Creating Brand Recognition Through Customer Success
A former division of Informix, Ascential Software was determined to become the market-leading provider of data integration software when it became an independent entity in 2001. To achieve this objective, the firm built a 16-member corporate communications team to retool its marketing programs and messaging. Charged with re-branding the company, the team set out to establish Ascential as the industry's data integration "thought leader" - the vendor most widely recognized by the press and marketplace for its vision and solutions.
Posting customer wins and testimonials on the company's Web site, and having them on hand for the press and in sales situations were key elements of the team's strategy to build Ascential's "thought leadership" status. Although the Ascential team possessed gifted writers and a skilled customer PR staff member, team leader David Hayward sought an outside organization specializing in customer referencing programs to spearhead the program.
"Building and maintaining a customer program is such a rigorous exercise that it requires specialists with a singular focus to achieve the best results," said Hayward, former executive director of Corporate Marketing and Communications, Ascential Software. "I have used numerous, high-quality PR agencies for media relations and product launch support, but I've found the Brisson Group unbeatable in its ability to work effectively with customers day in and day out, to write compelling customer press releases and profiles and to build a war chest of references for the field."
Brisson Group provided Ascential Software with a turnkey Customer Success Program that included the following components:
Upon Ascential's request, Brisson Group customized its Customer Success program to satisfy the company's key objectives. In lieu of standard weekly status reports, for example, Brisson Group developed a customer database, which it updated every Friday with the latest developments regarding every customer contacted that week. Brisson Group also helped Ascential refine the templates of its press releases, collateral profiles, Web profiles and PowerPoint sales presentations to highlight business benefits, including return on investment, cost-savings and increased productivity.
With Brisson Group converting the software provider's customers into references, Ascential enlisted such high-profile accounts as General Motors, Fidelity Investments and Dendrite to support its sales, PR and marketing efforts. Brisson Group also provided Ascential with customers willing to talk directly to sales prospects about the advantages of its data integration solution. Moreover, with Brisson Group writing its customer testimonials, the Ascential communications team kept its focus on media relations, product collateral and field marketing - the programs they were best suited to manage.
"Brisson Group filled our pipeline with quality releases and profiles, so we always had fresh news for the press, our Web site and collateral library," said Hayward. "They bring a strong business-messaging savvy to their writing and exceptional expertise in working with customers. Their Customer Success Program is one of the most useful services I've ever had."