Building a brand for a machine-smart payments protector
Cybercriminals are constantly developing new tactics, attempting to stay one step ahead of banks’ detection and defenses. To this game of cat-and-mouse, Featurespace brings a better mousetrap: machine learning that builds detailed, individual behavioral profiles, making it easier to pinpoint fraudulent transactions in real time – without adding friction to genuine customers’ banking experience.
Though well-established in the U.K., Featurespace had yet to gain recognition in a U.S. market crowded with established players and pushy newcomers. The company called on Arketi Group to help build its brand and position select executives as thought leaders in the U.S.
With zero recognition and little time, Featurespace needed a fast, creative way to make a name for itself.
“We constantly evaluate the effectiveness of our messages from department to department, from site to site, from country to country. Are we consistent across the board in the message we're portraying to the outside world? If not, then how can the marketing department fix that?”
Mike Touhill, External Communications Manager for Novelis
How we did it
We kicked things off with half-day workshop, during which Arketi and Featurespace’s executives explored the company’s short- and long-term business objectives, discussed opportunities and challenges within its marketplace and drilled down on the benefits that differentiate its patented technology from the competition. We also determined jointly where the top media opportunities lay and scoped out editorial calendars, speaking opportunities and potential award programs.
Following on from this session, the Arketi team researched Featurespace’s competitors and how they positioned their solutions and subject-matter experts in national, local and trade media, seeking areas where Featurespace could differentiate.
Pulling all this thinking together, we developed a strategic communications plan with, at its core, a year-long media relations calendar centered on generating awareness for Featurespace’s machine learning technology. Central to this plan was the aim of securing media placements that would establish the company’s CEO and CTO as credible, go-to sources for journalists writing on financial services, machine learning and best practices for preventing and combatting payments fraud.
The joint Featurespace/Arketi team took both proactive and reactive steps to turn the plan into action. We scoured national and trade media outlets to identify editorial opportunities around machine learning, fraud and mobile payments. In parallel, Arketi developed pitches to solicit interview and contributor opportunities with publications that cover the payments and fraud spaces, drafting responses and articles on behalf of Featurespace's executives.
Arketi Group has been recognized as one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2018 Best Places to Work on the publication’s Small Companies list. The Best Places to Work survey analyzed employee input on topics such as professional development opportunities and work environment to determine its honorees, and “innovation” was the top word employees used to describe Arketi.
The results we achieved
The planning and execution soon started paying off. Within the first few months, Arketi secured 15 earned media placements in local, national and trade publications, including feature stories in Cheddar TV, Payments & Cards Network and FierceCEO, plus contributed bylined articles in PaymentsSource and Digital Transactions, among others. We also secured speaking engagements for Featurespace execs at major industry conferences, including Money 2020 and Paythink 2018.
The results bear this out. Featurespace credits the targeted media relations plan with playing a key role in the company’s successful introduction to the American market. Featurespace’s CEO and CTO quickly assumed leadership positions in the machine learning, fraud prevention and mobile payments arenas, helping the company establish itself as both an innovator and a market leader.
“When we made the decision to expand to the U.S., establishing our presence in creative ways and such that they communicated our commercial success was one of our top priorities. Arketi identified how our strengths gave us a competitive advantage and created opportunities to expand our influence across the pond.”
Dave Excell, CTO and Founder, Featurespace