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How PMG positioned itself as a thought leader

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Software provider PMG saw high growth in 2012, but this year the company faced a new challenge: how to amp up its low profile. Demand last year for PMG's suite of business process automation solutions soared as clients invested in tools to help them manage increasingly complex IT infrastructures. Revenue spiked by 70% over 2011. The company opened new offices, expanded into new geographies and new verticals, and doubled the number of its employees. It needed a new marketing approach, one that put the company name in the news and positioned its team as leaders in an evolving industry.

"We had a large number of global companies as clients, and analysts had ranked us No. 1 in the space," said Melinda Champagne, director of marketing at PMG. "But we were the best-kept secret for a while." The company enlisted Atlanta-based agency Arketi Group to help it develop a thought leadership initiative that would bring attention to its brand and establish its voice in the marketplace. A review of industry research revealed a content gap around the management of employee use of public cloud services, said Mike Neumeier, principal-Arketi Group.

PMG moved to fill that gap. PMG tapped its database of senior-level managers and executives to gain insight into the impact public cloud services had on the enterprise. More than 230 IT leaders responded to an online third-party survey, providing the data that became the foundation of the "2013 PMG Cloud Sprawl Survey." The company released the report in May, issuing a press release through PR Newswire and also putting together a social media release on PitchEngine.

An email marketing campaign targeted 120 media professionals. The combined efforts spurred almost 300 downloads by the end of July, surpassing expectations, Neumeier said. Top industry analysts were among those who registered to view the information. The data earned coverage in high-profile business and technology publications, including CIO and Forbes, as well as on industry blogs. The information also bled over into other PMG messaging vehicles.

"One well-thought-out survey can be the gift that keeps on giving, for many, many months," Neumeier said. All survey respondents received an advance copy of the report, and the company used chunks of information and graphics in everything from social media posts to face-to-face presentations. Visitors to the PMG website can find a link to the report's registration page on the home page billboard or in the resources section of the site (www.pmg.net).

Early-stage prospects also receive a copy of the report. PMG is developing a webinar series to support the launch later this month of a cloud application, and the research will form the basis for one of those webinars. "This has legs for us," Champagne said. "It's something that we can continue to speak about. It helps lend us credibility when we launch the new product." The company will continue to engage its audience of IT professionals through this thought leadership model, she said. PMG published the results of a second study in October, and Champagne plans to include at least two surveys in her 2014 budget.

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