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Check Point Launches Advertising, Co-Op, Digital Marketing Offensive To Boost Brand Awareness

'We know that brand is important, and we haven't been the most visible from an advertising perspective in the last year, but we're looking at something,' says Check Point CMO Peter Alexander.

Check Point Software Technologies has committed to advertising on United Airlines flights and is dramatically building out its digital presence in a push to heighten brand awareness.

The San Carlos, Calif.-based enterprise security vendor will in April start running video advertisements on both domestic and international United flights, said Check Point CMO Peter Alexander. Domestic advertisements will air following the pre-flight safety video, Alexander said, while ads on international flights will be viewed prior to watching a TV show or video on an in-flight entertainment device.

"We know that brand is important, and we haven't been the most visible from an advertising perspective in the last year, but we're looking at something," Alexander said Tuesday during CPX 360 at The Venetian Las Vegas.

[RELATED: Check Point Formally Rolls Out Cloud Security Toolset To Combat Malware Infections, Account Hijacks]

The United Airlines campaign should help familiarize more C-level executives with Check Point's products and services, according to Ashok Thakur, president and CEO of Hicksville, N.Y.-based Computer Consultants Network.

"More of the advertising is going to be helpful," Thakur said. "All of the people making decisions fly all the time."

Alexander told the 2,000 partner day attendees that Check Point has overhauled its co-op system over the past year. The company is also experimenting with an agency model where partners can spend co-op dollars with Check Point to deliver campaigns more directly through the company's systems and buying mechanisms, according to Alexander.

"I know it's not perfect and I know we can still be a little tricky to work with, but we have far clearer rules around co-op now," Alexander said.

Check Point has been trying for years to make its co-op better, Thakur said, but it remains a challenge. Thakur said it's too early to tell how effective the company's latest co-op revamp will be.

Check Point also plans to provide its partners with a new customer reference portal to make it easier for them to obtain examples and stories of clients using the company's technology, according to Alexander.

From a digital marketing perspective, Alexander said Check Point has invested heavily in SEO and search engine marketing. As a result, Check Point will now pop up on most of the popular searches in cybersecurity, which Alexander said wasn't the case a year ago.

Check Point has heat-mapped its website to optimize the layout and positioning of graphics based on where visitors are going, Alexander said. The company has also added an "under attack" button, which allows customers to click once and immediately talk with Check Point's incident response team. This has quickly become one of the most popular buttons on Check Point's entire website, Alexander said.

The company has also re-designed its product pages to convert them from being heavily text-oriented to something that's far more user-friendly, according to Alexander. Active online engagement with customers has enabled Check Point to create more leads that can be passed onto inside sales teams and channel partners, Alexander said.

"Web traffic has gone up significantly as a result of the combination of search optimization and engagement on our site," Alexander said.

Check Point has rolled out some additional websites over the past year to build out the company's digital presence and boost engagement in hopes of generating a future sale, Alexander said. This includes a sponsored forum for CIOs and CISOs called Cyber Talk, as well as advanced search capabilities for cybersecurity researchers to explore different threats, according to Alexander.

The company's recently launched user community currently has tens of thousands of active users and is growing every month, Alexander said. Plus Check Point has unveiled a tool that makes it easy for partners to compare the company's offerings to competitors using RFP templates and export the findings to Excel documents that can be passed along to customers.

"The No. 1 thing customers want from marketing is brand awareness," Alexander said. "Hopefully this is a great way to start the year and really come out swinging."

All told, Thakur said better branding and marketing should help improve client recognition of Check Point in the marketplace.

"This is going to bring Check Point a lot of exposure," Thakur said. "Customers know less about Check Point today because we're not that visible."

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