Case Studies

Creative... Technically Speaking
Technical... Creatively Speaking

Company A

Thermal Imagers

Company A was founded in 1996 and had run occasional ads in photonics-based B2B publications. Because of our expertise in the optoelectronics arena, Smith Miller Moore was hired in 1997 to formulate a more comprehensive marketing/media plan. When we started in early 1997, annual revenue was approximately $5-$6M. Our recommendation was to start with a more targeted ad campaign that would help them compete against older, more established  thermal camera manufacturers. While the company designed many superior infrared (IR) imaging products, the market remained relatively unaware of them. Our task was to increase visibility, credibility, and market share.

Our efforts began with an emphasis on strategically increasing frequency in optoelectronics publications which reached all of their varied markets. Over the next 4-5 years, and as the internet began expanding, our efforts grew to incorporate a fully integrated advertising/marketing/editorial approach, including contributed feature articles and monthly press releases. The combined exposure was so successful in helping grow market share and revenue that we went a step further to begin incorporating additional opportunities for exposure. These included gaining publicity and coverage locally, regionally, and nationally. Momentum increased and in 2001, five years after inception, the company’s revenue  tripled. In October 2002, they were honored as one of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in North America. Fiscal Year 2002 saw gross revenues climb to over $37M. One year later, 2003 revenues had increased to approximately $55M. Smith Miller Moore's knowledge of the market, carefully planned strategy, and well-orchestrated execution helped drive revenues and value up substantially each year. Our efforts helped establish Company A as a leader in their field of expertise. Increased visibility, increased market share, and increased value in the company captured the attention of a giant in the industry who purchased them in 2003; the transaction closed in 2004 for an astonishing $185M. 

SMM functions included:
•  Goal assessment & strategic planning
•  Media planning
•  Ad creation (print & digital)
•  Press conferences 
•  Feature articles, editorial inclusions, & PR 
•  Brochures & literature
•  Award entries & submissions
•  Direct mail
•  Trade show booths 
•  Trade show promotion & on-site editorial support

Company B

Optics

A former contact who had previously worked for one of our existing clients was hired by Company B. After several years of lobbying for marketing and advertising support, he was given a modest budget. Having had excellent success with SMM services previously, he called on us to formulate an advertising strategy and begin a campaign. The company was not particularly well recognized in their field, though they had unique capabilities. The problem was that only their existing customers knew it; Company B was not effectively disseminating knowledge of their innovations to grow their market. We established a branding approach that would give them a unique, recognizable identity and underscore their innovative products. The first year's program included both advertising and editorial efforts in targeted publications. Our award-winning, full-page ads were easily identifiable and helped establish their position as a dominant, innovative manufacturer. In addition to print advertising, feature articles, and press releases, we expanded our efforts to include banner advertising, online lead-generation programs, trade show branding, and more. We developed and created a new web site and included an aggressive search engine optimization campaign to “own” certain keywords and keyword phrases which highlighted their unique capabilities and set them apart from their competitors.  People noticed. Seeing positive results and increased sales revenue, due in part to a dedicated marketing campaign, the company increased their ad budget by 52% over five years. They are now a widely-recognized leader in a very competitive market and continue their commitment to a well-organized, strategically-sound advertising, marketing, and PR campaign. 

SMM functions included:
•  Goal assessment & strategic planning
•  Media planning
•  Ad creation (print & digital)
•  New web site with reorganized navigation, including all new keyword-enriched text, artwork, slide show & video gallery
•  Feature articles, editorial inclusions, & PR
•  Trade show booths 
•  Trade show promotion & on-site editorial support
•  Brochures & literature

Company C

Infrared Products

Company C was founded in 1991. During the telecom boom in the late 1990s, the company was successfully manufacturing optical components to monitor the performance of DWDM systems. In 2004, as the telecom market declined, the company began to focus more on producing other infrared products. Smith Miller Moore was called in to formulate a program to help expand this market and grow revenue. We carefully studied positioning of the company and its competitors, products, and capabilities. We surprisingly discovered that other companies were claiming to be manufacturers of the "first", "best", and "smallest" IR cameras in the world. This perception was pervasive in the industry, when, in fact, Company C pioneered the technology and was well ahead of the curve, though few people knew it. 

In 2005, SMM began a focused advertising, marketing, editorial, and PR campaign to establish the company as global experts in infrared technology. In addition, we launched a concerted effort to dominate the associated keywords. This established a strong, positive foundation for growth in diverse markets such as machine vision, spectroscopy, military & defense, security & surveillance, optical coherence tomography (OCT), silicon inspection, recycling, agricultural sorting, pharmaceutical, and more.

Our efforts helped increase the company’s presence, influence, and ultimately, market share and revenue over the next several years. The advertising budget substantially increased in year two. With the launch of this successful campaign, the ad budget continued to grow significantly each subsequent year.

Our success was not without its challenges. When the company was acquired, SMM was responsible for re-branding the company seamlessly and with minimal interruption, to avoid confusion with OEMs and end-users.  We proactively addressed the shift in ownership and name changes without losing the brand equity we had helped build. This was especially important because the company went through at least five different name changes within the first year after acquisition. It was incumbent upon SMM to make all necessary revisions to ads, buyers guides’ listings, online storefronts, product photos, trade show booths, exhibit guide listings, and company descriptions, etc. in a timely manner, while maintaining continuity with existing and potential customers, media, societies, and trade show personnel.

We successfully transitioned to the new corporate identity without losing the brand recognition and market share we had gained in previous years.

SMM functions included:
•  Goal assessment & strategic planning
•  Media planning
•  Ad creation (print & digital)
•  Press conferences 
•  Feature articles, editorial inclusions, & PR
•  Develop “Guest Column” articles in trade publications
•  Award entries & submissions
•  Direct mail
•  Trade show booths (10'x10', 10'x20', 20'x20')
•  Trade show promotion & on-site editorial support
•  Brochures and literature
•  Develop secure, password-protected website for military customers
•  Develop main website slide show, image gallery, video gallery, and add keyword-enriched text
McBain Instruments Describes Integrated Imaging System Capabilities in Trade Show Booth
Print Advertising Works for Branding and Visibility Ad