Think Different, Market Different

As we end approach the New Year, rather than strike back at the latest writer, blogger, and even fellow marketing professional to rip PR people, agencies, individual practitioners or the profession at large, I’ve taken a proverbial “deep breath” and asked myself one question – -– how are we different?

Nearly five years ago, BluePoint was founded as a marketing services firm (decidedly not as a PR firm – Lord knows there are enough out there to defend a good sized country). We were started on the premise that young technology companies required smart, grounded, proven – and above all, measurable – strategies for establishing marketing infrastructure that would continuously support clients’ sales efforts.

As a former boss drilled into my head years ago, “the only reason to do PR/marketing is to support sales.” Since PR was and still is one of the cornerstones to the marketing and communications foundation, BluePoint focused on this discipline, but not exclusively. We’ve felt that PR should be thought of as a key part of an effective, integrated marketing strategy. However, other critical marketing functions including corporate and product positioning and messaging, awareness and lead generation, sales support, events, marketing strategy and increasingly, social media and Web marketing must be part of the mix. And it really makes no difference, whether these functions are executed in house, through an agency, or as is most often the case, through a collaborative effort between client and external resources. Since we often are serving as our client’s marketing and/or PR team, we’ve eliminated the “us vs. them” and often have to view the execution and the measurement from both sides..


It was with this thinking that BluePoint was founded. The reasons were two-fold: 1) Nobody else seemed to be taking this approach; and 2) Even the most ardent industry supporters could not deny that “traditional PR” was – at worst – dying a slow death and at best, undergoing a serious metamorphosis. I’d seen it umpteen times in previous lives. A client would say “Your team has done great work. You have generated all kinds of press coverage, but I cannot quantify benefits to my CEO or CFO. I need to tie all this ink to business goals. I need more Website traffic. I need better customer service. I need to feed the sales machine.”

So where are we now? Whether in boom time or the current recession, it doesn’t matter. It is has always been about results and ROI – from the pressroom to the boardroom. Ink = good, but it is no longer good enough. It won’t pay the bills, keep our clients (and their customers) clients happy, deepen the pipeline or shorten the sales cycle on its own.

Have we kept true to our original strategy? I’d like to think so, and we’ve morphed and tweaked it along the way. Here are few examples where we’ve made a difference for our clients.

  • Thanks to a strong focus on blogger relations and social media, we’re helping Currensee – a new decision-making platform for foreign exchange (Forex) currency trading – build and scale their community, which is due to launch in early 2009.
  • For a stealth voice technology client, we conducted focus groups and launched a Facebook app aimed at testing the concept of anonymous chat (and also help take the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry to a new level!)
  • For a consumer product manufacturer, we launched an aggressive word-of-mouth marketing program which improved customer service and helped to restore customer confidence in the brand.
  • For PermissionTV, an online video platform provider, we’ve executed both social and traditional media programs to help them compete with the proverbial 800-lb gorilla. Our online surveys and resulting data have generated a broad range of media coverage. Last month our social and traditional media relations efforts produced several quality sales leads through agency partners. And, our Webinar program has produced thousands of additional sales leads.
  • Taking blogging to the next level, we just launched a video blog for Proginet, a leading provider of file-transfer solutions. The vlog – part of a complete re-branding initiative and Website redesign – extends the company’s thought-leadership platform (and gives the company’s captivating CEO the voice he deserves!).
  • Another example of BluePoint’s strength in branding is the recent launch of Ignite Media Solutions (formerlyAIS Voice). New positioning, corporate identity, website design content, collateral and a strong PR and AR push culminated in a wildly successful launch party held in Las Vegas.

The above examples are just a few in our arsenal. As we move into the New Year, I know we need do continue to sharpen our focus and elevate our game. Clients are demanding this, as well they should. What’s on my Christmas list? The opportunity to show how we are responding to the new marketing realities and to demonstrate how innovation and creativity can be delivered by an outsourced marketing team cost-effectively and can help clients get the biggest bang for their buck, generate awareness and leads – and most importantly – show results.

— Posted by Tim Hurley


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