>Case Study: Advertising a Technology Services Business


J.T. Buice reached out to me on Twitter with this tweet and asked:

@TheMarketingGuy I am starting a Tech Consulting business in Waco. I have $4000 for Advertising. Where in Waco could I get the best bang?


Case Study: Advertising a Tech Business
Business: PMF Technology Services
Location: Waco, Texas USA

The Setup

PMF Technology Services is actually a business within a business. It is part of the Parrish Moody & Fikes accounting firm in Waco. The new business began as an internal IT Dept and started trouble-shooting IT problems for clients, particularly hospitals. J.T Buice is the guy running the operation. The budget turned out to be $3000 rather than $4000.

The Message

Before you decide where to advertise, you should decide what you’re going to say. The message is more important than the media. There are a couple of rules, 1) The message needs to be true in that it’s what customers will actually experience if they do business with you and 2) the message needs to be one of courtship. What you say needs to communicate that you are looking for a long-term relationship.

When we started, the PMF Technology message was cost savings, and response. A couple of problems here. First, no company thinks about hiring a technology services company unless they have something wrong. So trying to get someone to call you on price would be ineffective.

On the other hand, response would be good because no one thinks of hiring a technology services company unless they have something wrong. Quick response would be a valuable quality. Unfortunately, it wasn’t sustainable. If PMF got too busy they would not be able to keep a response-time promise. So we had to look for another message.

We decided on trust and security. JT Buice has worked on projects at the Dept. of Homeland Security and for hospitals. Both of those assignments require a high degree of security and trust. PMF Technology will create a “Trust Certificate” spelling out their confidentiality promise to the client. In addition, PMF will define and spell out a security protocol to assure clients that their network and their data are safe.

The Media

With our message in place, it was time to decide where to advertise. We used The Marketing Spot’s Media Spotter Matrix to choose the right medium. We decided on direct mail because our target customer group was very narrow: business owners. In addition, direct mail can be done rather inexpensively if you do it right.

The strategy is to print 3600 over-sized postcards using an online printer for under $350. Hire a local, professional graphics designer to design the postcard for about $200. The mailing list can be purchased from the chamber for $200. We then send the postcards and the mailing list to a local mailing house to be mailed in three separate mailings of 1200 each for approximately $1000 total. Our grand total for the direct mail campaign is approximately $1750. That leaves us a surplus of $1250.

Every direct mail piece should have a call to action. The PMF Technology postcard will direct recipients to a landing page on the website. The landing page will contain video testimonials from current clients touting trust and security. It will also have a video bio of JT Buice talking about his experience, the trust certificate, and their proprietary security protocol. The $1250 surplus can be used to get some help setting up the video pages on the website, or editing the video for Internet.

The Summary

  • Before you decide where to advertise, decide what to advertise. Get a good message.
  • Use The Marketing Spot’s Media Spotter Matrix to decide where to advertise
  • Use direct mail to cost-efficiently target a specific demographic
  • Use over-sized postcards for their readability and cost efficiency
  • Use a mailing service to save time and postage costs

Finally, this is just a campaign for the launch phase of the new business. The goal is to create some awareness and name recognition for PMF Technology Services. J.T understands that he probably won’t many phone calls from the postcards. Business usually only hire technology companies when they have a challenge or problem. He will supplement this campaign with traditional business networking events and some social media activity on Twitter.

Previous Case Studies:
Branding a Kitchen Remodeling Business
Branding a Furniture Store
Word of Mouth for a Bar & Grill
How to Get a Logo That Defines Your Business

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