Building Corporate Brand Equity
When it launched in 1996, TimesTen had the advantages of a first-class pedigree - the first spin-off from HP Labs - in the white-hot market space of real-time infrastructure software. Fast-forward eight years, and it was clear that TimesTen's technology was initially ahead of the market. The concept of real-time computing had only recently become a business requirement. While TimesTen’s revenues were increasing modestly and its financials quite solid, investors were growing impatient and seeking a return on their investment. What TimesTen most lacked was a clear, concise corporate identity to attract attention of the business and financial media.
Recognizing that fast results were required, the Bateman Group hit the ground running with a messaging workshop to craft a new set of corporate messages that focused on the business value of TimesTen's technology, not the speed of the cache. The team then set out to reinvigorate the company's analyst relations and product PR program, using the launch of TimesTen Version 5.0 to rekindle relationships and interest in the company. That initiative was followed by an intensive effort to increase opportunities for coverage in vertical market publications in financial services, telecommunications and wireless.
From this base of awareness-raising coverage, the Bateman Group then executed a regionally focused business press program that concentrated on placing executive profiles, expanding it nationally as TimesTen's story evolved to include high-profile customer implementations such as United Airlines and JPMorgan Chase.
The Bateman's Group's strategy resulted in a significant amount of profile pieces in local and national business press publications, including Fast Company, Red Herring, San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal and Silicon Valley Business Ink, all raising awareness among investors and potential acquirers.
Concurrently, the Bateman Group successfully drove momentum in the financial services and telecommunications vertical publications through the use of contributed articles and expert opinion pieces. A total of ten were placed in telecom/wireless publications and two in financial services news outlets. The team secured additional coverage of product and customer news, as well as inserted executive commentary in all relevant trend stories. This vertical market media penetration helped to drive additional leads into the sales pipeline in telecommunications and financial services, in addition to newer target markets such as transportation/logistics and online gaming.
The increased media coverage snowballed into increased visibility for TimesTen in the IT media and analyst community. The Bateman Group secured 30 briefings on the TimesTen version 5.0 tour and 28 briefings on the tour for TimesTen version 5.1. These briefings resulted in extensive media coverage, case study interest and analyst champions.
The combination of successful corporate image-building through the business and financial media with aggressive product visibility in the trade and vertical publications paid off handsomely. Following a two year program with the Bateman Group, TimesTen caught the attention of Oracle Corporation, which acquired the company for a price equivalent to four times revenue — an excellent valuation — in July 2005.
"The Bateman Group added value to our company and product messaging almost immediately."