Kordia has delivered television and radio to our homes for the last 60 years, enjoying relative anonymity. But the switch to digital later this year leaves the state-owned telco competing with the likes of Gen-i, Telecom, and Telstra for slices of the telecommunications pie. So, Kordia and Silk Communications have come up with some novel ways to gain the attention of the people who count. Literally. The chief information officers (CIOs), by appealing to their inner geek.
Less than three years ago, Kordia teamed up with Silk and started targeting the business telecommunications dollar, putting itself forward as the minnow challenger to the big guns. Initially, the biggest challenge was from within, with some senior management failing to see the need for marketing. They had never had to, joining the company while it was still BCL, the broadcasting arm of TVNZ, and had never worked in the competitive industry of corporate telecommunications. But, through research and ad hoc campaigns, marketing manager Luke Meurant built the case for marketing.
"They saw marketing as some kind of crazy art form. Understanding the internal audience was crucial to get them across the line, to see the opportunities created by building brand awareness."
"Our point of difference is customer intimacy. We'll be happy with 200-300 great customers, out of a possible three or four thousand."
Working closely with Silk, Kordia has made the transition from broadcast to broadband, and has executed some creative, targeted campaigns aimed at high-end corporate clients. And it's paying off. Kordia have clocked up a few big wins recently, now delivering telecommunications services to Dominion Breweries, Tegal, and Air New Zealand.
Joseph Silk, from Silk Communications has been working with Kordia for the last two and a half years:
"The brief was to help the IT industry understand who Kordia is, and what they provide. Most direct marketing is measured by sales, or results, but this was just to make a bit of noise, have some fun, and get noticed," says Silk.
The 'Kordia. That's who.' campaign launched in August last year when, for the first time, Kordia was splashed across billboards, magazines, newspapers and bus stops with a simple message: we’re ready to take on the big guys and win. Kordia is showing that state owed enterprises (SOEs) can be innovative and fun – with its Super CIO campaign, Telcobot DM, Coffee delivery van, and more recently the pipe DM.
But it was the DM campaign which really got people sitting up and taking notice, with the inspired idea of targeting CIOs, the IT strategists who make the telecommunication decisions:
"IT guys don't get a lot of love, as a rule. They're a fairly neglected bunch. So it was a chance to have a bit of fun. And give the neglected sector some much needed loving."
"The robots weren't cheap, but it's worth it if they'll be sitting on IT executive's desks, right under their noses, all year. It was a chance to show CIOs we are prepared to invest in them. We wanted it to be fun and entertaining, but also to look slick and professional," says Meurant.
And it's proved mighty effective. Unprompted awareness went from a depressing zero percent to seven percent over two quarters. Prompted awareness in the segment is now at 72 percent - all from a company who didn't even have an external facing brand three years ago.