Slow and Steady Wins the Race
When the Bateman Group and Baynote began working together in February 2007, the challenge was to expand the perception of the company first established during its widely covered launch in 2006. At the time, Baynote was regarded as an unproven, albeit promising, social search company seeking to take on Google for a share of the web search market. The problem was this wasn’t the company’s go-to-market strategy at all. Baynote was focused on dominating the market for on-demand product and content recommendations for websites — a nascent market that had grown almost overnight into a crowded and commoditized field of more than two dozen players. In an effort to recapture media mindshare and momentum lost following its initial launch and break away from the crowd, the company turned to the Bateman Group.
The Bateman Group’s diversified strategy for Baynote included a mix of ongoing PR and social media marketing campaigns explicitly designed to spotlight the company’s patented intellectual property, which uses social science to deliver product and content recommendations to website visitors based on their intent. This involved positioning Baynote and CEO Jack Jia as a thought leader in “intent-driven” search technology via opinion pieces and high-profile speaking opportunities.
Recognizing that Baynote needed to extend its story to mainstream IT media and blogs, the Bateman Group used a combination of traditional news embargoes and exclusive strategies to maximize coverage surrounding major breaking news. Also critical was linking Baynote closely with the e-commerce and digital media sectors to cultivate early adopters to serve as third-party endorsers.
The Bateman Group team was successful across all strategies. The team placed literally dozens of byline articles and guest blog posts on “intent-driven” search in outlets such as CIO.com, DM News, RIS News, MediaPost, iMediaConnection and GigaOm. Speaking engagements at industry trade shows such as OMMA Behavioral, SXSW, and the Web 2.0 Expo helped educate the marketplace on the pitfalls of behavioral targeting techniques. News coverage appeared in highly trafficked venues such as CNET, Computerworld, InformationWeek, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, ZDNet, WebWare, PaidContent and VentureBeat. Finally, the team quickly cultivated relationships with marquee customers, including Expedia.com, Intuit, The Knot, and NASA.gov, and placed their stories in top-tier outlets like ClickZ News, DM News, STORES, Internet Retailer, RIS News, MediaPost and 1to1 Magazine.
A year into the program, a Forrester report was published entitled: “The Impact of The Economic Crisis On eCommerce Technology Investment” highlighting Baynote Recommendations as a “quick win that delivered the kind of short-term ROI everyone is focused on in a tough economy”. Moreover, Jack Jia and co-founder Scott Brave were now viewed as “go to” experts on subjects like behavioral marketing and the application of social sciences to the technology market. By April 2009, it was clear Baynote had successfully emerged from the pack to be regarded as the definitive leader in their sector.