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Yellowbrick Data: Taking on Big Blue…and Winning

Yellowbrick Data has really shaken up the world of enterprise data warehousing.

Founded in 2014 by experts in database and flash memory technologies, Yellowbrick now offers the world’s fastest data warehouse for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

The Yellowbrick Data Warehouse delivers the lowest acquisition and operating costs, and the highest performance – fundamentally changing the economics of enterprise data warehousing.

The Challenge

But despite Yellowbrick’s game-changing technology, you wouldn’t think that a goliath like IBM would publicly target – and bring attention to – a relative newcomer and much smaller competitor.

Yet that’s exactly what happened: IBM launched a campaign targeting Yellowbrick on LinkedIn.

The tech behemoth was promoting its Netezza data center, saying “Yellow brick roads are for fairy tales. Netezza. There’s no place like home.” Big Blue then doubled down on its legacy technology messaging, adding: “Don’t call it a comeback, Netezza’s been here for years.”

The Strategy

This was clearly a dig at Yellowbrick. Bospar sprang into action to help Yellowbrick clap back.

We linked to IBM’s ad with this caption: “Lions and tigers and dinosaurs, oh my! Get true #analytics #innovation for #hybridcloud with Yellowbrick Data. Hey #Netezza, sometimes you gotta leave home to find real-time answers: https://bit.ly/2BELnyC. Learn more @yellowbrick.com/netezza”

To drive the point home, we created a graphic with a dinosaur by a yellow brick road with this caption: “Escape from Jurassic Data Center: Outrun Netezz-a-saurus (it’s not hard).”

But we didn’t stop there. We also pitched the story to ZDNet, one of the most popular outlets in the tech industry.

The Results

Our strategy worked like a charm.

ZDNet wrote a piece asking “What are you doing, IBM?” and noted that the effort only “gives Yellowbrick credibility.” The story added that the IBM LinkedIn campaign targeting Yellowbrick “actually suggests a six-year-old company that isn’t yet worth $1 billion is somehow inciting trepidation in IBM’s perfectly-coiffed ranks.”

This was just the beginning of the conversation.

WRAL TechWire covered ZDNet’s story with its own analysis a few hours later. In a story titled “IBM mocks a much smaller cloud competitor – and tech columnist cries foul,” this media outlet reported: “Tech giant IBM is getting pushback across the internet for a recent poke at much-smaller cloud competitor Yellowbrick.”

ValueWalk then wrote a follow-up piece saying “Yellowbrick was not surprised IBM targeted them. The company describes itself as ‘the World’s Fastest Data Warehouse for Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Environments.’ When it comes to data centers, Yellowbrick drives 100X faster query response time than any legacy or cloud-only data warehouses. Even better, there are zero unexpected costs from Yellowbrick’s unique hybrid data warehouse.”

And Datanami wrote: IBM Brings Back a Netezza, Attacks Yellowbrick.

Jeff Spicer, chief marketing officer at Yellowbrick Data, commented “We were happy to receive this recognition – both from IBM itself and from the media. And we are thrilled that Bospar was able to use a clever approach to help generate the media interest that Yellowbrick deserves.”

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