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Marketing Campaigns Launched at ININ EMEA Partner Conference

Prague is the venue for Interactive Intelligence's EMEA partner conference this week. Richard Brown, the company's head of EMEA, said in his opening remarks, "We've had a very good year." Indeed. In a year when a large portion of Europe suffered economic hardship, Interactive Intelligence posted 24.5 percent growth in the region.

Headcount helps drive revenue. In 2010, 7 percent of Interactive Intelligence's employees were in EMEA. Just two years--and three EMEA acquisitions--later, that percent has jumped to 12.5 percent of the now ~1,100 total company employees.

With release 4.0 of the company's flagship Customer Interaction Center product so recent (December 2011), there was less new product news than last year to talk about (so far--there is another day of conference, and bound to be some great NDA nuggets by CEO Don Brown in his closing session). But CMO Joe Staples more than filled the void, announcing--and showing elements of--a new website and four marketing campaigns that will launch this quarter. Broadly, the campaigns are designed to build awareness of the Interactive Intelligence brand. Staples described them as:

* Better than and Think of it as: This campaign sets up an Interactive Intelligence solution as even "better than" some things you'd really like, e.g., A Snow Plow in a Snow Storm or an Alternate Route in a Traffic Jam with appropriately vivid visuals. The other execution is Think of it As... and the example shown was Slippers for your Dog (i.e., if you could get a dog to wear them, it would be great).

* CaaS Differentiators: Ads that highlight a single word that Interactive Intelligence believes differentiates them in software-as-service, e.g., Flexible, Faster, Experience, Migrate, Minimal. Again, each concept is paired with a great visual, such as a flow of birds for Migrate or an extremely agile woman in a yoga position for Flexible.

* Customer Experience: Described by Staples as, "top of mind for a lot of prospects."

* Graffiti: A follow-up to Interactive Intelligence's CIC 4.0 launch campaign, it features key words in unusual settings, e.g., ROI written on a wall in yellow paint.

I asked Joe Staples why four different campaigns? He answered that in different global geographies, different solutions may or may not be available. For example, CaaS is likely to be one of the lead campaigns (of likely two) in the North American market, where the company has seen a lot of success and believes there is a lot of opportunity. In other markets, where brand awareness is more of an issue, the Think of It As campaign may make more sense.

He went on to say that specific campaign executions may vary by region as well. He noted that in Japan, there was no immediate understanding of why birds had anything to do with migration.

One thing Staples says you will NEVER see in Interactive Intelligence marketing is a smiling woman in a headset. Personally, I prefer the dog in the slippers too.