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Fuze

Wildfire’s App Generation campaign put Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) company Fuze firmly on the map in the minds of the European media, prospects and customers in 2016. Combining influencer outreach, thought leadership and multi-media content, our campaign transformed perceptions of Fuze, creating a platform to differentiate in a crowded market, build awareness, engage prospects and drive European expansion. Uniquely, a PR-led campaign informed a paid strategy and, due to its success, has been adopted globally as the thought leadership platform for 2017.

The Challenge

The UCaaS market is crowded, overhyped and has very little differentiation. In 2016, Wildfire was tasked with launching US-based UCaaS company ThinkingPhones into the UK market to support aggressive expansion plans. And all under a new brand name: Fuze. The objectives were to:

  • Create widespread brand awareness
  • Expand influencer reach to build mindshare
  • Support sales and generate leads

Our Approach

We needed to reach IT decision makers, plus heads of business who influence strategies around workplace communication.

Our overarching strategy was to ensure that Fuze established a strong brand narrative to align with today’s business leaders and set it apart from the competition, with a campaign that integrated media, social media, content, marketing and paid activity. This involved:

  • Announcing $100m+ investment to demonstrate market confidence in the Fuze proposition
  • Creating a unique, fresh platform to discuss workplace communication, by championing the demands and expectations of the “App Generation” using research-led campaigns
  • Creating an army of teenage “Change Agents” to validate the research findings and develop multimedia assets for campaign momentum

The App Generation

Fuze is a truly “mobile-first” cloud communications platform, designed to deliver consumer-like communications experiences from a single app on any desktop or mobile device. Wildfire needed to bring Fuze’s differentiator to life and took inspiration from Harvard professor Howard Gardner’s assertion: “Young people growing up in our time are not only immersed in apps, but they’ve come to think of the world as an ensemble of apps”. The App Generation campaign was born.

Bringing the campaign to life

Wildfire commissioned European research with 5,000 workers and 2,500 teenagers aged 15 to 18 years (the App Generation) exploring attitudes, demands and expectations of workplace technology. Longevity was built in from the outset, ensuring multiple angles and news hooks to support PR and marketing throughout 2016.

Using the research Wildfire generated a hero piece of content as the focus for all integrated activity, hosted on newly-created App Generation landing pages for download with data capture to gather prospect details. Wildfire secured a foreword from Howard Gardner and Katie Davis, Professors at Harvard University and The University of Washington respectively.

Change Agents: extending campaign reach

We then put our research into action, creating a team of teenage “Change Agents”. We filmed a live experiment to see first-hand how teenagers handled today’s working environments and the technology they would soon be exposed to.

  • 15 teenagers
  • 2 Reading-based schools
  • 1 charity – Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership
  • 4 UK businesses

Three video assets were created and placed on YouTube and the App Generation landing page, then promoted through media pitching and social media:

  • The Fuze change agents experiment
  • Teenagers experience office jargon
  • Change agents use a fax machine

“Wildfire has impressed me with its knowledge of our market and shared ambition and passion for our business. The team came up with a compelling brand narrative, bringing a content-led approach to communications that truly integrates and adds value across the marketing mix.”

Tom Pressley
Senior Director, Worldwide Marketing

The Results

150+

Pieces of coverage spanning nationals, business and IT

972,599

Total reach

427m

Opportunities to see

1000+

Views of App Generation videos since November 2016

#1

In tier one media against two primary competitors, from 9% in 2015 to 57% in 2016

720

Content downloads with data capture

5,069

Clicks to the App Generation landing pages

Supporting marketing

The App Generation content also directly influenced and supported multiple facets of the Fuze European marketing strategy:

  • Advertising/paid – The content fuelled an online advertising campaign, including retargeting, contextual and behavioural, implemented by Fuze’s paid media agency
  • Sales support – Sales presentations, messaging decks and event collateral was provided to Fuze’s European sales team to elevate the prospect engagement beyond products
  • Demand generation – Fuze’s marketing team created a series of email marketing campaigns and webinars to promote the content and engage prospects directly
  • Analyst programme – Analyst engagement was initiated for the first time outside of the USA, with a relevant, local narrative
  • European reach – App Generation campaign assets were re-purposed for key European countries, providing collateral for PR, events and marketing in Germany, France, The Nordics and The Netherlands

In 2016, Europe accounted for 35 per cent of Fuze’s global business. The success of the App Generation project in building widespread recognition for Fuze and supporting the sales pipeline has seen the US-based corporate communications team adopt the approach and incorporate the App Generation narrative into a global thought leadership platform for 2017.

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