“How do you say that?” is the response the sales teams would get when they introduced Cogeco Peer 1 to a prospect. In addition to low or no brand recognition, the company, formed through acquisition was fighting on a number of fronts: Competitors, in the form of giants such as Amazon Web Services were redefining and commoditising the market.  The business had new leadership and sales teams and the sales pipeline was empty. Any leads that were being nurtured prior to the acquisition had either left with the old guard or were perishing, unsure of who the new company was or what it stood for.

Time to get creative

Mid 2017 Champion was charged with the task of developing a strategy to help the business move forward. We began by assessing the market, competition and the editorial and social media landscapes. We spoke to sales teams, prospects and customers.

We discovered a big disparity between the experience of the IT decision maker and what they were being told and sold by the IT industry. Instead of solving problems, saving time, reducing costs and improving competitive advantage, IT projects were often over complicated, expensive hazards that were holding businesses back. Rather than powering potential, they were hampering progress.

This insight lead to the idea of the Powering Potential study. Cogeco Peer 1 would show its ability to empathise with the IT decision maker. Rather than adding to the chorus of being the next best thing, Cogeco Peer 1 would show that it knew that IT decision makers are under pressure and frustrated by a complicated, restrictive industry which overpromised and underdelivered. The implication being that Cogeco Peer 1 was not going to be another disappointing or hazardous partner, but quite the opposite, would help power the potential of its customers.

Armed with this hypothesis we began by commissioning a study  of IT decision-makers to understand the things that keep them awake at night. We then analysed the data and identified the biggest pain points and built campaigns around each of them – all under the banner of the main campaign theme: Powering Potential.

We now had three angles on the survey results that we could take to hand-picked journalists at key media outlets to get Cogeco’s message in front of its target audiences. We created media kitd for each story, including a hero asset, a white paper, blog posts, media releases, landing pages and social posts. 

Huge media coverage – and some big sales conversations

The three sub-campaigns generated more than 100 pieces of coverage for Cogeco, including articles in tier one publications like Computer Weekly and MicroScope and The Telegraph. A twelve month flow of media coverage was delivered from just one survey. One journalist even covered all three campaigns, building on the story and bringing extra kudos to Cogeco’s message.

And this survey is the gift that keeps on giving. The compelling stats, and the stories behind them, continue to generate coverage now, nearly a year after the survey was published. We’re also still using elements of the survey for mini-campaigns – getting every last drop of value from the data we gathered. We are not quite done- we still have one more press announcement in the hopper, all about Black Friday.