Xploring the Idea of Becoming Industry 4.0 Thought Leaders

Xplore Technologies

CLIENT OBJECTIVE

Client Xplore Technologies, maker of the most rugged tablets on Earth, entered fiscal year 2018 with the primary objective to increase thought leadership and brand awareness amongst manufacturers worldwide. The rise in popularity surrounding the European-initiated Industry 4.0 movement, the automation and data exchange utilizing Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, cognitive computing and cyber-physical systems to create “smart factories,” created the perfect opportunity for Xplore to lead the conversation in North America. But because the concept was relatively new to U.S. and Canadian manufacturers, there was a clear challenge – Xplore needed to better educate key audiences about the movement and the critical role that rugged mobility plays in it. ARPR set out to accomplish this by leveraging the leadership team’s invaluable insights in a strategic form and cadence of content that would engage and appeal to its target manufacturing audiences.

ARPR’s APPROACH

ARPR conducted a media audit to determine which publications would be the best fit considering Xplore’s target customers, and also researched its competitors’ strategy surrounding this movement. During the audit process, ARPR discovered Xplore’s target personas, including those in manufacturing, rely heavily on the third-party credibility of top tier media and vertical outlets. Further, it was concluded that the subject matter had not been covered by competitors much at all, so there was plenty of opportunity for Xplore to jump out ahead of what was sure to be a big conversation.

Armed with this information, the agency developed a media outreach plan that included a mix of thought leadership, executive commentary on Industry 4.0 trends, company & product news, as well as newsjacking opportunities. For thought leadership, ARPR’s media strategy included securing quarterly bylines in top manufacturing and business technology publications and proactive outreach surrounding relevant opportunities on Industry 4.0. Finally, the agency complemented these efforts with a digital marketing campaign that included social media ads, a landing page and a whitepaper that focused on industry 4.0 compliance, ensuring a fully integrated communications campaign.

THE RESULTS

Leveraging its thought leadership strategy and media connections, ARPR maintained momentum throughout the year by offering multiple Xplore executives as subject matter experts to establish their expertise from multiple points of view, whether technology and product specific or higher-level industry insights. ARPR exceeded its goal of four quarterly bylines by ghostwriting and placing seven contributed articles on behalf of Xplore’s CEO as well as Xplore’s VP of marketing in target verticals, including manufacturing and business technology. The results of the strategic media outreach earned Xplore and its executive team major credibility with multiple placements in IndustryWeek, Modern Materials Handling, ITProPortal, Utility Products, Manufacturing News and Manufacturing Business Technology. These byline placements were of significant value because they provided the opportunity to explain Xplore’s own unique narrative on Industry 4.0, outlined how manufacturing decision makers could embrace the Industry 4.0 transformation while alluding to the use of Xplore’s devices, and positioned Xplore’s executives as subject matter experts the topic. Coverage of these bylines ran primarily online and sometimes in print, garnering a total of 2.43 million impressions.

Additionally, ARPR secured three additional executive interviews where SMEs were able to highlight Xplore’s key messages on Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. Furthermore, the executive insights shared in the IndustryWeek feature led to Xplore’s CEO being named the publication’s Manufacturing Leader of the Week as well as select comments being used for the quote of the week – making for three high level touch points in one of the manufacturing industry’s foremost publications with almost half a million unique monthly visitors. ARPR’s media efforts drove over 2,000 new visitors to the Xplore website and even assisted in driving 400 site conversions, proving that PR can indeed help drive sales.