NCR Small Business: Small business, big buzz

Small businesses often face challenges in effectively managing technology – from lacking the necessary expertise to simply not having the time to handle IT issues and upgrades.

Technology providers that sell to small businesses face their own challenges, too – how to generate media buzz in a competitive field, how to establish thought leadership, and how to build market share.

NCR Small Business turned to Arketi Group to help generate awareness in a crowded market and draw more prospects into the funnel. 

Solution

Get in the know

After 130 years in business, everyone knows NCR as a provider of point-of-sale (POS) technology used primarily in retail and hospitality. When it comes to the company’s NCR Silver product, however, it’s a different story. This mobile POS solution allows businesses to ring up sales and also manages many back-office functions like inventory management and email marketing. NCR Silver is designed specifically for small to medium sized businesses, allowing NCR to serve the entire range of businesses from a big box retailer to an individual food truck.

Before planning and executing a strategic media relations plan, Arketi performed an in-depth analysis of competitors in the mobile POS space. It’s a market that’s becoming increasingly more popular as small businesses look for ways to modernize their operations.

Next, Arketi conducted interviews with small business owners to get a clear understanding of how they make buying decisions. What benefits were they looking for? How did they decide which vendors to consider and what did NCR Silver offer that competitors didn’t? This persona research was critical in developing messaging and pitches that would resonate with potential buyers and the media.

In parallel, Arketi researched national, local and trade media outlets and reporters covering the small business market. Seeking to position NCR Small Business as a thought leader, not just a technology provider, the team also explored relevant issues and industry trends affecting top small business targets, including food trucks and franchises.

Arketi also reached out to small business influencers to pose a series of questions. The influencers’ responses formed the basis for an “expert roundup.” NCR Small Business posted the roundup content on its blog as a way to further build thought leadership. The influencers posted their individual responses on their blogs too, including links back to the NCR Silver site which boosts SEO and drives traffic.

Additional coverage was created by:

  • developing and distributing news releases to create a steady news flow,
  • drafting and placing bylined articles in key outlets,
  • researching and submitting awards applications,
  • incorporating social media into ongoing efforts, and
  • drafting and placing case studies to highlight the benefits customers were experiencing with the NCR Silver solution.

Strategy and structure

With the research in hand on the small business arena, competitors and buyer personas, Arketi developed a strategic public relations plan that took a themed approach to media outreach, press release development and bylined articles.

Arketi brainstormed numerous topics for media pitches, ranging from modernizing small businesses to the importance of technology to food trucks and restaurant franchises. Recognizing that many reporters receive hundreds of pitches a day, the Arketi team worked to craft concise, newsworthy pitches that would break through the noise.

Results

The campaign more than doubled the media coverage secured in the prior 12 months to more than 70 pieces of positive media coverage and bylined articles. Coverage in small business and trade publications included Fox Small Business, STORES, ZD Net, Forbes and TechCrunch.

Other significant results included:

  • Developing and distributing 20+ press releases ensuring NCR’s voice in the mobile payments conversation
  • Securing 4,476,336 media impressions, a cost per thousand contacts (CPM) of $10.67
  • Positioned the division’s executives as thought leaders in publications like The Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Yahoo! Small Business.

All in all, the campaign resulted in an increased media reach, successfully positioning NCR Silver as a top-of-mind mobile POS solution in a crowded space.

Kudos

Arketi’s integrated PR and marketing campaign with NCR Small Business, NCR Silver earned the following industry awards for this campaign:

Editorials/Op-Ed Columns

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Phoenix Award

for Best Integrated Marketing of the Year

TAG Marketing Awards

for Media Relations/Publicity/Publicity Campaign

MarCom Platinum Award

for Best Public Relations or Social Media Campaign

B2B Marketer Awards

“Nice work, let’s keep this pace and drive more business!””

Chris Poelma, NCR Small Businesses

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