Midnight Communications case study
Invoice and asset-based financier Venture Finance is Midnight’s longest running and most successful client.
Over the last four years, Midnight Communications has acted as an extension of Venture’s in-house team, helping the financier to differentiate itself in a highly competitive market and achieve record growth of 35 per cent in the last financial year.
The campaign has only survived two new marketing teams, a re-pitch, budget cuts and a new agency director, but has also consistently strived in its creativity, results, business impact and client relationship.
Venture Finance is one of the UK’s leading providers of funding for small and medium enterprises. There are over eighty competitors in invoice and asset-based finance, as well as increased competition from leading high street banks.
Midnight’s challenge has been to maintain the momentum of the PR campaign over the course of four years, finding new and compelling ways to promote Venture’s message to the media – and hence its customers.
Midnight’s campaign for Venture Finance requires a degree of creativity to help educate business owners about alternative funding options and ensure the financier stands out from competitors.
In order to present the human face of Venture Finance, Midnight conceived the ‘Venturepreneur’ campaign. In contrast to stereotypical entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, Venturepreneurs are ‘people like us’ and reflect Venture’s client base.
Midnight’s creative concept was adopted across Venture’s marketing campaign, underpinning the company’s strategic direction and supporting its core values of independence, innovation, professionalism and integrity.
The longevity of the campaign has enabled Midnight to develop a deep understanding of Venture’s positioning within the invoice and asset-based finance industry.
This, in turn, has allowed Midnight to build strong relationships with key media, ensuring Venture is consistently mentioned in publications that reach the financier’s target audience.
Each year, Midnight has developed and met increasingly ambitious targets.
These include number and quality of articles generated, the advertising equivalency of press coverage, key messages conveyed, number of interviews secured for Venture spokespeople and share of voice against selected competitors.
Midnight was also given clear guidelines on the number of new business leads to be generated through PR.
This success has been achieved through a variety of tactics. These include rapid response, regular announcements of new products and services, creative features, commissioning and announcing the results of exclusive research.
Case studies are also regularly produced demonstrating how Venture clients have benefited from invoice and asset-based finance.
Midnight was additionally tasked with supporting the growth of Venture’s regional network. To facilitate this, briefing meetings have been arranged with local journalists and media stories syndicated to regional publications in areas where Venture has offices.
Midnight also regularly visits the regional teams to ensure they are kept up to speed with the PR campaign.
The PR campaign (excluding other marketing) delivered 61 new business leads in 2005 alone and four confirmed new clients
In 2005 Venture achieved record pre-tax profits of £11.4 million – an increase of 35 per cent on 2004
Coverage independently evaluated as £171,000 AVE - over twice the PR investment - with over 47 million opportunities to see.
Five pieces of national coverage - The Times, Mail on Sunday, Daily Telegraph and two in the Financial Times
24 mentions in introducer press
19 articles in SME publication
Venture Finance was named Credit Today’s Factor & Discounter of the Year 2005 by a panel of credit industry experts
Venture grabbed 27 per cent share of voice placing it ahead of key competitors and achieving the key objective of positioning Venture amongst the five best known UK invoice and asset-based financiers
And, with a far more limited budget than its banking competitors, Venture has been successfully positioned as the leader in alternative finance solutions
Midnight was awarded gold in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide 2005/6 awards for relationship management
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