Pivoting to New Markets

Over our 15+ year relationship with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), INK has worked with every iteration of tech company, starting with the wide-eyed startup introducing the world to hands-free calling and telematics (2004). Followed by growth-stage incumbent presenting wireless stereo audio streaming (2007) and then serving as the lightning rod for wearable technology (2012), all the way to defacto wireless solution shipping billions of products with Bluetooth technology a year (2017). At every stage, INK adjusted our program and messaging to resonate with the right audience, their needs, and their knowledge level based on research and data.

In 2018, the SIG announced Bluetooth mesh and found itself at yet another pivotal juncture. With consumer awareness tipping the scales at 97%, the SIG was fighting its own success as it moved into new emerging IoT markets including smart buildings, smart industry, and smart cities. To successfully launch into these new markets, the SIG needed to connect authentically with each and looked to INK for highly customized messaging for each audience.

INK is a highly knowledgeable and adaptable partner, delivering fresh insights and strategy throughout the evolution of Bluetooth.

Ken Kolderup

VP of Marketing, Bluetooth SIG

Defining Vision, Value, and Audience

The SIG faces a unique challenge in that the value of its technology depends on the audience and use case, of which it has many. INK knew the SIG couldn’t grow if people continued to see Bluetooth as a universal technology. Instead of being “everything for everyone,” we worked with the SIG to define itself in each market. We also prioritized communications that best aligned with individual markets without alienating others.

Putting the Wheels in Motion

The SIG’s new market-maker approach fueled everything from the reorganization of its website to internal planning. At the same time, we adjusted the existing integrated program to bolster this new marketing approach. As a result, media and analyst relations and our social media strategy, in particular, became more focused and tailored to the updated markets and audiences.

Media and Analyst Relations Strategy: INK developed a top-tier media and analyst strategy along with ongoing campaigns to promote content. Top-tier for the SIG also meant vertical trade publications, like Manufacturing Connections or Sensors Online. As we educated the media on the SIG’s priority markets, media mentions for priority markets increased an average of 21% within one year. Throughout 2018, 61% of all coverage focused on priority markets. Much of this coverage highlighted the new market-maker messaging.

Social Media Strategy: INK completely reimagined the SIG’s social editorial calendar. We approached social channels scientifically in that 75% of our content focused on priority markets, mesh education, and relevant vertical news. Meanwhile, the other 25% of our content spoke to topics pertinent to legacy Bluetooth fans and users. We also worked with the SIG to develop a tiered content system and promotional process. These initiatives helped streamline priority content across channels.

We also worked to shift from a consumer audience to one that is more technical and comprised of developer and business decision makers. The tone, content, and targeting on social has significantly increased the quality of the Bluetooth SIG Twitter audience.

of audience developer & IT professionals
of audience executives
of audience technology and/or business

A Commitment to Continuous Evolution and Leadership

To maintain its leadership, Bluetooth has continuously evolved with new capabilities and value. Our communications program and strategy is no different, always adapting and staying ahead of the market to leverage new opportunities and storylines and, above all, never letting our voice or strategy stagnate. INK’s commitment to leading in real time has helped the SIG respond and shape wireless technology trends for more than 15 years, and we continue to aid in solidifying Bluetooth as the driving force behind new consumer, commercial, and industrial markets.