Best practice from Buffalo Communications
Luxoft is the largest provider of outsourced IT services in Russia. The company works with clients like Deutsche Bank, Dell, IBM and UBS to deliver high-end, bespoke software projects.
With an established name and delivery capabilities in Russia, Eastern Europe and the US, Luxoft wanted to break into the UK to gain a European foothold
UK perceptions of Russia have been tarnished by the likes of Putin, Abramovich and Litvinenko, whilst news of corruption and super-rich oligarchs has also proved detrimental.
Various factors combined to make Luxoft’s launch decision a challenging one: lacklustre growth of the global IT outsourcing market; the lack of UK recognition of the Russian IT market; India’s outsourcing dominance and a relatively small budget.
Opportunities were presented by the recent problems suffered by India in terms of data security, high attrition, rising costs and lack of necessary skills.
The launch of Russia’s largest IT outsourcing provider into the UK market was a huge opportunity: a client list including Deutsche Bank, IBM and Dell was attractive to UK press and businesses while, Luxoft’s offering was ideally suited to the UK market.
Research showed that Luxoft had almost no brand recognition amongst key press or industry stakeholders. Negative perceptions surrounded all Russian business with the industry seen as unexplored territory.
These results fed directly into the campaign objectives of: raising brand recognition amongst press and key stakeholders; improving upon the negative perceptions Russian business; launching Luxoft’s software development offering to the UK market.
Strict metrics were put in place in order to gauge the success of the campaign over the initial six month period including: 30 pieces of coverage; delivery of a research report for marketing efforts; winning an industry award and arranging meetings with three business analysts
Brand building would raise the credibility of Luxoft and its nearshore offering specifically in the financial service sector in order to eventually boost sales to this market.
Tactics towards this end were: developing thought leadership press (BFSI and technology media) on the theme of nearshore vs offshore using market research statistics; using client case studies to show the ROI that Luxoft could deliver and implementing these for award submissions; a press trip to Moscow to educate key media as to what Russia could provide and how the outsourcing market is changing and developing.
Further tactics included an analyst programme in order to raise Luxoft’s third-party supporter network and media training to ensure that the Vice-President would be fully abreast of the ways of the English media.
The research report was developed with contributions from key decision makers in FTSE 350 financial services organisations. The key press angle was that regulatory compliance was low on agenda for financial companies outsourcing IT proving excellent for media relations.
Buffalo developed article synopses around the issues of security, nearshore IT outsourcing, the implications of attrition rates on end users and CRM technology. These were sold in as features and opinion piece ideas to the financial services, investment and horizontal management press.
Buffalo maximised a Deutsche Bank case study for media relations. Interviews were obtained between a Deutsche Bank spokesperson and four journalists at key A-list financial services and technology publications. Case study also developed into awards submissions. Luxoft entered for the National Outsourcing Association’s (NOA) awards, the Information Management awards and the Financial Sector technology awards.
Four A-List press (Computer Weekly, The Banker, Silicon, Banking Technology) attended the press trip to Moscow, which incorporated a visit to the Russian IT ministry and Moscow State University. The analyst and press roundtables were organised to give a detailed understanding of Luxoft and current issues within IT outsourcing.
In the initial 6 month period in which Luxoft was launched to the UK, the aim was to generate 30 pieces of coverage.
Buffalo far exceeded this by gaining 45 pieces of coverage. This included:
· 25 pieces of A-List Coverage (target was 15)
· 20 pieces of B-List Coverage (target was 15)
· Thought leadership articles in A-List titles including Financial Times, FT.com, Financial Adviser, Investment Adviser and Business Money
· Deutsche Bank case study in Computer Weekly, Banking Technology, Silicon, The Banker and Hi-Tech Scotland
· Press trip generated coverage in four A-List titles
· Opinion pieces were written for management titles
· Buffalo also liaised with foreign media, securing positive articles in leading German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, as well as the New York Times and Business Week.
· Winner of the “Financial Outsourcing Project of the Year Award 2006” at the NOA Awards. Highly commended at the Information Management Awards and the Financial Sector Technology Awards
· Speaking opportunities secured at two industry events focused on the financial services market.
· Seven analysts (four more than target) attended an analyst/press roundtable
Six months following the initial media audit, a new performance indicator was conducted to gauge progress. Brand recognition amongst end users rose dramatically. Luxoft brand recognition raised from 7% to 64% and brand understanding of Luxoft’s offering rose from 3% to 58%.
Brand recognition amongst target journalists has also risen from zero to 80% with 70% brand understanding.
Buffalo was appointed initially for the launch project, the success of which resulted in Luxoft becoming a retained client.
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