Thought Leadership

for software-defined networking

With earned, owned and paid content to more leads


Software-defined networking (SDN) is the name given by network vendor Brocade to an innovative virtualization strategy for data centers. While the technology behind SDN is complex and needs a lot of explaining, it creates opportunities for Brocade to adopt a thought leadership position on the market.

To this end, we designed a content strategy that combines technical explanations with trend reports and opinion pieces. The strategy was rolled out across a broad spectrum of channels.

PR played a pivotal role. Backed by a microsite in German specifically for German-speaking markets, the topic was placed in the media and discussed with media representatives. Plenty of links were established to the microsite, which made use of adapted forms of PR content.

Phase 1 implementation: Microsite

The site also serves as an information dispenser for other channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Brocade's corporate blog.

The microsite has two objectives: to position Brocade as an SDN expert; and to leverage top-quality content to generate marketing leads.

Our assignments:

  • Strategic consulting for and conceptual design of the focused microsite
  • Copywriting for the microsite (launch and initial content)
  • Coordination of technical implementation
  • Content management and search engine optimization
  • Ongoing content development
  • Research into trend topics for development and conduct of weekly updates for the "trend radar", which is passed on regularly via Twitter
  • Ongoing updates to the SDN media center, including relevant press releases, specialist articles, videos and white papers
  • Compilation of an SDN glossary for reuse via Twitter and in PR work
  • Google AdWords campaigns
  • Incorporation of the microsite in social media work/campaigns through integration of the Brocade Germany blog and a live Twitter feed


Between November 2014 and December 2015, Google listed the microsite in third place in its search results – right behind the Wikipedia entries and way ahead of competitors' SDN offerings.

The SDN microsite enabled Brocade to stake its claim to ownership of software-defined networking as a topic on the German-speaking market. The microsite serves as a central hub for all matters relating to technological aspects of SDN, consistently picking up new trends and market developments. 

Phase 2 implementation: Blog

German-language blogger community covering network-related themes on the SDN microsite

The SDN story also needs opinions and characters. To go beyond PR articles and also develop topical content tailored to specific target groups and designed for relevant influencers, a distinctive platform had to be set up on the microsite. This platform killed two birds with one stone, positioning company experts while also integrating external bloggers.

  • Initial launch of a German-language blog on the SDN microsite
  • Production of blogger profiles for German-speaking company representatives from sales, system engineering, channel management and marketing
  • Ongoing development with the aid of a blog content roadmap
  • Copywriting for blog posts, including event previews and follow-up reports
  • Reuse of blog posts within the Brocade group for the company's own blog
  • Twitter-based advertising for blog posts
  • Cultivation of an external blogger community (based on research into influencers, formal contact and coordination)


Weekly publications take the form of event round-ups, tutorials, test reports, trend topics and news from the company. These articles have a multimedia focus and include visuals and video material, as well as step-by-step instructions for the installation and programming of individual solutions. Part of the external blogger program includes reports on tests of Brocade solutions. These are linked to the bloggers' own websites to maximize their reach. 

Phase 3 implementation: Twitter

Background: Brocade had no local presence in social media, so Brocade-specific content was disseminated on Twitter only via the English Twitter handle. No provision was made for local factors and circumstances. To establish real-time contact with influencers and editorial departments, a German Twitter account had to be set up and used regularly to reference topical local events.

  • Strategic consulting
  • Launch of a Brocade Twitter account in German: @BrocadeGermany
  • Daily tweets about news and trends in the fields of networking, data centers and corporate IT
  • Generic growth in the number of followers thanks to community work in the form of retweets and the integration of relevant handles
  • Comprehensive monitoring
  • Monthly social media reporting
  • Launch and implementation of paid Twitter campaigns


Brocade's German Twitter handle attracted over 1,000 followers in eighteen months. Some of this gain was generic growth resulting from intensive community work. Other new followers were the fruit of paid Twitter campaigns. @BrocadeGermany is now well-established as a local Brocade account with content of relevance to German-speaking Europe. Followers – many of whom are editorial departments, partners and industry associations – include the handle in their tweets and interact with Brocade.

"Maisberger knows how to adapt highly complex technical subject matter in the B2B segment and present it to different target groups via multiple channels: print, online and social. Maisberger attaches great importance to digital content and thus delivers perfectly interlocking marketing and PR activities. The team's superb work is based on a combination of years of expertise and a hands-on mentality that blends strategic consulting with creative ideas. What I really like is that Maisberger quite simply never forgets anything."