For 75 years, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) had been delivering highly-regarded applied research primarily to government and industry. GTRI, also a nonprofit institute, recently decided to make a strategic move forward, maintaining their traditional line of business with government and industry, but also reaching out to new markets in the private sector.
GTRI identified one key need in selling to new markets: the “telling” of the GTRI story was complex and challenging and GTRI wanted more focus on commercial audiences, without alienating existing government customers. With innovative solutions and positive, sometimes unexpected and amazing outcomes—GTRI had a strong story to tell.
In short, GTRI wanted to develop and deploy new messaging to:
- Convey the value behind the research being done at GTRI for government as well as industry/commercial and philanthropic sponsors
- Articulate what the organization does and how it is different from other research alternatives
- Resonate with existing and new sponsors in a way that supports GTRI’s growth goals
- Support and articulate the synergy between GTRI and Georgia Tech
To discover GTRI’s unique positioning, Arketi Group began with a series of formal sessions to determine truly differentiating characteristics about GTRI’s capabilities. Arketi held an in-depth Unearth session with more than 15 top level managers. The firm also completed an internal questionnaire with dozens of lab directors, GTRI employees and board of advisors to assess their beliefs about the strengths of the organization, its attributes and culture.
From the research, Arketi developed a positioning platform based on specific target audiences and influencers important to GTRI. The messaging platform focused on GTRI’s key differentiators. Arketi then conducted an online survey and in-depth interviews with GTRI’s employees to garner feedback about the new positioning.
GTRI selected the “Problem. Solved.” concept to convey the very essence of what GTRI has been doing since 1934, which is to solve very complex, technical problems. This concept allows the reinforcement of the exceptional expertise found within GTRI. “Problem. Solved.” speaks to the needs of both government and commercial entities. It is also positive, active, flexible and extensible while focusing on the end benefit.
With the new positioning and messaging completed, GTRI was able to construct a new website to launch their unprecedented business development strategy. The new tagline and messaging platform created by Arketi is used in all aspects of marketing, from brochures, print and online materials, posters and newsletters to GTRI’s annual report. Arketi Group also assisted GTRI with the development of visuals aimed at showcasing the organization’s unique problem solving processes.
Since the new positioning and more robust messaging was launched in late 2007 with various marketing programs and sales support materials, the results have been compelling. One hundred qualified leads were obtained in the first year of launching the new messaging on GTRI's new website. GTRI has also increased its sales process consistency and efficiency as a result of clear, concise messaging and vertical market focus. Most importantly, GTRI saw a 42 percent increase in revenue in the first 12 months. And, in its fiscal year ending June 2009, it reached a research contract record, topping $200MM for the first time in its 75 year history.
Georgia Tech Research Institute has won several awards for this project developed by Arketi Group: