“Chief Outsiders empowered our team to sharpen its focus and gain clarity on our growth model. The insights and strategy developed enable A2B Tracking to realize its mission. As the founder of the company, that’s everything to me.”
Peter Collins, President and CEO, A2B Tracking
For 20 years, A2B Tracking Solutions, Inc. has delivered critical asset tracking solutions to the military and aerospace industries. To support ambitious growth goals, the company sought to clarify its message and focus marketing efforts. CEO, Peter Collins, turned to Chief Outsiders, attracted by their strong technology company track record. Harnessing their positioning and digital marketing expertise, A2B Tracking adopted a “military grade” brand and messaging strategy. After six months, leads doubled with more effective execution of the revised marketing plan.
With over 500 clients, the professionals at A2B Tracking Solutions, Inc. (A2B) understand the needs of Department of Defense agencies and affiliated contractors. For two decades, they have pioneered military-grade solutions for identifying, marking and tracking critical assets.
“In fact, we’ve got a tremendous amount of technology that we’ve built over the years,” related CEO and founder, Peter Collins. The challenge, he explains, “was to clearly communicate the specific technologies that we have to the marketplace that we serve.”
Positioning for Growth
While primary markets include military bases, armories and depots, A2B’s product offerings hold broader appeal. Because the company’s tracking systems meet high military standards, they also have commercial application in markets like transportation and manufacturing.
To meet aggressive growth goals, Collins and his team recognized the need to focus marketing efforts for greatest effect. “We need to ensure that, from a strategic perspective, we understand the markets that we want to pursue, and that we are positioning the company properly.” he explained.
That positioning effort meant answering the question of whether A2B should focus on expanding its footprint in the military marketplace or broaden the net to include a wider range of commercial enterprises.
Expertise to Get Results
Seeking consultants who could provide expertise that A2B lacked in-house, Collins researched a few alternatives before deciding on Chief Outsiders.
“They understood us as a technology company and were immediately insightful and versed in digital marketing best practices,” he explained. “They best represented that they can work with technology companies and cloud-based solutions to keep abreast of all the digital techniques that get results.”
With a three-month engagement finalized, Chief Outsider digital marketing experts jumped right in, with specific backgrounds in product positioning expertise. They began by interviewing customers and key employees within the A2B organization, reviewing existing marketing materials and analyzing the competition.
The CMOs met weekly with the A2B leadership team to recap and plan, conducting a more comprehensive review at the end of each month. A final presentation included strategy recommendations and a detailed marketing plan.
“Right out of the gate, they took the reins and developed strategy to learn more about what we do and the different facets of the business,” stated Collins. Within weeks, the CMOs began outlining a powerful strategy for growth.
Room to Grow Existing Markets
After compiling insights from customers and key employees, and analyzing the competition, markets and product offerings, the CMOs saw considerable room for growth. They recommended that A2B continue to pursue existing markets and developed a roadmap for intelligent growth that incorporated a three-tiered strategy:
- Leverage strong position in the Department of Defense marketplace to increase market share with established and new products
- Define and package add-on services for existing customers that build on A2B’s expertise in IUID compliance and RFID asset tracking
- Selectively pursue non-Department of Defense opportunities with existing offerings
We are Military Grade
A Brand House model for A2B was also developed, “laying out who we are, why we exist and why we’re better than the competition,” Collins related.
The A2B brand in a nutshell:
- Who we are – pioneers in military-grade solutions for identifying, marking and tracking critical assets
- What we do – cloud-based solutions for IUID compliance and reporting, RFID asset tracking and data management, and labels and plates for a wide variety of assets
- Why it’s important – satisfies stringent military requirements, provides critical automation of asset tracking and inventory management
- How we’re different – military-proven, faster deployment/integration, more intuitive, 20-year track record of excellence
Summarizing the recommended positioning, Collins related, “In military and aerospace environments, and even on the commercial side in industries like oil and gas, ultimately, the perception is we are military grade. That’s our strength, and that’s what you are getting from us.”
With the brand clarified and market differentiation established, the CMO worked with A2B to incorporate this vision into a comprehensive marketing plan.
Tactical Marketing Plan:
- Focus on “filling the funnel” through content marketing – whitepapers, case studies, blogs, multi-stage campaigns, newsletters and industry events
- Update the web site to showcase the A2B “story” and engage prospective customers
- Build online presence through an expanded social media program
- Implement an advocacy and customer success program to engage customers
The consultants also provided specific direction for maximizing marketing effectiveness. “They weighed in on our long form content and how to create an effective campaign, with suggestions on how to get people drawn in to calls to action,” explained Collins.
Less than six months after engaging Chief Outsiders, Collins reports significant results with a 100% increase in leads.
“Our lead generation is definitely improved,” he says. “We’ve doubled the monthly inflow of prospects or interested parties. That should translate to achieving our growth goals.”
Asked about the benefits A2B realized from partnering with Chief Outsiders, Collins responded with a single word, “focus.”
“Focus allows us to be clear on our mission in the marketplaces that we serve, how we want to serve them, how we differ and why we are better,” he explained. “Those things weren't naturally coming to our organization, and for Chief Outsiders to help us reveal them and get clear on them is going to have an impact.”
Improved Marketing Effectiveness
Throughout the engagement, the marketing staff at A2B increased their effectiveness by close association and mentoring from the CMOs.
“Now that he’s got some of the insights from the Chief Outsiders CMOs, my marketing manager has become considerably more effective in all aspects of content marketing, establishing campaigns and the use of social media,” related Collins.
Like In-house Marketing Experts
With leads doubled, sharpened focus and a marketing organization starting to excel, Collins is pleased with the outcome of the Chief Outsiders engagement.
“Working with Chief Outsiders is like having your own in-house marketing experts,” he concluded. “The work was high quality. One CMO is a social media monster and the other a product marketing and positioning guru. Both are exceptional marketing professionals!”