Client Q&A – How Best to Leverage PR and Marketing

Jason Ouellette

When you’re in the client service business, customer satisfaction is your first, second and third goal. And how do you create satisfied customers? By understanding their business, what they are offering and how to effectively differentiate their services and/or products from others in typically crowded fields.

The mobile ad-tech market is synonymous with a crowded marketplace. Here at PAN Communications, we love engaging with emerging growth organizations that play in markets we know and have a passion for. Mobile, marketing and advertising technology experience is deep here at the agency and when we had the opportunity to begin working with Sense Networks a year ago, we hit the ground running.

On the heels of a successful SxSW speaking engagement for one of their clients, I recently sat down with vice president of marketing, Heather Sears from Sense Networks to talk about some of the recent successes the company has seen as well as how they are measuring the overall marketing communications program. Here are some of her thoughts on what’s been working and some advice on how best to utilize your PR and marketing teams when you have specific business goals and needs in mind.

How are you measuring and utilizing your communications team? Share your thoughts here or on Twitter @JayOuellette.

Q: What are some of your short/long term PR goals going into the program with PAN Communications?

A: Our objectives were to create awareness and positive consideration of our corporate brand and support our business development activities. Even though Sense Networks had been founded several years ago and had a well developed technology platform, we had not been active in the mobile advertising industry. So while we had impressive technical prowess, we were starting from scratch with our brand.

Q: What type of ROI from this program were you looking for?

A: Our bottom line metric was increased revenue from new partners and clients. On the path to accomplishing that we wanted increased awareness and familiarity which could be measured through media presence (e.g., articles, bylines, quotes) and social media reach.

Q: Have you been able to see a change in audience perception through some of the publicity secured by the team?

A: Yes! In addition to the constant inbound leads that come through due to the media coverage, when we meet with prospects they have almost always heard about us and have very complimentary things to say. We were even told in conversation with one writer that “everyone knows about Sense Networks.”

Q: How have the results affected your overall marketing program?

My estimate is that over 80% of our inbound leads can be directly attributed to our PR program. All of the articles, bylines, analyst coverage and quotes are building up an impressive digital storehouse for our brand. There is also the “halo effect” of having been covered in some publications that automatically raises credibility. For example, our CEO, David Petersen, was featured in two Forbes articles, one of which had over 8 million twitter impressions. This goes a long way in getting clients and partners excited to speak with us.

Q: Has PR proven to be the most effective within your marketing mix?

A: Yes. For the marketing challenges we are facing PR, with its integration into digital, social and event activities, has been incredibly impactful.

Q: How has your view on PR and digital media changed over the past six months?

A: I have been very pleased as to how quickly PR activity could lead to game changing results. For example, we were named as an industry leader by GigaOm in less than six months from our launch. This accolade has been very beneficial for us.

Q: What would you say are the greatest benefits from working with your team at PAN?

A: The team members are not just experts in the craft of public relations, but also very proactive and creative in suggesting new ideas about how to accomplish our objectives. It has been a great partnership!

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