In 2016 DUO Marketing + Communications, specialists for PR and Marketing for Tech Companies in Africa and member of Plexus, contacted BSK in Germany because their client Entersekt was looking for a PR and communication consulting partner for the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) to support their internationalization strategy in Europe.
Entersekt wanted tech savvy industry experts in order to accompany their entry in this new market. DUO recommended BSK, a fellow Plexus member, so BSK was invited to pitch alongside a small number of other PR agencies in Germany.
The fintech provider of mobile-based authentication and app security software selected BSK, as the agency’s profile with an emphasis on IT, security, technology and finance matched the required profile. As a fast growing, internationally active company, Entersekt at that time managed all communication and marketing activities centrally from South Africa They now needed local PR experts to transfer and localize the messaging to the DACH market with its own specific rules of what works and what doesn’t in terms of PR. Entersekt very much relied on BSK’s know-how, competence and advice as regional experts.
The initial challenge was to build momentum for Entersekt in the DACH market with very little brand awareness. In addition, the market environment in the DACH banking sector is quite conservative and not necessarily open to new technical solutions coming from a country outside of Europe. Although South Africa is technologically very advanced in terms of developing and deploying highly sophisticated mobile solutions, BSK’s challenge was to position Entersekt as an innovative, trustworthy and technologically leading provider whose solutions not only addressed a fast growing need of banking customers, but also complies with all European regulations in the banking industry. What made things even more complicated was, that at that time Entersekt had only a European headquarter in the Netherlands, but no local office in the DACH region and therefore no local representative and no German speaking experts for interviews or presentations.
To get a deeper understanding of Entersekt, their technology and their most important communication messages, DUO provided as much information as possible about their client, including content they had created for South Africa over a period of 2 years. Together with the in-depth and very thorough briefing of Entersekt this helped to get up to speed for the PR work very quickly. The communication strategy in the two markets was relatively similar: to identify key players, industry media, influencers and identify main conferences to position Entersekt. In order to build up the relationship with the industry media, BSK organized a press tour and visited – together with Entersekt’s CEO Schalk Nolte – the most important trade media for the banking sector in Germany. Based on this initial background discussions with key journalists, BSK started to foster interviews and develop byline articles and blog posts.
In addition to this BSK identified relevant events and conferences and promoted Entersekt’s participation there. Opportunities included presentations and info booths at selected conferences, including Retail Bankentag, the conferences Profitcard and Zahlungsverkehr der Zukunft from Bankenverband or the Crealogix Digital Banking Days strengthened Entersekt’s brand awareness, acceptance and personal contacts in the financial sector. It was clear that a German website would be needed to generate leads for the DACH region so BSK localized the website content so that Entersekt was able to set up a German site quickly. BSK also built up Entersekt’s presence on the German speaking social business platform XING and provided content for the news section and initiated a first marketing campaign on this platform. Relevant, well written content for online and print media, interacting and discussing topics with key influencers, social media outreach as well as fostering one- on -ones with decision makers at events was the key to success for Entersekt’s market entry in the DACH region. Entersekt’s business is expanding rapidly in the DACH region with a local office now in Munich and local tech and banking experts who joined the Fintech company to support the global growth path.
Starting from zero, BSK managed to secure 27 print and online articles, 9 byline articles and case studies and 5 conferences and events in the first year of collaboration. Today, after two years of continuous cross-discipline communication work and developing the relationship to relevant influencers, key media and event organizers, Entersekt is now well known in the financial community in the DACH region. Entersekt managers are accepted as high-profile experts in the market of mobile security and strong authentication. As Entersekt reported, this reputation strongly supports getting in touch with potential new clients. And during the last months, the number of interviews and statement inquiries as well as call for papers for conferences increased considerably.
In order to expand their market position in the DACH region, Entersekt wanted to recruit local market experts. Just two years ago it was almost impossible for the fintech to get qualified applications from high profile IT and/or financial experts. This changed completely when Entersekt was looking for a new country manager for the DACH region this summer: Based on the achieved reputation and the presence in the market, Entersekt received several applications from highly qualified experts and thus managed to grow the expert team with very little effort.
We have worked with many agencies, but must confirm that BSK is in a class of its own in terms of responsiveness and going the extra mile. Not only are they a pleasure to work with, but all the PR and media work they do for us is of a quality that makes us proud to have our name associated with theirs.
Jeanne Maartens, SVP Marketing, Entersekt