Highly Commended 2022
Brand & Media Owner Partnership
Accenture Exchange Series And Partner Content
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations.
In 2021, Accenture set out to gain market share and fuel growth by updating perceptions around its capabilities. Its target clients were C-suites and senior business decision-makers who were looking to transform their businesses through innovation.
In the run-up to the launch of its new brand message “Let there be change”, Accenture wanted to convince these business leaders that it had the end-to-end solutions to help them. The aim was to achieve competitive stand-out by becoming known for brilliant research and perspectives as well as illustrating market leadership.
The Financial Times reaches 52% of C-suites in Accenture’s key markets, the highest amongst our competitors (IPSOS GBI). Accenture saw that partnering with the FT could help it reach exactly the right audience; drive buzz with high-profile thought leadership content; and ensure that its new brand expression would be seen throughout Europe.
The Content Solution
The FT devised a research-based multi-touchpoint campaign across Europe that promoted Accenture’s expertise to the FT audience and showcased its brand message in a credible environment, aligning it with high-profile FT editorial series, webinars and newsletters. Accenture had 100% share of voice across the series.
To get deeper insights before creating the campaign, the FT research team carried out a Management Consultancy Global Impact Study (GIST) among over 550 of the world’s leading C-suites. This allowed us to understand the audience’s needs and see where Accenture currently stood among its competitive set. Accenture was identified as an organisation with stronger awareness than most, but still behind the Big 4 in overall brand perception.
We knew from the brief and our GIST findings that we needed to position Accenture around specific topics of interest. The focus of the multi-channel campaign was to create industry buzz through Accenture sponsorship of a new FT editorial launch: the ‘Economists Exchange’ article series, exploring what a post-Covid recovery will look like. It featured top FT commentators including Martin Wolf and Gillian Tett in conversation with 12 world-leading economists, from Kristalina Georgieva to Raghuram Rajan and Jeffrey Sachs.
Creating an entirely new media execution, we wanted to raise the profile of Accenture’s key innovators and influencers in big splash campaigns throughout the year. We brought key focus areas to life in three co-hosted webinars, featuring high-calibre speakers such as Rolls Royce CEO Warren East, positioning FT’s influencers alongside Accenture’s, to raise brand profile and generate leads.
We launched an Accenture-sponsored mini-series on the ‘Tech Tonic’ podcast, exploring the big ideas driving innovation. Accenture also aligned with key topics of interest by sponsoring an FT Special Report ‘The Cloud’ and two premium newsletters: Tech FT and Coronavirus Business Update.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
In an FT media first, we ran a campaign called ‘Accenture Voices’ to promote Accenture’s
key influencers. The marketing team combined sponsorship of all native and display advertising units on the homepage across all key regions. We were able to directly target Accenture’s key audience groups using our unique 1st party subscription and behavioural data, alongside tactical use of social and FT Corporate Subscription licenses.
Bespoke Promoted Content Units, served across FT.com to our engaged audience, used semantic profiling to ensure contextual relevance and audience reach. Our first party data, allowed us to target known C-Suites & BDMs, across key regions and key Priority Sectors, whilst they were consuming relevant content.
We activated a bespoke marketing campaign including paid social promotion, Linkedin targeting to Accenture employees, and 500,000 co-branded traffic driving impressions across FT.com. Pairing Accenture’s key target demographic with our database of senior business leaders, we ran a highly-targeted marketing campaign across social and email. Accenture were given access to all delegates who opted in to the webinars, allowing for extensive lead generation opportunities.
The campaign delivered exceptional results for Accenture, positioning it strongly as a leader in change. The Economists Exchange series reached over 102,000 known unique readers. 1,200 senior business decision-makers attended the associated webinars, generating leads for Accenture. With 10 touchpoints, this single campaign reached 502,191 unique FT readers and 92,000 unique C-Suite readers.
Accenture Voices saw over 4.4 million ad impressions and over 4,100 clicks. Newsletter sponsorships delivered over 3.5 million impressions and 1,262 clicks. The Special Report ‘The Cloud’ reached 350,000 unique users. At the end of the campaign, the FT ran another Management Consultancy Global Impact Study to assess the impact of these results against the initial pre-campaign study. Across EMEA, Accenture had managed to increase its brand awareness by 60%. In Europe, it ranked highest as a firm that is a leader in digital development and innovation, and usage of the firm had increased by 27%. What’s more, 52% more senior decision-makers said they will be using Accenture in the next 12-24 months, an uplift from 25% in our pre-campaign GIST study.
The post-campaign brand uplift study showed Accenture as the joint highest-scoring unaided first choice brand for management consultancy firms, while consideration saw an uplift of 31% between the control group and those that had seen the ads.