HOW TO MAKE YOUR AMBITIOUS SCALE UP STAND OUT FROM THE IT CROWD
Lorraine Emmett, director of EC-PR, breaks down how technology service business, AzteQ Group, was able to renew its purpose and visibility to compete in a highly competitive market.
In 2019, AzteQ was operating as three separate technology businesses: a managed services element, user adoption specialist and an ICT support provider. The three companies merged just before the outbreak of Covid-19, in the firm belief that together the company had a powerful, yet still undefined, market offering.
Operating in the highly competitive technology market, the leadership team recognised that without a clearly articulated value proposition – a compelling reason to choose the AzteQ brand – the brand would lack purpose and be unable to fulfil its potential.
The leadership team also understood that it needed to prioritize its resources to improve efficiency, rather than chasing all available sales opportunities, but targeting and messaging was poorly defined and inconsistent. Nevertheless, the business benefited from visionary leadership, in-depth senior expertise, and a resolute commitment to doubling the size of the business over the next two years.
A tailored solution
Covid-19 and repeated lockdowns gave the company time and space to refine its thinking and strategic direction – recognising that it would only achieve its commercial goals with a robust roadmap. AzteQ engaged EC-PR to help with a restructure embracing its 8-step communication strategy – a methodology designed and developed to deliver certainty and clarity of direction for marketing communications, firmly rooted in commercial imperatives.
Two Messaging Lab workshops were facilitated, the output of which was the communication strategy, which comprises five key elements: the value proposition, industry prioritisation, target personas, positioning statements, and messaging for each stage of the buying cycle.
In addition, and in order to evidence the company’s commitment to its customer-first approach, EC-PR recommended that the business document its unique approach to client solutions – in a clearly defined, and therefore repeatable, step-by-step, method statement. The result of this collaboration is AzteQ CUBe, the user-first framework for digital transformation strategy.
A customer validation exercise was conducted where EC-PR interviewed a cross-section of AzteQ customers and trusted advisors to obtain feedback to shape the business’ priorities and refine the communication strategy. The final version of which was used to brief both the branding agency and web designer so that all the marketing assets, including the website, were aligned.
Separately, in preparation for the PR delivery stage, a Media Lens competitive benchmarking process was undertaken to identify the optimum industry topics in which AzteQ could develop editorial to engage the media.
Finding clarity and purpose: the results
AzteQ has emerged with a strong value proposition, new brand identity and clear, compelling messaging with which to approach the marketplace. It is winning business, having more interesting conversations and its already motivated workforce is now focused, engaged and ready for the next challenges.
Its unique delivery model, AzteQ CUBe, has received excellent feedback from employees and customers. The step-by-step guide, “Building a User-first Technology Framework”, was well received by AzteQ’s integrators and resellers, giving rise to powerful, new alliances.
Pip Thomas, director, commented, "AzteQ has seen an incredible transformation, with return on our investment in EC-PR within months, particularly in building more depth of business with our current clients. From the messaging labs to the launch event, EC-PR has taken success way beyond what I thought it could look like. Customers are saying that if only they had known we worked this way, they would have taken advantage of more of our services."
"The Media Lens gave us some leading headlines to focus on. AzteQ CUBe was a collaborative development, a methodology drawn out of us by EC-PR’s skills. Working with EC-PR, we have defined AzteQ’s business objectives and ensured that our communication strategy aligns with those objectives. Our staff are more motivated, and the directors feel that the EC-PR work has made us a stronger and more cohesive business."
Futureproofing with a well-defined strategic direction
Now, with less ambiguity in communications, and a deeper understanding of exactly who to target, AzteQ is visible, valued and understood in the crowded technology marketplace. At every touchpoint, the company can present the best version of itself, which will help it remain clearly differentiated from competitors, of which there are plenty.
The team understands what it takes to successfully secure interest, and then follow through with speedy, accurate delivery for customers. For that reason, the assets it builds henceforward are future-proofed and protected from any post-Covid tremors that might come its way. The AzteQ case study is a lesson in how strategy should be used to drive success.