Over the past decade, the company has grown by acquiring software brands such as ACT! and Peachtree, said Kevin Jenkins, VP-group account director at Doremus, San Francisco, Sage's advertising agency. In an effort to strengthen its overall brand, Sage in the spring of 2009 launched an integrated campaign, dubbed “Sage Experience.” “Our primary objective is to turn what is a house of brands into a branded house and to build relevance and meaning for the Sage master brand,” Jenkins said.
The campaign—which includes online, out-of-home and print ads, as well as radio spots—seeks to position Sage as a company that helps small and midsize businesses overcome challenges—such as managing cash flow, acquiring customers, understanding business performance and working more productively, while delivering an extraordinary customer experience.
The campaign initially focused on the idea that Sage is dedicated to small and midsize business and has products specifically created for them, as opposed to such competitors as Microsoft Corp. that also serve enterprise customers. As the economy has slowly improved, the campaign has started to focus on how Sage can help customers gain traction, enjoying the full benefits of technology without having a formalized IT department, Jenkins said. “[Small and midsize businesses] recognize the value of technology going forward; they just don't have the time to troubleshoot problems or stay up with the latest and greatest,” he said.
Rich-media banners ran adjacent to small and midsize business-focused editorial on websites for publications including WSJ., Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Hispanic Business and Inc. Print ads have run in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Forbes and Inc. Pre-roll video ads have also been an important part of the campaign, Jenkins said, running on sites that have video programming targeted at such small-to-midsize businesses as Forbes.com, Inc.com and SBTV.com, and in closed-circuit media such as the CNN/Money Airport Network.
Campaign results have been strong, and overall awareness of Sage has increased 15% year over year, Jenkins said. “People are not only aware of Sage but are understanding the full breadth of what their offering is,” he said.
To date, 19 million impressions have been served online, and average page views per visit is 1.44, he said. Average time spent on the website is 202 seconds.