Fios Inc. markets technology-driven services-specifically electronic discovery, a process that sorts through layers of documentation to find potential legal evidence-to corporate legal departments and law firms. The challenge is to "sell this somewhat technophobic audience something they see only as a necessary evil and sell it during very high-stress times," said Jeri Owen, director-product marketing and marketing communications.
Owen said Fios capitalizes on its recognition that attorneys have senses of humor. "These folks are inundated with dry, boring legalese," she said. "And they are very busy people that bill by the hour and have to be very guarded with their time."
Fios’ marketing goal is to deliver valuable content concisely and with personality, Owen said. "Much of our messaging, including our Web site and e-newsletter, are seen as a refreshing change from most of the other stuff they read," she said. "At the same time, we also try to be pragmatic and deliver tools, templates and tips they can gain immediate value from."
Fios’ "Blamp" campaign-using images of a blender and lamp to represent its processing capabilities-has garnered a lot of attention and helped it establish a brand personality, Owen said. The blender mixes the elements important to electronic discovery until the proverbial light goes on for its clients. The tagline is "Fios—a process of illumination."
Owen said the company has used the metaphor widely in advertising. "For example, at our trade shows we have a counter of lit-up ‘blamps’ and serve blended fruit smoothies to playfully reinforce our theme," she said.
Fios’ weekly webcast series has also been a big success. "We offer content on a wide range of topics related to electronic discovery," Owen said. "We get about 200 or more registrants a week, many of them attorneys and general counsels. The program is promoted through online advertising as well as through our opt-in e-mail list, Web site and word-of-mouth."
Eighteen months ago, Fios didn’t even maintain an online customer database. "We can now push our webcasts and other marketing messages to almost 20,000 legal professionals," Owen said.
Two portals-www.discoveryresources.org and www.complianceresources.org-are separate from Fios’ corporate site. "These are noncommercial sites that provide a centralized resource for the legal community on everything that they need to know about electronic discovery and compliance," Owen said. "Discoveryresources.org was voted as one of the top legal sites in its first year."
Over the past year and a half, the "Blamp" campaign and online promotions have helped. "In fact, we are tripling our inside sales force so that we can follow up on these leads more effectively," Owen said.