The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) oversees Bluetooth standards and the licensing of Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to manufacturers.
For two decades, INK has supported the SIG’s evolution from a wide-eyed startup to a global leader, starting with Bluetooth 1.0, which enabled the transmission of audio wirelessly between two single consumer devices. In this initial phase of our partnership, we aided in growing customer awareness of Bluetooth from 10% to 97% and cementing the standard’s reputation as the wireless audio technology.
Following audio-focused Bluetooth 1.0, the SIG continued growing the standard, eventually launching Bluetooth mesh in 2017, which enables large-scale networks. This advancement was a far cry from its original one-to-one device connections. Along the way, INK’s challenge shifted from growing awareness around an unfamiliar technology to convincing commercial audiences that Bluetooth was capable of more than the wireless audio connections it was known for.
But in 2022, the SIG was ready to release Auracast™, a major update poised to revolutionize how people use wireless headphones. Once again, INK’s focus returned to wireless audio, but this time our goal was to reinforce the legacy of leadership Bluetooth held in this space and grow understanding around the broader use cases Auracast enabled.
Auracast™ enables audio transmitters such as smartphones, laptops, TVs, or PA systems to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of nearby receivers, including speakers, earbuds, or hearing devices. Auracast™ is more than just a helpful add-on technology; it will broadly impact human interaction. This is especially critical for those who depend on hearing aids or cochlear implants. Auracast™ presents a new and critical option for those suffering from hearing loss, and we didn’t want to diminish this potential in our messaging and product launch.
INK worked with the SIG to determine how to educate members and consumers on the technology and ensure the transformative power of the technology would reach the right audiences and have the exposure it deserved. The first step of this journey was developing the messaging we’d use in our launch campaign.
Throughout our partnership with the SIG, we’ve intentionally avoided positioning Bluetooth as a technology that can do everything for everyone. Instead, at every stage of growth, we’ve crafted messaging for the specific markets and audiences that new versions of standard were intended for. With this in mind, we knew we’d have to delve into how Auracast™ benefited niche groups and sectors.
The key decision-makers we targeted ranged from SIG members at the C-Suite level to those leading IT and operations. We also broadened our reach by including markets serving those with hearing loss, including audiologists and hearing loss associations. In addition to addressing each market, INK focused on making the messaging comprehensive of the technology and straightforward enough for audiences and media to easily understand.
Launching Auracast™ broadcast audio was a pivotal moment for us. INK helped us navigate our biggest challenges and communicate the transformative, real-world impact of the technology to media and analysts.
Senior Director, Marketing, Bluetooth SIG
We knew we needed an integrated campaign that included media and analyst relations. Vital to our approach was identifying SIG subject matter experts who could amplify Auracast™ to media and explain how the technology will change how we interact with wireless audio.
This awareness, along with insights and discoveries from our SMEs and our historical knowledge, allowed us to develop comprehensive yet concise talking points and key messages, which we used to conduct briefs with industry analysts and journalists. We also determined possible skepticism around Auracast™ and developed proactive responses. Some of the anticipated issues included the technology’s go-to-market timeline and security. These pre-developed explanations proved to help ensure our messaging was consistent across media and SIG members.
Within the first week of the Auracast™ product launch, INK helped the SIG garner 996 unique articles across national tech-focused publications, including Digital Trends, Tom’s Guide, ZD Net, Tech Radar, Tech Hive and more. Additionally, we reached niche outlets serving those with hearing loss, earning coverage in The Hearing Review and RNID. When measuring, we saw overwhelming positive sentiment across coverage, and top-tier analysts were enthusiastic about what Auracast™ brings to the market and audio technology more broadly.
Phil Solis, IDC research director and a widely recognized industry thought leader, stated, “Whether hearing-impaired or not, this is about helping anyone hear the audio better in any setting. LE Audio and Auracast™ will keep Bluetooth very relevant in the area where Bluetooth started, and that’s still its strongest area – audio.”