Turning company insights into content gold

Localised and adapted existing content for South African media with no local spokesperson.

Vend, a New Zealand-based software company, provides cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management solutions for small and medium business owners. The company approached Red Ribbon to raise brand awareness in South Africa via media relations around their POS, inventory management, e-commerce, customer loyalty, and analytics products.

The client wished to use this increased awareness to drive sales of their products among independent retailers, a specific target audience outside of traditional B2B readerships.

While the client had produced quality content for publication, it was written for other territories. As its local PR agency, Red Ribbon needed to localise and adapt this content for a South African market in coordination with a Vend representative from the UK.

More than 19 pieces of media coverage in business and mainstream publications.

We set out to establish a base from which the client could be promoted as a local thought leader and industry expert, despite not having a physical presence in the region.

To do this, Red Ribbon needed to identify and pitch educational opportunities around retail technology. This included addressing pain points of local independent retailers through content that could resonate with potential customers and drive sales.

Identify newsworthy angles to motivate for coverage in consumer publications and gain the attention of Vend’s specific target audience (independent and small retailers).

Our campaign’s aim of raising brand awareness was split into three pillars: case study coverage, thought leadership, and educational articles.

Case studies:
A visit by Vend’s marketing manager presented an opportunity to cover the regional case studies they were compiling. We worked closely with local Vend partners like Yoco and identified customers for media pitching, as well as Vend customer success stories that provided a human interest appeal.

Thought leadership programme:
Our thought leadership content established Vend as an authority on the local retail industry. We wrote regular articles based on local data, big issues, and retail trends.

Educational articles:
Educational content supported independent retailers with useful content on topics such as inventory management, sales and marketing, technology, staffing, store management and customer experience. This not only raised awareness about the uses of Vend’s products and their ability to address pain points; but also established Vend as a reputable, credible source of knowledge on retail topics.

Annual survey:
South Africa was included in Vend’s Retail Benchmarks 2019 Report and we used this opportunity to promote the newsworthiness of the survey’s results for a local audience. The results were published across a variety of high-level news outlets and drove good brand awareness for Vend.

Overall Results
Vend’s market presence in South Africa increased significantly during the 12 month campaign. This was driven by effective press office activities and a focus on educating both media and potential customers with engaging and informative content.

High-level coverage:
More than 19 pieces of media coverage appeared in top-tier publications. This included the likes of TimesLIVE, Business Report, Fin24, Netwerk24, The Citizen, IOL, Business Insider, BusinessLIVE, SowetanLIVE, Daily News, Entrepreneur Online, and Financial Mail.

Big industry topics:
Vend’s brand was attached to newsworthy retail topics such as Black Friday and Christmas shopping. The content derived from the Retail Benchmarks Report provided additional opportunities for raising brand awareness with a wider audience, while showcasing Vend software’s ability to gather in-depth analytics.

Industry education:
We achieved strong message penetration by developing engaging storylines for briefings and written content. We focused on educating the market while also raising Vend’s profile in South Africa. Through informative articles we were able to establish Vend’s spokesperson as a thought leader.

Increased brand recognition:
When comparing H2 2018 (the start of the campaign) to H1 2019 (the end of the campaign), local Google search interest in Vend rose by 92%.

Increase in local Google search interest
Total pieces of coverage