Hark: Launching Tech a Startup
In 2016, the Halston Marketing team was brought in to manage all facets of marketing and branding for an IoT start-up in Leeds named Hark.
Hark’s offering is a cloud-based environmental monitoring and energy usage management platform. Companies use the platform to monitor, store, and analyse their business-critical data. The service is perfect for companies who need to accurately record fluctuations and how they affect their operations.
It is important to us to align our B2B marketing strategies with business goals when dealing with start-ups and scale-ups. Hark came to us with an innovative, bleeding-edge product in the emerging IoT market with a goal in mind: to grow. So, we developed a blueprint of objectives that would guide the way we marketed a growing tech company with a bright future.
Create awareness about the company and its technology within niche markets
Work on the brand, target audiences and messaging
Create educational long-form content to use for inbound marketing and outbound sales
Position the brand and team as experts in their field and build trust to open the door to bigger clients
But, in order for our marketers to conceptualise a strategy, we needed to dig deep into their offering and analyse the industry with a microscope to find a unique way to follow a road less-travelled.
From here, the Halston Marketing team got to grips with the Hark platform in-and-out and studied the B2B tech industry intricately.
Our proposed strategy would help Hark to see growth in ways they had not foreseen. Our suggested marketing work would involve a brand rework, site rejuvenation, consistent and quality content, social media management and a key PR and events plan.
The Good Stuff
Initial branding work included reworking Hark’s values, tone of voice, motivations, straplines, verticals, target audiences and selling points. The proposed B2B marketing strategy was directed at facilities management companies, manufacturing, placetech and retail.
Onsite, we optimised landing pages and refined copy. The Hark brand demanded a level of exposure that was suited to a consistent, quality content plan that flowed through different mediums.. Weekly content continues to include techy, academic and forward-thinking news, innovations and discussions.
On Hark’s social media channels, we developed and initiated a consistent tone of voice for site customers—specialist, cutting-edge, authoritative, honest, techy and academic. Through this authoritative yet fun voice, we also implemented pay-per-click campaigns and utilised social advertising.
Finally, we formulated a PR strategy that would engage clients, boost the Hark brand and solidify loyalty while gathering the attention of investors. The team was put forward for awards and booked onto industry roundtables and conferences to put their innovation at the forefront of conversation.
Thanks to our strategy, all branding has a cohesive aesthetic taken from the website design.
Our targeted campaigns and monthly content garnered interest for Hark’s social media channels while increasing site traffic and SEO positions. Hark’s content also provides a structure to the marketing strategy that started to bleed into sales and business strategies. This is invaluable to the team, who continue to use it as brand literature.
Niche PR placements helped to bring thousands of additional page views and attract industry demand. Following publications in Business Cloud and other publications, the Hark team were invited to speak at high-level conferences such as the PlaceTech trend talks, the IoT Showcase, Business Cloud’s 35 under 35 Tech Entrepreneurs panel and more. Hark’s CEO was even involved in Squire Patton Boggs’ panel at the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit and has been invited to speak at Microsoft’s internal conferences.
Other strategic PR appearances garnered recognition from the digital awards scene:
Winner - Leeds Digital Festival Award— Tech Innovation of the Year
Three UK Business Tech Awards 2018
The Computing Technology Product Award for IoT Vendor of the Year
The Computing Cloud Excellence Award for Cloud IoT Product of the Year.
At the core of the marketing strategy is the need to place the client slap-bang in the middle of their industry and force peers to take notice of the disruptive power of their technology.
The very best way to do that is through collaboration with partners, suppliers and great brands. We created a video series with high-flying property company Bruntwood Group and brokered an ongoing string of cutting edge events with international hardware giant Dell.
Our work with Hark was shortlisted for a Northern Digital Award. We are thrilled to see the company grow their team and increase their offerings while continuing to develop their Platform, which now offers predictive maintenance insights.
With Hark we took on a challenge. We expanded our creative processes to penetrate niche markets. The work we’ve carried out has helped Hark grow and position the company at the heart of the digital and IoT scene. Our role in creating genuine interest from global investors and multi-national clients has situated the company on the cusp of a wave.