UTS Library

Know Your Numbers with Intel

Client: 

Intel Australia

PR Company: 

Spectrum Communications

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2010 C9 - 21

Year: 

2010

Executive Summary: 

Intel Australia’s Consumer PR campaign, ‘Know your Numbers’ aimed to arm everyday ‘non-technical’ consumers with enough basic knowledge to be an informed shopper when purchasing a notebook for personal use.

The targeted campaign used media relations and marketing communications to demystify common computer terms that may otherwise confuse consumers and to place an emphasis on the importance of choosing the right processor.

Due to the nature of its business, Intel communicates regularly with a broad range of technology media and with journalists who are familiar with the technical terms of the computing. However, purchasing a PC can be a daunting experience for the average consumer who doesn’t necessarily read the technical publications, and engaging that audience via more mainstream and consumer outlets became a priority.

Intel processors are the ‘engine’ of a computer and the average consumer can easily be confused by the ‘speeds and feeds’ of technical reviews and the fast sales-patter of in-store representatives.  Intel’s experts are in a unique position to educate the journalists who in turn, write for those consumers, to offer background information to help their audiences through that decision making process.

Situation Analysis: 

Buying a new computer can be a confusing and complex experience for consumers. The average consumer shopping for a new computer can’t help but be bombarded with conflicting information. The technical terms used by PC manufacturers, retail salespeople and even the technology media to describe the various components used to market computers can be very difficult to understand, keep track of and prioritise.

Following research, Intel Australia noted Australian consumers were sometimes purchasing computer systems featuring upgraded components that added to the cost of the system, but provided very little, if any, performance improvement. Confusion tended to centre around a few key areas or components: the processor, clock speed, graphics, RAM and the hard drive.

Consumers needed to be given the information to properly identify their own needs before buying a notebook. They needed tools to navigate their way through the raft of data available and find a computer with the right balance of components for them.

The opportunity for Intel was to educate consumers about the terminology used by computer makers and to reinforce that one basic principal should be followed when purchasing a new computer: choosing the right computer processor for them at the time of purchase will deliver the greatest overall performance improvement. Intel’s ‘brand agnostic’ position as a maker of components that go inside many different brands and models of computers positioned the company well for this campaign.

Research: 

  • Spectrum conducted a media audit of lifestyle journalists regarding their engagement with Intel. The audit established that some lifestyle journalists were disinclined to engage with Intel, (by attending an Intel media event for example) because they felt the content was too technical and that technical coverage was expected in return, i.e. coverage in the form of an article all about Intel or Intel processor technology. For most lifestyle publications, this sort of article is unsuitable. The research indicated that it was vital to engage lifestyle press in new ways to overcome these obstacles and expectations.
  • Spectrum conducted an audit of ‘buying guides’ for notebooks featured in the Australian and international media. An analysis and comparison of these guides showed media often gave conflicting advice to consumers – in some cases, two articles from the same publisher would conflict with each other. Certainly any consumer looking to more than one of these guides for advice would not hear a clear message.
  • Intel’s retail marketing managers informally researched consumer shopping habits in major Australian retail outlets. They chatted with customers and observed how salespeople interacted with them and provided advice.
  • Spectrum researched retail catalogues to identify the key terms being used to promote computer systems to consumers. This showed many instances of computer systems being advertised that were ‘unbalanced’.

Target Policies: 

The campaign aimed to target consumers in the market to purchase a PC, or indeed, those who might consider buying a new PC in the near future, by engaging with the publications traditionally read by this audience. Given the breadth of the target audience, this in turn led to a broad campaign targeting a range of consumer technology and lifestyle media.

Communication Strategy: 

With the aim of reaching a very general audience via consumer media, Spectrum worked with Intel to develop a body of material, using non-technical language, which would be used to educate media and consumers. This material included a editorial and marketing content, as well as a pitch which could be tailored for specific media targets, outlining why this campaign was important for readers.

Select 1:1 interviews were conducted with targeted journalists from consumer technology and lifestyle media. Each journalist was given a briefing tailored specifically for their publication, to ensure their audience would respond well to the article published. For example, the consumer technology media, whose audience has some technical understanding, were given more technical information. Media in the lifestyle category were given less technical information, but a more detailed briefing on the problems consumers face in-store.

In addition, a mini-website was developed, featuring Know Your Numbers content on the Intel Australia website. This enabled readers to find more information once their appetite had been wetted from reading an article. It also enabled those consumers who were turning directly to the Intel website for help prior to purchasing a computer, to be given jargon-free information that would assist them directly with their purchase.

Implementation: 

Planning phase:

A body of editorial content was researched, and produced, including:

  • Key messages to communicate throughout the campaign
  • A ‘Know Your Numbers’ fact sheet in the form of an A3 poster used as a leave behind for media and as a download from media websites
  • Website content and images (http://www.intel.com/au/knowyournumbers/)
  • A video featuring Intel spokesperson Kate Burleigh
  • Background briefing materials for briefing spokespeople

Implementation phase:

A highly targeted program of media engagement was undertaken over a three month timeframe, involving media covering lifestyle and consumer technology. This included:

  • 1-to-1 media interviews, “coffee catch ups” and educational briefings
  • Tailored media pitches and media relations

Targets:

  1. RALPH Magazine
  2. Reader’s Digest
  3. T3 Magazine
  4. CHOICE Magazine
  5. 2GB Radio / YourTechLife
  6. The Daily Telegraph
  7. The Sydney Morning Herald & Age
  8. 50+ regional radio stations via the Andy Wells Tech Daily show

The target journalists were chosen based on their audience, or on the basis that they already provide technology advice to consumers. Intel felt some of these media could be better informed in order to provide the best advice to consumers.

A Know Your Numbers mini-website was designed and implemented for the Intel Australia website, to help consumers access Intel content and download the A3 poster.

Results: 

The media interview program engaged media leading to high profile coverage across print, online and broadcast media including: RALPH; Reader’s Digest; T3; Choice Magazine; 2GB; YourTechLife; The Daily Telegraph; The SMH & Age and numerous regional radio stations.

Educational interviews were achieved in every outlet targeted and all coverage generated included Intel’s key messages. Coverage was achieved in Reader’s Digest, 2GB, SMH & Age and upwards of 50 regional radio stations across Australia.

An article which ran in the Sydney Morning Herald was the lead story in its annual PC buying guide.

Evaluation: 

The success of the Know Your Numbers consumer program has led to it being replicated by Intel across the Asia Pacific region, with customised pitches for the different markets, matching consumer and Intel marketing priorities for those regions. A second round of the Know Your Numbers program is currently underway, to continue educating media and, by extension, consumers preparing to purchase computers.