SourceCode Communications UK Launches Marketing-as-a-Service capability, SourceCode Demand Cloud

SourceCode Communications UK, a leading international technology communications consultancy, today announces the launch of SourceCode Demand Cloud, its marketing-as-a-service capability. SourceCode Demand Cloud combines a rich set of services, from demand generation and ABM to paid search, SEO, and CRM. The introduction of SourceCode Demand Cloud means the agency will now be able to deliver integrated marketing and communications services to support clients with brand building and demand generation.

The launch of SourceCode’s marketing-as-a-service capability comes as technology brands continue to look for ways to improve sales activities. According to Tollejo’s Growth Blockers Q1 Research, 72% of CXOs in tech and professional services companies said their companies were not hitting targets in Q1 2024.  Interestingly, 48% of CXOs surveyed experienced a tougher Q1 2024 than Q4 2023, while 30% said it remained the same.

Giles Peddy, managing director, SourceCode Communications, UK & Europe, said, “The landscape remains challenging for many technology firms. We have been hearing consistently from organisations looking for smarter, better, and more effective ways to drive both brand awareness and demand generation. The introduction of our marketing-as-a-service capability, SourceCode Demand Cloud, provides clients and prospects with the ability to quickly, efficiently and successfully increase sales and brand awareness from one strategic marketing partner.”

SourceCode Demand Cloud is formed through a strategic partnership between SourceCode and marketing consultancy, The Demand Cloud. The marketing-as-a-service capability will be led by marketing industry leader, Koby Amedume, who has spent the last 25 years building and leading global marketing, demand and sales activation teams for technology brands including 8x8, NICE, IRIS Software, Kaseya and Microsoft. 

"Throughout my career, I have seen the transformative power of combining brand building with sales engagement,” stated Koby Amedume, Head of SourceCode Demand Cloud. “The audiences that many technology brands aim to reach are becoming increasingly complex. This necessitates a sophisticated mix of media, social, and influencer engagement, paired with smart, targeted demand generation and ABM services. SourceCode Demand Cloud represents the culmination of my experience, offering an unparalleled blend of corporate tech proficiency and comprehensive demand marketing and media communications under one roof. This approach provides our clients with a strategic advantage in driving both brand awareness and revenue growth. The best campaigns will always combine great media relations, brand building, and sales engagement. This capability bridges a crucial gap in the market, providing a single, trusted partner for all marketing and communications.”

SourceCode Demand Cloud includes following capabilities:

  • ABM - Build strategies that unify sales and marketing techniques to target specific, high-value prospects and to convert them into sales 
  • Content Marketing - Develop powerful visual and editorial content to drive customers and prospects through the sales funnel 
  • CRM & Automation - Track user engagement across all channels to help capture key interactions and discern engaged unique interest profiles
  • Demand Generation - Transform isolated marketing moves into powerful, cohesive revenue generators across an organisation. Making demand generation a driving force for profitable growth
  • Digital Marketing - Covering all aspects of digital marketing, from precision-engineered search and paid campaigns, to smart social media tactics.

SourceCode has already seen strong interest in its marketing-as-a-service capabilities from clients and prospects. Ahead of the launch, SourceCode has already conducted several marketing projects. 

SourceCode has increased its product and service development significantly in 2024. In February 2024, the consultancy hired technology and innovation leader, Kevin Dulaney, from leading global tech firm, Hotwire, to spearhead new innovations and technology. SourceCode also recently launched SourceCode Amplify, an AI-based content amplification tool; CultureSource, the internal comms service; and Analytics, advanced analytics for insights and measurement.


Source[De]Coded: 💡 Insights: Humanity In Campaigns

Hey, all!

It’s mid-May and ski season is officially over and I’m sad about it. I’ll get over it by burying myself in my new Mountain Gazette subscription 😅. Anyway, it’s been a big week! We’re finally live with SourceCode Amplify, our proprietary AI-based tool designed to help comms and marketing teams quickly and efficiently share media coverage across all appropriate channels. 

Plus, PRWeek and PRovoke shared the news, so we’re kind of a big deal (insert Ron Burgundy voice here). Email me if you want a demo, it’s really awesome and you DON’T have to be a client to utilize it!

Two other things - 

  1. We’re still hiring like crazy
  2. I’m headed to Collision in Toronto next month, will you be around? I’d love to say hello!

Onto the newsletter, this week we pulled a few interesting stories - a rare marketing misstep from Apple and how they handled it, the Tiktok-ification of ALL social content and what we need to be thinking about, and an interesting new trend in social ads called ‘screenshot marketing.’ 

Until next time, peeps. 

-Greg

Listen to your audience: Learning from Apple’s missteps with its latest iPad Pro ad

TL;DR: Apple just debuted the newest versions of its iPad Pro with a commercial spot that left many people feeling disgusted at their dismissal of creative fields. The ad, titled ‘Crush,’ featured physical creative instruments, like paint cans and a piano, being crushed under a giant hydraulic press. The visual was meant to signify all the various creative tools now available in Apple’s thinnest iPad Pro yet. Apple has since apologized for ‘missing the mark’ and reaffirmed its support for creatives.

Takeaway: In marketing and communications, we have to remove our egos and personal biases from our work. Whether or not you think the anger around this ad was justified, people were upset by this. Apple could have dug in its heels and failed to validate the creatives who voiced their discontent. But instead, they held onto their reputation by leaning into authenticity and humanity. In our rapidly evolving industry, we’re all going to make mistakes. What matters is how you react to them. Apple responded with grace by owning the mistake, calling it what it was (as opposed to responding with defensiveness or reactivity), and apologizing for the hurt it caused.

Consider:

  • Everyone’s going to make mistakes. When it happens, take a beat and don’t make any knee-jerk reactions. Think of how you can react in a way that doesn’t cause further damage to your brand.
  • How can you foster more trust, empathy, and authenticity in your communications with your audience?

Focus on entertainment: Rethinking how social media incentivizes and rewards engagement

TL;DR: TikTok, whether or not it sticks around in the U.S., has majorly transformed the social media marketing game. In traditional social media marketing, interactions and engagements (in the form of likes, comments, and shares) were the key metrics for success. These metrics still hold value, but many apps follow TikTok’s lead in prioritizing time spent on the app. Experts suggest that to feed into this algorithmic goal, brands may see more success with publishing content that is purely entertaining rather than sales-y or hard-hitting.

Takeaway: Studies show that 50% of the content users see on Instagram now comes from AI recommendations. This means that, whether we like it or not, brands should consider creating content that aligns with the algorithm and supports each platform’s goals to achieve maximum success. If TikTok is prioritizing content that keeps users on the app, your brand should be creating entertaining, fun content that leans into that goal. Brands can leverage trends or pop culture references to create entertaining content that enhances relatability and increases chances of virality. Then, through building trust and brand affinity with your audience, you’ll be in a better position to convert those viewers.

Consider:

  • How could your content be more entertaining? Keep in mind that entertaining doesn’t need to mean bland or void of a deeper intent.
  • What content can you create that aligns with the algorithm’s goals of each platform? The magic is finding how you can marry your goals while being mindful of what the algorithm will prioritize.

Mix up your visuals: ‘Screenshot Marketing’ is a fun yet easy creative tactic to verbalize your campaigns

TL;DR: You may not have heard of ‘screenshot marketing,’ but you’ve probably seen it. It’s the concept of taking screenshots of a private chat through real or fake conversations that encompass your brand or product. These are a simple yet effective visual tool to debut a campaign, jump on a trending topic, or simply provide entertainment to your audience (see previous article).

Takeaway: Humans are nosy by nature. We’re interested in the allure of something private or something we’re not supposed to see. This is exactly why screenshot marketing stands out. It showcases a human perspective that we all know, as if we’re looking at our texts with our own friends, and evokes feelings of honesty, transparency, and relatability. Whenever possible, try to screenshot real conversations – the benefits are two-fold: you’re getting a look at a real conversation with authentic human responses, and these can also spark the content itself (instead of reverse engineering a conversation to fit a campaign).

Consider:

  • Screenshot fun conversations your brand is already having in Slack, Teams, etc. Don’t use confidential information, and make sure to ask permission from all parties involved before posting. But these natural conversations can often make the best content.
  • If you’d like to include screenshot marketing as a visual component of your campaign, manufacture faux conversations. Either generate it by giving your coworkers a prompt to input into your messaging platform of choice or design it yourself. You can use your graphic design platform of choice or try out fake text message generators.

SourceCode Communications Launches ‘Amplify’, an AI-driven Solution to Efficiently and Effectively Leverage Earned Media Coverage Across All Communications Channels

SourceCode Communications, an integrated communications agency known for its creative storytelling for technology brands, has developed a new, proprietary product offering: SourceCode Amplify. Created in direct response to client needs and aiming to answer the all-too-common question of “What do I do once coverage hits?”, Amplify is a one-stop solution for providing additional, supporting marketing collateral that leverages earned media coverage across all relevant communications channels, both internal and external. 

“SourceCode Amplify transcends traditional earned media by transforming initial coverage into a cohesive ensemble of engagement,” said Kevin Dulaney, SourceCode EVP and Head of Technology Innovation and creator of Amplify. “We want to ensure that each piece of coverage serves as the catalyst for a comprehensive, multi-channel digital strategy that keeps all stakeholders informed. Our approach not only extends the lifecycle of media coverage but also enhances its impact, turning fleeting visibility into lasting presence internally or externally.” 

In addition to direct feedback from clients around their current needs – which helped inform the development of Amplify – Cision’s 2024 Global Comms Report uncovered that nearly 60% of U.S. comms professionals feel that demonstrating the ROI of earned media is a challenge they face in their daily work. Amplify is designed to address these challenges head-on and demonstrate how, as an agency, SourceCode constantly adapts to the market–expanding approaches to meet client needs and support them in all facets of their business.

Cision’s report also found 42% of U.S. comms professionals stating that proving and validating PR’s impact to the C-Suite is a challenge. Additional data showed that CEOs have greater expectations of the comms function in regard to how it will directly impact the business and bottom line– from customer acquisition and engagement to directly driving sales and revenue. SourceCode’s Amplify tool supports in developing a comprehensive strategy to leverage and incorporate earned media results into other sales and marketing functions to help drive these larger goals, in addition to allowing internal comms teams to strategically emphasize the value of PR, whether it be reporting to C-Suite or key stakeholders such as employees and sales prospects.

Amplify strategically and effectively connects the dots to other channels within a client’s organization. With an earned media placement as the input, content that can be generated through Amplify includes:

  • Internal comms such as company-wide emails or Slack/Teams messages to help generate internal excitement and employee engagement
  • Fodder for sales teams to either reach new prospects or reinvigorate conversations with active leads
  • Visuals and written copy for sharing coverage across the brand’s social media channels
  • Social or written content to bolster executive thought leadership efforts and executive brand management of the C-Suite
  • External comms to key stakeholders such as customers, partners, and investors
  • Additional content across owned channels, such as an SEO-optimized blog post or other communications to support lead-gen and top-of-funnel visibility

SourceCode is currently utilizing Amplify to support comms programs for multiple clients across both the consumer and enterprise sectors. For each client interested in Amplify, we develop a bespoke process that works to define what type of coverage should get amplified depending on the caliber of the media outlet, messaging inclusion, or agreed-upon factors. From there, we conduct an in-depth intake situation to understand how each client is already working internally to disseminate information and what efficiencies are already in place that we can plug into to ensure we are working seamlessly with teams and within any existing internal infrastructure. 

“It’s always a thrill to see a big piece of coverage hit, and Amplify allows us to truly celebrate those wins while SourceCode helps us spread the word,” said Robert Tomkinson, CMO at TouchTunes. “Taking the extra step to help us amplify our coverage is sure to save us a ton of time while enabling us to ensure everyone - from internal teams to operators, consumers, and investors - can share in the excitement of our milestone media moments.”

Amplify is available to existing clients as well as any brand looking to better leverage their earned media coverage. For more information on Amplify, please reach out to us at hello@sourcecodecomms.com. To learn more about SourceCode’s AI usage policy, click here.


The New Era of Marketing with OpenAI's Search Engine

There is a lot of chatter at the moment about the potential introduction of OpenAI's search engine that could dramatically reshape communication and marketing. Just a few of my thoughts:

Conversational Content is King

Forget the old playbook of keyword density; the future is about conversational search. Your content must sound natural and answer real questions that people ask. You must start thinking about crafting content that not only performs well with AI but also connects genuinely with your audience.

Voice Search Optimization

With more people using voice to interact with devices, your content needs to be optimized for voice search. How often have you asked Siri lately about how many Grammy Awards Beyonce has won?

Leveraging AI with a Human Touch

Using AI like ChatGPT can speed up content creation, but balancing this with human creativity is crucial to keep your brand authentic. (Can all of you copywriters get out of my DMs now?) 

Quality Over Keywords 

High-quality, informative content is about to become more important than ever. Executives and brands should be thought leaders in your field, and go beyond just playing the SEO game.

New Advertising Strategies

With AI potentially changing the way users interact with search engines, traditional ads might not cut it. Explore innovative advertising strategies that align with new technologies. 

Creating content that's 100% authentic can seriously boost your brand, no matter how people like to get their info. Conversational and AI search make it easy and effective for your brand to stand out in this new wild world.

Let’s create something great together. Contact us today at hello@sourcecodecomms.com


Source[De]Coded: 💖 Tell Your Most Authentic Story

Hey, all! How is it May already? Bad news for seasonal allergy sufferers, good news for cherry blossom lovers…they came to play this year! 

We’ve had a fun end to the month with some company-wide Earth Day activities and our UK team over in our NY office for the week. Needless to say, we’re doing quite a bit of strategy, planning, and pub crawling 🍻. Combine that with the PRovoke North America Summit and the Sabre Awards that some of our team attended, it’s been a busy few weeks. 

Shameless Plug - our EVP, Head of Innovation & Technology Kevin Dulaney, has built an awesome new tool that helps CMOs and marketing teams amplify earned media coverage across all relevant channels. We’re in beta and will be formally announcing the details in the coming weeks, but if you’re interested in getting an advance look… we know a guy 😁.

For this go-around of the newsletter, we’ve identified a really creative campaign from Quaker, shared some smart thinking around the importance of personalization, and provided a mini-State of the Union on Threads. There’s some good stuff in there for you to peruse, and as always, let us know what you think.

Best,

Becky & Greg

Unite customers with stories: Quaker’s new campaign showcases their product with a common visual thread

TL;DR: The Quaker Oats company’s latest campaign, “100 Reasons to Rise,” is a black-and-white photo series illustrating the power of mornings in uniting people. The series showcases images and audio interviews from 100 everyday people aged 1-100 sitting down for their daily breakfast routine. The campaign was launched after research showed that more than 40% of consumers globally feel that mornings are the most hopeful part of their day, and 70% said they found hope in others overcoming challenges.

Takeaway: This campaign pulled upon two strong levers: consumer research and vivid, clear storytelling. There are many stories Quaker could be telling, but by examining research and data, their team is able to confidently identify storylines that stand to make the most impact on their brand. They’re also able to tie it to core feelings that they want to evoke in their consumers: aspiration, inspiration, and hope. In Quaker’s campaign, potential consumers see themselves in the stories and in the products through the emotional connection, and these emotions lend themselves well to a storyline that is clear and powerful in its visual impact.

Consider:

  • Take a look at your existing consumer research, or craft a timely survey to gather some new insights. Based on what your customers are looking for, what stories could you be telling them about your product? How should you be telling them? Where should you be telling them?
  • Get really clear about the stories your brand is telling and how those stories relate to the feeling you want your customers to have. If your brand was to evoke one emotion from your consumers, what would it be? Wink wink nod nod…the SourceCode Storyhub is a GREAT tool to help tell better stories.

Personalize your marketing: B2B and B2C buyers both want relevant recommendations

TL;DR: One of the many common threads between B2B and B2C buyers is the desire for personalized messaging. Research has found that 77% of B2B buyers will not make a purchase without personalized content, despite only 4 out of 10 B2B marketers saying they’re using personalization techniques effectively. Furthermore, Adobe research found that 72% of B2B companies collect behavioral and transactional data for their storefronts. With trends in consumer interests and technologies leaning into individualized marketing touches, it’s a great time to test personalization and connect more with your buyers.

Takeaway: Personalization efforts don’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as listening to your buyers (taking a note from the first takeaway in this issue!) and incorporating their interests into your marketing efforts. You might personalize efforts by grouping buyers by demographic or psychographic traits. One company from the article found success in customizing its campaign landing pages by industry. Personalization is also something that AI tools can support well. Using AI-integrated tools, such as Intellimize, alongside your customer data platforms or content management platforms can help improve conversion rates, increase retention rates, and save your team’s time and energy.

Consider:

  • What information do you have on your audience that could be used to help provide them with relevant recommendations?
  • What do you foresee as the biggest roadblocks to creating more personalized efforts? AI tools may be able to help with your particular pain points. 

Take Threads seriously: Many brands are putting their own spin on the platform and finding success

TL;DR: Speaking of “new” platforms, Meta’s Threads platform has now been in the social sphere for almost 10 months. According to a Sprout Social survey in Q3 2023, 70% of marketers are currently using Threads with another 21% anticipating using it in the near future. For many brands, they’re finding success on the platform by leaning into customer engagement and honest, original content over trends.

Takeaway: Many of the brands finding success on Threads are ones that aren’t as buzzy on other platforms. Take, for example, WGBH, a Boston-based public media producer. They’ve crafted content around their fans’ favorite programming, like Sesame Street or NPR’s Fresh Air. Similarly, Bookshop.org, an eCommerce marketplace facilitating book purchases between readers and their local bookstores, has gone Threads viral for their honest, relatable text posts – as if they’ve taken on the persona of a book-obsessed millennial. Engagement and thoughtful, unique content is majorly appreciated on Threads– a welcome reprieve from the trend-chasing of other social networks.

Consider:

  • If you haven’t signed up for Threads yet, give it a try simply as a viewer. Examine what other brands are doing on it. Understand how content performs differently on the platform than on other social networks.
  • What does your most honest, authentic content look like? How might you show up for customers on a more personal level on Threads?

SourceCode Celebrates Earth Day 2024: Team Members Step Up for Their Communities

In celebration of this year’s Earth Day, SourceCoders around the globe got out of the office and into nature, participating in various initiatives to better their communities– from cleaning up soil beds for harvesting, to planting flowers, bagging compost, feeding worms and chickens, and picking up trash. 

Our New York-based team visited Earth Matter NYC at Governors Island where they fed chickens, bagged compost that was processed on the island for distribution back to NYC residents, cleaned up the ground, fed worms for breaking down organic materials, and also learned about how Earth Matter serves NYC and its residents by processing almost 10k lbs of food waste a week!

The UK team went to Spitalfields Farms where they cleared out weeds and leftover roots in the soil beds to prepare for this year's harvest. Spitalfields specializes in growing exotic South East Asian vegetables and it's the only place in the UK where they can be properly grown!

The response from our team was inspiring, with a strong showing of participation from both in-office and remote team members. This collective effort not only contributed to cleaner communities but also showcased our team’s continued commitment to making a positive impact on the environment.

Beyond our Earth Day activities, we are proud to be one of the 1,000 agencies that have signed the Clean Creatives pledge to not work with fossil fuel companies, and we provide our employees with 2 volunteer days each year to continue to take part in these types of sustainable initiatives or become involved in other efforts they are passionate about. We are incredibly proud of our team’s dedication to Earth Day and their communities and it was great to see our employees across all regions come together for this important effort.


Source[De]Coded: 😵‍💫 How to (actually) tackle innovation

Hey, all!

It’s been a wild two weeks. We signed our biggest client EVER, brought on two new team members, pitched an even bigger piece of business this week, and generally knocked it out the park for clients. The team is flying.

This week, we recap some of the campaigns we loved off the back of the solar eclipse, dive into how Dior is leveraging technology to increase e-commerce conversion, and highlight how the research industry has changed…for the better. 

We have a few events on the horizon with the upcoming PRovoke North America Summit and Collision in June. Let us know if you’ll be around!

Oh, one SMALL CTA….help us hire! We’re still actively seeking a number of roles. We’ll love you forever if you refer us to some of your favs! Ok, ok fine…we already love you. See ya next time. 

Becky & Greg

Having fun with trending events: How brands made the most of the recent solar eclipse

Krispy Kreme's Total Solar Eclipse specialty dozen. Courtesy Krispy Kreme

TL;DR: Whether or not you were able to experience last Monday’s solar eclipse across North America, you may have experienced brands’ eclipse-themed offerings to celebrate the occasion. A few of note: Moon Pie’s solar eclipse survival kits, Krispy Kreme’s Oreo-covered donut, SunChips’ limited-time new flavor (available for free only during totality), Warby Parker’s ISO-certified free solar eclipse glasses, and our own client TouchTunes’ data on the popularity of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart (a 1000% surge in plays).

Takeaway: When major cultural events and conversations are happening, you might benefit from asking whether or not your brand could be involved in a thoughtful, creative way. It makes a lot of sense for an eyewear brand like Warby Parker to offer up free solar eclipse glasses, introducing them to audiences that may not know about the brand and cement loyalty with their existing fanbase. Or, for a brand with timely data like TouchTunes to pull some relevant insights on the trend. When executed through an attention-grabbing or unique campaign, jumping on current events or cultural conversations can be a fun and relevant brand opportunity.

Consider:

  • What cultural conversations are happening or about to happen? Does it make sense for your brand to take part?
  • Equally important is knowing when not to take part in a cultural event. Make sure you’re aware of what’s going on in the zeitgeist, but hold strong what makes sense for your brand.

Positioning high-quality tech: How Christian Dior made virtual try-ons a luxury experience

TL;DR: Augmented reality (AR) has come a long way when it comes to helping businesses with physical products (that are typically seen in person before purchasing) evolve into the e-commerce space. Popularized by brands like Wayfair and Target for allowing users to imagine furniture in their homes, AR allows customers to visualize products in their spaces before committing to a purchase. Now, we’re seeing luxury clothing brands like Christian Dior using the tech as well in order to reach wider audiences and help convert buyers online, while still managing to maintain the allure of their elite reputation – something that may not always be the first thought when it comes to new tech like AR. Using virtual try-on (VTO) technology, the results of Dior’s AR campaign showed a 17% increase in respondents recognizing the brand as premium and a 36% lift in purchase intent.

Takeaway: While AR tools can be useful, the tech still has limitations when trying to replicate an in-person buying experience– colors can be off, the tech glitches, or it simply doesn’t look the same as it would in an in-person experience–  leading to slower adoption by some brands (particularly those that want to maintain a feeling of a luxury shopping experience). But Dior’s campaign shows that those perceptions can be beaten and, with a robust virtual experience mirroring the luxury in-person experience, the conveniences of AR are proving they can support premium products. While tech innovations like AR or even generative AI tools aren’t going anywhere, they aren’t perfect yet, which sometimes leads to negative perceptions about their limitations. But that will change. Through carefully curated content and aligning with a modern, more responsive audience – like Dior did in their campaign – just about any brand can find a way into technological innovation.

Consider:

  • What is your industry’s perception of tech tools like AR or AI? What are typical concerns or negative sentiments you’ve heard about it within your industry?
  • If you’re a high-end brand or work with a premium product, what does innovation look like to you? How can you get ahead of the game while maintaining your brand?

Using your users: What the future of user research looks like

TL;DR: User research company Maze surveyed over 1,200 product professionals in January 2024 to understand current trends in the user research landscape. Their report summarized the data into three key trends: demand for user research is growing, research democratization empowers stronger decision-making, and new technology allows product teams to scale research.

Takeaway: In the study, user research was shown to have an 85% impact on improving product usability, 58% impact on improved customer satisfaction, and 44% impact on improved customer engagement. That’s a tremendous amount of cross-functional benefits with just one action. Furthermore, more than 60% of respondents use AI to analyze user research data – meaning you don’t have to invest massive amounts of team effort to glean insights from user data. By investing in user research initiatives like focus groups, surveys, and concept testing or even async web tools like Hotjar or UserTesting, you can get a quick read of how your brand is resonating with audiences and where you should be allocating your resources for maximum impact.

Consider:

  • What do you want to know about your users? What could you ask them?
  • In lieu of involved initiatives like hosting focus groups or usability testing, what tools could you use to automate user research?

Kristen Stippich Named One of PRNEWS’ 2024 Class of Top Women in Changemaker Category

We are thrilled to announce that Kristen Stippich, EVP of SourceCode Communications, has been selected as one of PRNEWS’ 2024 Top Women. This recognition honors influential women who show impeccable talent in all aspects of their careers, make an impact on others around them, and pave the way for fellow women entrepreneurs – and we can speak from personal experience, that Kristen certainly does all of that. 

Aptly included in PRNEWS ‘Changemakers’ category of these awards, Kristen has built an incredible reputation for our client services team since joining SourceCode in 2020, helping to ensure that we always stay on the cutting edge of developing new service offerings and utilizing new technologies. Amongst her many accomplishments, she has built out the SourceCode StoryHub and jumpstarted our Strategy & Analytics practice. Kristen most recently executed the launch of the AI practice and Executive Brand Management (EBM) service, both new growth areas for the agency particularly as AI has become a critical component of today’s technology narrative.

She has also re-imagined our process for new business research and creative development, ensuring that from the very beginning of working with a client, we're infusing our award-winning, quality approach through our new services and forward-thinking initiatives. 

In addition to her contributions at SourceCode, Kristen is actively involved in the communications industry at large. She currently serves on the Board and as the VP of Programming for PRSA-NY and is an active member of AMEC. Kristen has been recognized on numerous occasions by PRWeek and PRovoke for her contributions to SourceCode and the wider PR industry, from award wins to featured bylines.

Kristen is also a champion of change for the PR industry through her work with SourceCode’s non-profit, the Diversity Marketing Consortium. Through this initiative, Kristen has donated her time and expertise to support minority-led businesses with their communications and marketing efforts, demonstrating her commitment to driving positive change when it comes to pressing issues facing the larger business landscape.

Please join us in congratulating Kristen on this well-deserved recognition. We don’t know what we would do without her!


Media AMA with Jon Reed: 3 Things Tech PRs Need To Know

Much like the tech industry itself, the tech media landscape is constantly evolving. Influenced by factors like the rise of digital platforms and shifting consumer preferences, media is experiencing a significant transformation in the digital era – and it’s essential for comms professionals to continue adapting their strategies alongside it. 

Our team recently had the privilege of sitting down with diginomica’s Jon Reed for a deep dive into working with today’s tech media and learned several insights to help us stay in tune with what the media are looking for.

Here are three of the biggest takeaways: 

Stop Overusing The Embargo

Press releases have been a core pillar of PR from the very beginning (or so it seems) but the idea of seeing news under embargo has lost its appeal over the years. Gone are the days of sharing any and every press release with media contacts and getting a full-page feature article the moment the embargo lifts. Media are bombarded with emails asking about their interest in an early look at company news that the offer has become too saturated. 

Now this doesn’t mean the embargo is completely dead. There are still a ton of moments where it makes sense to offer media an announcement under embargo, but the key is to save this strategy for those occasions. The more you can leverage an embargo for worthy announcements, the better your chances of successfully enticing your media contacts with the offer.

Data Reports Have Lost Their Sparkle

Even just a few years ago, data reports were coveted by tech media. A company that could deliver an industry report filled with insightful data points was always rewarded with an influx of interest. But simply having data alone is no longer enough to guarantee media coveragebecause almost every companyveryone has such a wealth of it. That being said, just like embargos, there is definitely value in a data report – if it’s done the right way

This means that there are not just a hodge podge of data points, but actual insights and new findings gleaned from the data. There’s also a word of caution to ensure that data reports do not come off as too self-serving. The media doesn’t care about data that highlights your value proposition or fits your narrative; they want an unfiltered look at what’s really going on in the industry, why  it matters, and how it’s different from what’s already out there.

Earned Media Isn’t A Marketing Funnel

Over time, the lines between earned media and marketing have blurred. While companies are understandably laser-focused on lead generation and closing sales, there is still tremendous value in what earned media brings to the table – unbiased, third-party recognition and increased trust with your audiences. Leaning too hard in the direction of being overly promotional, particularly when it comes to PR and relationships with journalists, presents a considerable hurdle in the quest to generate earned media coverage. 

Although there may not be a direct link to a company’s website in a news article, or the specific call to action about its products, consumers and business decision makers alike rely on the media to keep them abreast of the latest news, challenges and innovations within their industry. The media’s job first and foremost is to provide factual, credible value to their readers, not to tout how great your company is. With that said, being a true partner for tech media means acting as an industry expert and providing insight that will help their audiences get the information they need. 

To summarize, it’s no secret to anyone working in PR that the media landscape is in a constant state of flux, and the tactics that worked two years ago won’t cut it today. To continue seeing success and providing value to both their clients and media contacts, modern PR professionals need to be as agile as the tech companies they work with.


Source[De]Coded: 📣 Call Your Brand Boring

Hey all! We hope you all had a nice Easter weekend.

From our side, we recently spent an awesome week on the trade show floor in Vegas with TouchTunes for Amusement Expo, and after a HUGE account win, we’re hiring like crazy. Did you love working with someone…or maybe you are that person? Reach out!

We have some good stuff for you this week. We spent some time thinking about influencer marketing for the B2B space, the future potential TikTok ban, and how PNC bank has taken a creative approach in their latest campaign.

Enjoy and we’ll catch up soon!

Best,

Greg & Becky

Find value in collabs: Influencer marketing isn’t just for DTC brands anymore

TL;DR: More and more B2B brands are taking advantage of the value of influencer marketing, covering niche areas from healthcare to SaaS brands. Creator agencies have seen a 25% YoY increase in B2B brands inquiring about influencer marketing due to brands “becoming aware of the fact that a business person doesn’t just consume business content” and a growth in more workplace-focused creators.

Takeaway: While influencer marketing might not be the first strategy B2B brands think of, there is a clear potential value in using this approach to meet your customers where they are, outside of just a business context. Plus, there’s the benefit of getting engaging, creative content without having to rely solely on in-house resources. This can add a layer of extra productivity and innovation to your campaigns. More so, we’re living in a time where influencers can be extremely niche—meaning you might find a creator that deeply resonates with your target audience (for example, a software engineer creator talking about optimization software). Finding this ideal influencer can create a synergy that results in more conversions, more brand affinity, and better use of your ad spend.

Consider:

  • How can you work an influencer partnership into an upcoming campaign or content peak?
  • What type of influencer would you ideally want to talk about your product?

Diversify your content mix: How the potential TikTok ban could impact businessBrand advocacy over advertising: Take a note from Tesla and GoPro

TL;DR: If you’ve looked through marketing news in the last few weeks, you’ve probably been inundated with articles and opinions on the potential TikTok ban in the United States. Long story short, the U.S. House passed a bill two weeks ago that would require TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell its stake in the platform or face a nationwide ban. The bill still needs to pass through the Senate, so the future of TikTok is still TBD. But brands who rely on TikTok are getting worried about a world without the generous promotional help of the app.

Takeaway:Anytime there’s a shakeup in the world of marketing (which feels increasingly frequent these days), there’s a general phrase people like to throw around: don’t build on borrowed land. Now, that’s just an unrealistic premise for marketers who thrive on going where the people are, forced to rely on the powers of platform algorithms. But the one way to navigate around this is by diversifying the mix of platforms where you share your content. Don’t just rely on going viral on TikTok – resurface that content on Instagram Reels, turn it into a written piece of content on your blog or newsletter, or keep the camera rolling and make it into long-form YouTube videos. By planting multiple seeds across each platform, you’re able to lean into the benefits each network provides while never solely relying on one (in case we do lose a whole platform).

Consider:

  • Are you leaning on one sole platform for all of your content? What would happen if that platform was gone tomorrow?
  • Can you repurpose any of your existing content onto other platforms or mediums?

Embrace public opinion: PNC prides itself on being called ‘boring’

TL;DR: It’s no secret that certain industries are just… less flashy than others. Instead of trying to be something they’re not, PNC just launched a new ad campaign in which they embrace the label of being a ‘boring’ banking company. As the ad mentions, you don’t want your banking company to be reckless or crazy—boring is safe, responsible, and caring. The contrarian approach is a unique way to address public perception without negativity.

Takeaway: The classic approach to marketing has been about perfecting your image, crafting a strategic brand persona, and maintaining that narrative. While there’s still value in that, society has caught on to promotional tactics, and brands have struggled to stand out in the growing market. We’ve seen the emergence of trends like de-influencing, anti-consumerism, and plain old roasts of brands and people. The general message? Don’t take yourself too seriously. Brands have to tread a fine line between not appearing too polished but also not being too cringe. Starting with how the public is talking about you and embracing whatever that means (in an authentic way) can help you get ahead of the conversations to create a more relatable, more modern brand.

Consider:

  • What are audiences saying about your brand?
  • Can you embrace something that people might typically view as negative and turn it on its head? (i.e. a banking brand being ‘boring’ is actually exactly what they should be.)