AMA Spectrum Awards 2016 (Part 1 of 3) – For a Client Who’s Breaking the Mold, Content that Breaks the Mold


Aligned Data Centers is the first data center colocation provider to offer a truly cloud-like model. The company, which launched its first data center in late 2015, is founded on the premise that the “traditional” data center is completely out of sync with the needs of the applications it runs. Aligned gives customers a better way.

Similarly, at Castelazo Content we believe that just because content has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that it should be. The content should fit the audience it’s delivered to, and the story it’s meant to tell.

So this is a story about content that breaks the mold, for a client that breaks the mold. We developed and published the Insight Brief (aka white paper)[1] we’re submitting here – titled The Data Center Must Evolve – in the fourth quarter of 2015.

challengeThe Challenge

Castelazo Content first engaged with Aligned Data Centers in September, 2015. Our first task was to create a set of foundational content pieces that would introduce Aligned Data Centers to the market and – most importantly – clearly define the difference between Aligned (a better way) and its competitors (the traditional way).

We developed a three-month plan that would have us creating, among other content, an Insight Brief – a long-form document that would explain why an evolved approach to the data center is essential, what that practically means, and how it benefits the customer. The Insight Brief would be the most important foundational document to set the stage for all of Aligned’s communications thereafter (including marketing, PR, AR, and sales).

But how could we create a document that was both digestible enough to engage our audience and comprehensive enough to truly reflect Aligned Data Centers’ new way? That was the challenge.

strategyThe Strategy

Our goal with The Data Center Must Evolve Insight Brief was to create a sort of “bible” for the Aligned Data Centers marketing and communications team – a single source for detailed explanation of why, how, and for whom Aligned Data Centers does what it does. The Insight Brief would also serve as an introduction for journalists, analysts, investors, partners, and prospective customers to get to know Aligned and to see the deep purpose behind Aligned.

We decided then that the Insight Brief would have to include three primary sections:

  1. A description of the world as Aligned sees it – the trends and realities that shape the data center environment
  2. Mapped to those trends and realities, an explanation of why Aligned Data Centers exists (to resolve the challenges posted by those trends and realities)
  3. Detailed explanation – mapped to Aligned’s core messaging – of how exactly Aligned Data Centers resolves the challenges to benefit its customers

We knew that the Insight Brief was going to be a long, dense document. We knew we’d have to include lots of infographic elements, interactivity, and somehow allow people to dig deeper into the content if they chose, or not.

We determined the solution, then, was a flipbook that by its nature would feel lighter and more engaging than a static PDF, and would allow for the interactivity that we envisioned.

resultsThe Results

Instead of a 22-page PDF that would make it very hard to accomplish our dual aim of engaging the audience and comprehensively describing Aligned’s new way, we developed a 30-page flipbook rich with:

  1. Graphics that visually represent Aligned’s new way (for those who know data centers, the graphics alone set Aligned apart)
  2. Interactive navigation that makes it easy to move between sections of the flipbook
  3. Videos that play within the flipbook itself (as on page 3 and page 14)
  4. Pop-up text to allow readers a deeper dive into the content (as on page 13 and page 26)
  5. Infographic elements to appeal to visual learners

So our aim was to make dense technical content consumable and relatable. Did we succeed? Yes, we did, as evidenced by:

  1. Comments from Aligned’s investors that the Insight Brief was engaging and informative
  2. Comments from journalists that the Insight Brief helped them understand the Aligned model
  3. 8:30 average session duration for Insight Brief viewers (227% higher than average session duration across the website)
  4. 6.71 pages per session for visitors who came into the site through the Insight Brief (120% higher than average pages per session across the website)


AMA Spectrum Awards 2016 - White Papers

See the flipbook in action

Download a PDF of the winning entry to share with your colleagues:

[1] We no longer produce “white papers” because the term has been so overused and misused that no one really knows what it means anymore, and because it has developed a negative connotation among some potential readers. Instead, for this particular document, we use the term “Insight Brief” because it is an articulation of the client’s insight on a particular issue.

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