The Aptum Technologies brand was created in 2019 after its acquisition by investment firm Digital Colony. Whilst the company had a strong 20-year heritage managing data centre and hosting solutions, there was a pressing need to drive awareness of the firm’s new brand position as a hybrid cloud managed service provider (MSP).
To drive aggressive growth and position itself as a potential partner in helping companies unlock their data value, Aptum needed a campaign which would highlight its cloud MSP credentials, create a sustained engagement from its desired audience of business decision-makers, and generate trust in its services.
It turned to Champion to fill this credibility gap. We sought to develop a narrative that not only highlighted the obvious benefits of cloud computing, but also how companies can plan to effectively implement cloud solutions, so that Aptum can be seen as a reliable and trustworthy ally and partner in this process.
Champion recommended that Aptum develop a campaign to enhance demand in its new services and solutions amongst its target market. We needed to give Aptum evidence that it could confidently use to demonstrate its knowledge and expertise.
Prior to developing the campaign narrative, we spoke to the Aptum team and wider stakeholders as part of research and concluded that whilst the benefits of Cloud technologies are simple enough – lower costs and more flexibility – many companies fail to properly migrate to the cloud. Costs can run out of control as systems become more challenging to monitor and manage.
Our strategy was to develop a narrative that cascaded across earned, shared, and owned media to drive awareness, credibility, and trust, which would then be translated into engagement, lead generation, and sales.
- Increase Aptum’s media presence in relevant third-party earned media environments, especially in Tier-1 publications
- Convert demand generation activity into lead generation
- Provide Aptum’s business development teams with impactful assets that they could leverage to open conversations, nurture prospects and close deals
To do this, we conducted market research to highlight the challenges IT decision makers face with cloud technologies. This data served as a foundation for the coverage that we developed, which was shared with the sales team to drive conversations with potential customers. We were able to generate media coverage that not only increased Aptum’s media presence but also had a positive impact on the business development process.
We worked with market research company Vanson Bourne to survey 400 senior IT decision-makers across the UK, US, and Canada. The questions were designed to create headlines that prospects would relate to and helped us identify challenges concerning cloud technologies.
We then used this data to create a four-part content-centred campaign that fed new insights into the market over a year-long period. This cadence and sustained visibility reinforced and associated Aptum’s name with new insights that cemented its position as an ally in cloud services.
The four parts of the campaign each consists of various assets, including press releases, infographics, eBooks, media relations, and social media activity. The four themes of the campaign, each of which had an eBook, are:
- Cloud leading businesses through COVID-19
- Bridging the Cloud Gap
- The Security and Compliance Barricade
- A Bright Forecast on Cloud
We then issued press releases for each section of the eBook that we pitched to secure earned media in international and national business, IT, trade, and vertical media. We also published the content across Aptum’s social media, which synchronised with the earned media coverage.
Beyond that, the research and editorial coverage was shared with the sales teams, generating a dynamic catalogue of third-party endorsement and branded assets that they could use when driving conversations with potential customers. This supported Aptum’s sales and marketing operations at all stages of the funnel, from general awareness and lead generation, to confirming purchase decisions.
The four-part eBook delivered both repeated and continual value for Aptum. Our campaign gave the company maximum return on its investment through a sustained branding campaign and created talking points for the Aptum sales team. Four in five business development executives shared coverage and reported that it had a positive impact on their conversations with customers.
We also encouraged the sales team to share the coverage with prospects. We provided shareable links to make this easier for them and tracked the engagement of the content via social media platforms. This revealed which types of coverage, which media outlets, and which types of sharing were the most useful for business development teams.
This approach is already paying off. It established Aptum as an honest expert in the industry that sells cloud services. The eBook series also has the potential to become an annual barometer for measuring the state of the cloud industry. Collaborating closely with the business development teams has also set a precedent for the way in which earned media is seen and used as a sales tool.
The Cloud Impact Study met all objectives: it engaged our target decision makers and formed a core part of an integrated demand generation programme that has driven our sales pipeline. The quality and quantity of the media coverage generated was beyond expectations. The collateral significantly helped us communicate our messaging and provided us with real, consequential and relevant insights to share with our prospects and customers.