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Digital Marketing in EDA...with No Hands on the Wheel

By Paul McLellan, Cadence

Years (decades) ago, Robert Townsend, the CEO of Avis, faced a problem. Hertz was several times as big as Avis. Avis was losing money. He asked the Bill Bernbach, the head of his advertising agency DDB, how he could effectively get $2 of advertising for every $1 he spent. Bill said that he should simply promise to run whatever ads they came up with. Unchanged. "You will have every creative in my office moonlighting on your account." As it happened, nobody was that happy with the "we try harder" campaign that they had come up with...but Townsend had promised to run the ads unchanged. They ran for 50 years.


OneSpin faced a similar challenge as a startup in formal verification. How to "get around the big guys" (that would be Cadence's JasperGold for one). They focused on niches that were small but forecast to grow fast. But how to reach potential customers in an era without a press, where cold-calling doesn't work, where emails don't get opened? Digital marketing seemed like it might be the answer. Dave Kelf, who was VP marketing at OneSpin at the time said:

We’ve got to get into this, we need to find a young kid who's outside of EDA and hire him.

They did. They found Nicolas Athanasopoulos and hired him from 3M.


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