ITSM vendors around the world choose SDI Media to showcase their products and services. Why is that? We asked Sunny Singh, Field Marketing Manager UK&I at Freshworks to share his experience of working with SDI.
Freshworks have been sponsoring SDI events and media since 2015 and been part of some of our most ambitious projects to date, such as live streaming guest interviews from a studio as part of the IT Service & Support Awards 2020. Here’s what Sunny had to say about why Freshworks considers SDI a key partner for engaging with ITSM buyers:
Hi Sunny, thank you for talking to us today. First of all could you tell me briefly what your role is and how you first came into contact or started working with SDI?
“Sure. I’m the field marketing manager for the UK and Ireland for Freshworks. I’m primarily responsible for marketing Freshservice, our ITSM product. How I came to work with SDI… actually the person in my role before me had a relationship with SDI, so I don’t know how it very first came about but I know it’s been a fair few years!”
What are some of the problems that you were aiming to overcome by partnering with SDI media?
“We wanted to work with someone who was respected and looked towards as an expert or a channel for reaching experts in the IT service management space in the UK. We were looking for someone who we could share a rapport with and get feedback, or get some industry news from. You’re a great repository of information. Secondly engaging with SDI allowed us to reach our target market, which are service desk managers and service managers – doing activities with you guys meant that we were specifically targeting that audience, not doing wider IT events that perhaps have encompassed infrastructure and cloud and you know, everything that comes under the realm of IT, it was specifically just service desk and that was super important for us.”
Okay, great. Can you say a few words about your experience of working with the SDI team?
“The experience has been really good. You know, you have been super responsive. I’m able to speak quite openly with you guys if I felt something wasn’t quite right. And you have always tried to deliver something that’s not just good for your audience, but also is easy and simple and good for us as the vendor as well.”
And what are some of your favourite campaigns you’ve done with us?
“One is a service desk business case guide that we wrote with you. I approached you with the idea of doing a business case as I’d created one at my last role. You took that idea and made it unique to service desk, and that’s a really successful piece of content for us. The second is when we partnered with the SDI Awards live event. That was really cool. You know, it allowed us to engage with your audience, we had great brand awareness but it also allowed us to put our spin on things. And on a personal note I got to interview someone from Formula 1!”
Yes! Here’s a link for anyone who missed out on that: Service Management in a crisis: Formula 1
“Another thing is SDI is up for thinking out of the box – the reason why I wanted to do that particular event is I feel like everybody’s a bit sick of webinars. Everybody’s a bit sick of zoom. So doing something that was slightly different and engaging, but still able to replicate what you do in-person at events and bringing that online. I felt like we achieved that quite well.”
Absolutely. You’ve mentioned a few of the things that appeal to you about working with SDI, like the audience is specific to who you’re targeting. Is there anything else that stands out about working with SDI media and events?
“We get great traction because the content we create is so relevant to your audience, but also you are a great channel. For example, your solus emails. I have just run a campaign where I got a 30% click through rate, and we’ve had 188 report downloads from one email which is amazing, you know, so it’s just a great channel and it works. I think that’s it, it just works.”
Some fantastic results. So how do you decide when to sponsor an event for example?
“So if I’m doing something new or untested, I would see if another region has done it before, look at the results, and try and replicate that in my region. We’ve always had success with your activities and campaigns so pretty much the first thing in my plan is SDI – obviously we look at ROI and make each decision carefully but we have a long term relationship, and we’ve had great results overall so it’s a no brainer. We do it because we know it works.“
You’ve mentioned some of the results you’ve seen. Is there anything else that you hope for when you do a campaign?
“My goal is generating leads and every time I do an activity with SDI I always get a pretty strong number of leads. And the cost per lead is very good compared to other activities. I can spend 15 grand sponsoring an event but your demo day will be so much better for example. So you guys are very cost-effective, but the rate of return that we get is high.”
Why is it important that for Freshworks to engage directly with a community like ours?
“It’s important to be where your audience seeks their information. I’m a strong believer that if you want to be an industry leader, you need to be seen as someone who knows their stuff really well. People want to buy from people that know what they’re talking about. Channelling your information through a community like SDI’s, the SDI brand, is great because anyone within the UK has got anything to do with service desk should know who SDI are. So joining a community like SDI’s gives you exposure to the right people, who actually want to know and consume the information you’re putting out.”
Totally agree. Ok lastly. anything you can say about the future without revealing any secrets?
“Yeah, absolutely. Freshservice is growing incredibly fast alongside the myriad of other solutions we offer our clients at Freshworks. As long as SDI continues to be a portal for managers that are actively seeking information, it’s a great way for Freshworks to engage, inspire, communicate, and learn from your audience. If we put out a piece of content like a webinar and then we get questions and feedback it allows us to test what’s happening in the market. That’s super important. So in order to change and adapt and to make sure that we’re on the pulse with what’s happening within the service desk community it will be important for us to continue to partner with SDI to ensure that we remain at the forefront of our target market.“
Okay. Brilliant. Well thank you again for your time today Sunny I really appreciate it, and I think there are some useful tips in there for vendors thinking about working with SDI media for the first time as to what to expect, what they could achieve with us and the sort of relationship we have with our media partners. Thank you.
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