Ultra Consultants, an independent ERP consulting firm serving the manufacturing industry since 1994 had a problem familiar to many companies. They had an excellent staff of industry veterans, a legacy of providing efficient and effective service to their clients and an eagerness to win more clients. However, a competitor in the marketplace, providing the same service, had an impressive presence in industry publications and a higher visibility and more potential client awareness.
Ultra’s presence lagged behind and they were often losing business that they felt they had a realistic shot at winning – if they were given the chance to compete.
Ultra engaged Markit Strategies in early 2017 to develop a plan to improve SEO, create more awareness and establish its executives as industry SMEs and thought leaders. Markit created a two pronged approach by establishing a regular cadence of press releases that touted client wins, case studies, instructional webinars, staff expansion and other topics that reflected the growth path they had created.
Concurrent to distributing the press releases, Markit identified media contacts covering the ERP space, prioritized their relative importance based on readership demographics and drafted and pitched topics that informed their reading audience while also creating awareness of Ultra executives and their expertise.
They already had an active email marketing effort underway in-house or Markit would have suggested a comprehensive, three prong approach.
Prior to engaging with Markit Strategies, Ultra had little coverage in the media. In 2016 they noted three article placements, two of which were press releases. They primarily relied on word of mouth and referrals from previous clients.
Implementation of the Plan
In 2017 the strategy started picking up momentum when 19 stories were published. Articles to which Ultra executives provided content as well as contributed articles developed in conjunction with Ultra staff and attributed to them.
Notable industry publications such as TechTarget, Manufacturing Business Technology, IndustryWeek, Food Processing, Enterprise CIO, CIO, Pharmaceutical Processing, Automation.com and Plant Engineering featured articles that included Ultra executives as contributors.
The momentum continued into 2018 with 37 significant placements in an ever expanding universe of publications. In fact, Ultra’s expertise, responsiveness and unique insight created an enviable situation: where they once were relatively unknown, now influential publications were often soliciting their input with regard to industry issues.
2019 saw 29 articles from publications and an increasing number of leads for them to qualify and win. When the engagement concluded in September 2019 Markit Strategies had pitched and placed 66 articles and drafted and distributed 22 press releases on their client’s behalf.
Through a strategic public relations plan developed by Markit Strategies Ultra Consultants was propelled from a relatively unknown commodity to a more visible profile that rivaled or exceeded other, larger competitors.