Paul Holmes 07 Jul 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
UUCom, a small, but respectable technology company in 2000 was one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. The company won numerous awards and was one of the few technology companies at the time that was profitable. Then the co-founders decided that they were going to stop what they were doing and risk everything to take a shot at the big time with a new corporate venture
Qorvis was brought in to establish the OutBounder brand (the new company name) in selected markets among target prospect audiences. In addition to building brand, the Qorvis developed a campaign that created a new space and positioned OutBounder as the inventor and leader of the category.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CHALLENGE OR OPPORTUNITY
The market opportunity for OutBounder was huge. In the process of creating a new space, OutBounder obliterated the old space. Qorvis helped OutBounder to pioneer “no excuses messaging,” proprietary technology that delivers critical personalized information to any device an individual is using at the time.
The challenge was taking a company that was successful and profitable in its own space to creating a new space, a new brand all while ensuring that its employees, customers and marketplace would benefit from the new venture.
RESEARCH CONDUCTED PRIOR TO EXECUTION
Qorvis helped OutBounder to research the space that was left open in the marketplace. While there were many other companies the developed way for people to have anywhere, anytime access to their news and information, no company defined a space for delivering critical personalized information to any device at any time. At the conclusion of the research, Qorvis helped OutBounder to invent Polymorphic Outbound Messaging (POM), the probing and tracking and guaranteed delivery of messages.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES
Once Qorvis conducted the necessary research, the firm created the following objectives for its campaign plan for OutBounder.
Establish a fully developed message platform to govern the communications campaign.
Build market segmentation model to accurately focus campaign tactics and maximize marketing efforts.
Create a critical mass of OutBounder users able to supports a national/international rollout of the marketing and public relations outreach campaign.
Raise and maintain the profile/image of OutBounder through use of an aggressive, ongoing public relations campaign.
Qorvis developed three strategic approaches for OutBounder to attack, the blitz strategy, the groundswell strategy. These approaches helped break through the clutter. Armed with well-researched and compelling messages, Qorvis established OutBounder as the leader. In addition, by identifying and recruiting opinion makers, they would support the company’s vision and promise.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CAMPAIGN EXECUTION
Qorvis ran an integrated investor relations and public relations campaign – that over a planned time period- saw the timed launch of press briefings, speeches, media tours, interviews, opinion leader breakfasts and mailings.
Qorvis then took this strategy and focused media attention on Polymorphic Outbound Message as an important trend in messaging applications. Qorvis broadened the story and built a wave of media interest in what POM means and how it will change messaging, how individuals will use it, and the new businesses and products it will spawn.
To execute the POM strategy, Qorvis developed a five-step process;
- Validation of the new category
- Develop the story
- Demo the technology
- Conduct media tours
- Utilize the Internet for additional opportunities
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
While the campaign is ongoing, Qorvis was extremely successful in telling the story. The firm secured a story in the leading technology of The Washington Post, effectively reaching the target audience in one fell swoop.
Qorvis also nominated and helped to ensure that the co-founder won the Alexandria, Va. Business Leader of the Year award. At the ceremony where the CEO won the award, Qorvis devised the strategy to launch the new corporate name during her acceptance speech, which Qorvis drafted.
In addition, to the successes above, through its strong network of contacts, Qorvis helped OutBounder to secure $4 million in venture funding that the company used to further develop its technology and then build a buzz around it.