Gartner forecasts that the total telecom market size for 2016 will reach more than $2.4 trillion. Yes, that’s trillion. With that kind of impressive industry growth, how do telecom companies stay competitive and ensure that their solutions stand out among the competition?
For the most part, these companies invest heavily in upgrading their infrastructures; enhance their product and services portfolios; aim to develop key industry alliances and partnerships; and look to marketing and public relations initiatives for support. (Lucky for us!)
At Martino Flynn, we’ve worked with multiple Information Technology (IT) and telecom companies over the years. Some have faced the challenges that come with a new acquisition—in this vertical, acquisitions happen all of the time. Others have struggled with brand reputation and customer satisfaction. Of course, most have been laser-focused on lead generation and sales conversion in an effort to grow their businesses.
When we meet with a prospective PR client, we naturally discuss goals and objectives, but we also ask: “Do you know what your share of voice is within your industry?”
In many cases, we either receive a puzzled look or the prospect responds by sharing financial numbers to explain how its company ranks in spending or sales. But Share of Voice (SOV) doesn’t depend on revenues; SOV measures a company’s brand awareness in the market. It’s the ultimate PR metric!
SOV measures all total media conversations for a brand, or, essentially, how much media coverage a given brand garners versus its competitors. Our team can calculate SOV in a number of different ways, but primarily we rely on our advanced media monitoring software to help us compile media hits during a specific date range—year-to-date and monthly ranges are typically the most eye-opening—and we track the total number of media conversations. To determine SOV, we then pull together the number of hits garnered by the brand’s competitors and apply a percentage.
In pie-chart terms, each brand has a piece of that pie—and the larger the piece, the more that brand is being talked about by the media.
We can dissect this information further and look at how SOV measures up against specific geographic locations; particular product categories (think of conversations surrounding Unified Communications, Cloud and/or Business Continuity solutions); article tone; or even by the overall quality of media hits in terms of whether they’re from press release pick-up or editorial/feature articles. In most cases, adding that extra qualitative analysis can enable the SOV to carry greater weight.
When you look at your SOV, stop and ask yourself, “Why does my company fall below or rise above my competitors?” Is it because of your business’ strategic news engine efforts announcing new products and service level agreements? Is it because of your agency’s proactive media relations or event strategies? Or, perhaps, is it due to your company’s recent organizational changes that are driving greater media buzz?
Knowing where your brand stands on a quantitative, qualitative, and tonal basis is essential when evaluating your brand’s current position within its industry. SOV is more than just a percentage—it’s a reflection on your company and it can be very helpful in guiding your public relations strategy and investment in relation to your company’s business goals.
We often talk with our IT and telecom clients about the importance of having a positive brand perception with the media. Such conversations can play a significant role in lead generation efforts—the more often prospective customers hear positive news about your company, the more likely that they’ll transform into “warm” leads for your sales reps.
To increase your SOV, focus on announcing positive company news, such as new products, partnerships, and customer wins. Look to secure media interviews with influential technology reporters and don’t be afraid to play an active role in developing your media relationships. If you hyper-target national, trade, and regional media publications based on which are the most read by your customers and prospects, you’ll likely be more successful in the long run. An aggressive news engine program can be a great way to earn a higher SOV percentage and keep your company top of mind.
Interested in learning more about the impact of SOV and our agency’s telecom expertise? Contact Jenny LePore at firstname.lastname@example.org.