Cox Business builds awareness in crowded small business arena
From Amex to Zendesk, there are hundreds of technology vendors vying for the minds – and wallets – of entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses.
Cox Communications is well known for its high speed internet and cable TV services in 18 states nationwide, but this big brand presence at times overshadows its Cox Business division, which provides a variety of services from broadband and phone to physical security systems for 350,000 SMBs in these same markets.
Seeking to stand out in the crowded SMB space, Cox Business asked Arketi Group to position the company and its executives as industry experts and a trusted partner for growing SMBs.
Arketi developed a thought leadership platform that would generate awareness in Cox Business’ local markets, while also being relevant to national media. Key to this effort was uncovering trends and news topics of interest to SMBs, around which Arketi’s public relations team could position Cox Business.
HOW WE DID IT
The Arketi team decided to take Cox Business’ PR beyond the traditional media relations playbook and generate fresh, new content and insights that would gain the attention of both business owners and the business media.
After researching various content generation options, Arketi determined to conduct a survey gauging consumers’ sentiment on small businesses and their importance to local communities – and release the findings to coincide with National Small Business Week. The survey approach also had the advantage of being repeatable on an annual basis, whereby Cox Business could report on year-over-year trends in future editions.
We complemented the survey with a media strategy based on bylined articles, focusing on reaching trade publications with educational content. These thought leadership efforts increased awareness of Cox Business executives and led to interview opportunities in key vertical publications like MediaPost, which focuses on marketing, advertising and media news.
The success of this creative external PR approach led Cox to ask us to create content to educate its internal audiences on significant issues affecting their business, such as Net Neutrality, as well as on persona education in which employees learned to better understand their buyers and customers.
THE RESULTS WE ACHIEVED
The main measure of success for this program was the increased share of voice the combined public relations efforts generated for Cox Business, demonstrating the team’s success in stealing mindshare from competitors and other technology companies. In the first last year alone, the PR share of voice for Cox Business (positive/neutral mentions in the press) was 68 percent – greater than all its competitors combined.
Arketi accomplished this by securing major media placements for the Small Business Week survey, including a front-page placement in the USA Today’s Money section. The survey continues to be an annual fixture in Cox Business’ PR efforts. Vertical market coverage included placements in key publications like AdWeek’s LostRemote blog, CBS Small Business, Retail TouchPoints and Enterpriser’s Project.
As our multi-year partnership continues, Cox and Arketi are continually finding new ways to increase Cox Business’ awareness and to develop and execute big ideas that differentiate the company from other providers to the small business market.
“Our partnership with Arketi is strong because of the strategy and creativity the team brings to every engagement. Arketi understands the small business landscape and the opportunities we have to continue to grow our influence in this market. The real value they bring comes from their ability to quickly grasp our objectives and act as an extension of our team.”
Todd Smith, Executive Director, Media Relations, Cox Business