Have you been following the highly enjoyable marketing game that SalesCrunch started last month? They issued a press release announcing “an unsolicited bid of $1 plus 15% equity in SalesCrunch to the shareholders of Cisco Systems, Inc. to acquire WebEx.”
Of course Cisco ignored this marketing ploy, but it got a lot of coverage on major media sites. The audacious plan paid off marvelously in publicity.
SalesCrunch also created a slide show touted as a “Support Document” for their tender offer. It has some fairly nasty direct attacks on WebEx and features some anti-WebEx rants gathered from a web forum. And surprise, surprise -- it seems to promote the use of SalesCrunch as a preferable web conferencing solution (although the slide show certainly couldn’t be a piece of sales/marketing collateral… After all, the contact email is given as pr@salescrunch, not sales@salescrunch!)
SalesCrunch kept the ball rolling with another press release yesterday. In this one, they say they “may have inadvertently started a feud with the networking giant.” They highlight a screen shot showing that if you type “SalesCrunch” into a Google search, you see a paid ad for WebEx. I just tried it myself, and did not see the ad, so I can’t tell whether Cisco cancelled the keyword, hit a daily spending limit, or the screen shot was doctored.
But the little guy isn’t done with its jabs. They registered a domain name that redirects to their web site. That domain name? www.webexsucks.com
I wonder if this will all eventually build to the level of the Informix/Oracle billboard wars that I used to enjoy while driving along Highway 101 in the San Francisco Bay Area? There is an interesting summary in author Steve W. Martin’s telling of the story from the viewpoint of the smaller competitor: “By now, many at Informix wished the billboard wars had never started. It seemed we had awakened the eight-hundred pound gorilla and it was coming directly at us.”