clients need online security. It is targeting chief information officers, chief technology officers, information security managers and consultants at these companies.
Blechman said the idea for a comic book originated when RocketBridge was discussing brand personality for Jupiter Authentication.
“We felt if the product were going to be a person, it would be a superhero who would protect businesses from fraud and keep cyberspace safe,” she said.
The theme woven throughout the marketing collateral is the idea that Jupiter Authentication provides security for businesses on the Internet.
The comic book, whose central character is a superhero named Jupiter, was delivered in a brown envelope with a seal across the top and wrapped in a string. “Confidential Clearance Authorized” was written across the seal.
“We wanted to make it appear as a confidential and high-security-type item,” Blechman said. “The desired action was to have people stop by the booth, and based on the number of leads the show produced, we look at the piece as being very successful.”
The mailing contained a cover letter with information about Jupiter Authentication and some of its features. It directed recipients to visit the RocketBridge booth at the trade show for more information. The letter and comic book contained Web site information and a toll-free number.
The 12-page comic book included a brief introduction about the character Jupiter and told the story of a current adventure. Throughout the comic book, the character Jupiter uses the product's features to battle the security risks that a business may encounter.
The cost for the entire marketing effort was about $200,000 to $250,000, Blechman said. She said that while producing the comic book was a lot more expensive than a typical direct mail package, it was worth the expense for several reasons.
“We learned that comic books are a powerful vehicle for transmitting adult learning,” she said. “It is also good for this hi-tech-type audience, and it provides us with a marketing tool that will have a shelf life beyond the campaign. And it has become a signature piece for us.”
In May, RocketBridge began running print ads titled Episodes 2 and 3 in trade publications such as Information Security, SC Magazine, Business Security Adviser and American Banker.
The print ads serve as follow-up episodes to the comic book. The first print ad depicts “unscrupulous predators” taking advantage of businesses with identity fraud over the Internet. In the second ad, the character Jupiter provides age verification for a Web site and keeps children from accessing a site they should not be allowed into.
The print ads provide a toll-free number and a Web address for further information.
RocketBridge worked with LKH&S, Chicago, to develop all of the collateral for the campaign.