Sector: Consumer PR and Brand Communications|PR and Media Relations|Social and Digital

Clouds gather for another year of growth in 2021: How can SaaS providers stand out?

  |   By  |  0 Comments

2020 demonstrated that business continuity relies heavily on cloud solutions. Many organisations had to pivot quickly to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, such as Zoom, Slack or Microsoft Teams to continue to function, and analyst group Gartner predicts a big couple of years ahead for cloud application services growth. The challenge for SaaS providers now is how to stand out and be heard in a noisy marketplace. We’ve explored four critical factors to consider, below.

A typical challenge for every technology business is to prove to customers and investors that its products can deliver business value. After a year when many organisations have gone either fully or partially virtual, SaaS has come into its own. SaaS companies are not quite pushing at an open door, but they are finding a market that is far more receptive to new ways of working.

A solid communications strategy is therefore going to be critical to generating awareness, and informing and persuading audiences throughout what will be an entirely virtual sales and training process.

How can SaaS vendors stand out in 2021?

  • Get your messaging right

As I highlighted last year, brands need to ‘read the room’ during the pandemic and communicate with empathy, understanding the challenges that their target audiences are experiencing. Unlike much of last year, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This means that messaging may need to adapt for a world that will – at some point this year – emerge from a year of significant disruption. The key thing is to highlight how your product or service will not just enable businesses to operate more efficiently in a remote environment now but also into the medium and long-term too.

  • Get creative – and be authentic

Brands always need to be creative to stand out, but during the pandemic we have seen creativity take a different course – often homespun and within the context of the current situation. Your customers will want to see the real you and the faces behind the brand before they invest their time and money in your product or service. Are your brand heroes and experts front and centre of your campaigns? If not, can they be?

A great example of getting creative around a topic in the context of the pandemic was a campaign Grayling devised and ran for Lloyds Bank in 2020 to highlight the important subject of fraud. We looked at users’ social media profiles to see what potentially compromising information they had put out about themselves and got a barber to slip those personal details into casual conversation during a haircut. The responses from the unsuspecting customers who had just turned up for a haircut were priceless, but it did draw attention to a serious issue. SaaS PR teams should be adopting the same approach: find a critical topic that the company’s solution addresses, explore a human-interest angle to get people to take notice, and execute in a content-rich, newsworthy way.

  • Prioritise customer care

Many brands are still getting used to operating cloud-based tech. Not only will the sales process be virtual, but so will customer care. Chatbots can only get you so far and – with word-of-mouth marketing so important to winning new business – personal and attentive customer service is more important than ever and can help you stand out.

Interactive online conferences and webinars are plentiful, so it is key to innovate, stand out and add value with any webinar or online conference that you run.

  • Demonstrate a higher purpose

One of the big themes around communications even before the pandemic was around brand purpose and corporate social responsibility (CSR). How are you making a difference beyond your day-to-day and how can that be tied back to your product or service? A great example of this in action is Scottish brewer BrewDog, which has dedicated resource to creating hand sanitiser and offered its empty pubs for vaccination stations.

It is going to be very hard to predict how 2021 will pan out, especially the first half of the year. What is clear is that SaaS is going to continue to feature heavily in organisations’ day-to-day as they look at ways to operate more efficiently and productively.

If you need help with your messaging, positioning or with raising your organisation’s profile during 2021, do please get in touch:



Grayling launches FIVE GUYS in Austria

  |   By  |  0 Comments

Slightly delayed by lockdown restrictions, Austria’s first FIVE GUYS restaurant finally opened its doors in Vienna on 25 January 2021. In addition to the set-up and management of FIVE GUYS’ local Instagram channel, Grayling Austria accompanied the launch with creative media relations work, including a Covid-proof event for selected media representatives and influencers. Furthermore, the full-service agency will continue to provide strategic communications support for the Austrian branch of the world-famous restaurant chain.

FIVE GUYS’ legendary burgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes were eagerly awaited in Austria. The restaurant that opened in the centre of Vienna on 25 January is the 20th FIVE GUYS restaurant in Europe. Founded in 1986 in Arlington, Virginia, the restaurant chain brings handmade food prepared with fresh ingredients and American flair to Austria. And while only available for takeaway and delivery for the time being, FIVE GUYS provides a welcome change to the home menu in times of lockdown.

For the market launch, FIVE GUYS relied on the expertise of Grayling Austria, and it will continue to do so for ongoing awareness building. The Vienna-based communications agency developed a customised communications and social media marketing programme. The Grayling client team around Managing Director Nicole Hall and Associate Director Julia Sommer is responsible for the overall communication concept and implementation.

“As an international communications agency with a compatible mindset and top English skills, our choice fell on Grayling. The team convinced us with its local expertise, strong network in Austria as well as deep know-how in social media marketing and media relations. Our market entry in Austria was a great success and we are looking forward to sitting down with the Grayling team to share a burger as soon as the pandemic allows it”, said Joel Bearden, Senior Director, International & Marketing at FIVE GUYS.

“We know the legendary FIVE GUYS burgers from the time when we could all still travel the world carefree. All the more reason for us to be excited about the opportunity to present this ‘love brand’ in Austria and to accompany it on its expansion journey. The account does not only let us reminisce, it is further confirmation of our expertise in launching international brands on the local market”, said Grayling CEO Sigrid Krupica.