In 2016, DUO Marketing + Communications, a specialist in PR and marketing for tech companies in Africa – and a member of the international Plexus agency network – contacted German partner agency BSK as their client Entersekt was looking for a tech-savvy PR and communications agency for the DACH region. As a growth-strong, international company, Entersekt was managing all their communications and marketing activities centrally from South Africa at the time. Now they needed local PR experts to support their internationalization strategy in Europe.

BSK was invited to pitch alongside a small number of other German PR agencies. Entersekt, as a provider of mobile authentication and app security solutions, opted for BSK given that the agency’s sharp focus on IT, security, technology and finance best matched the requirements profile.

Challenge

Initially, the challenge consisted of getting Entersekt talked about as a company with very little brand awareness in the DACH market to date – and on top of this, in the extremely conservative banking and finance industry. There was likely to be some scepticism concerning new tech solutions from a non-European country, even though South Africa is highly technologically advanced in terms of developing and deploying sophisticated mobile solutions. In this respect, the challenge for BSK was to position Entersekt as an innovative, trustworthy and technologically leading provider whose solutions not only satisfy a growing demand among banking customers for user-friendly, secure transaction authentication solutions, but also meet all the relevant regulatory requirements in Europe. Complicating matters further, at the time, Entersekt had only one European office in the Netherlands, but no local office in the DACH region and therefore no local company representative and no German-speaking experts for interviews or presentations.

Solution

With the help of a comprehensive briefing from Entersekt and the materials already created by DUO for South Africa, the German PR work was up and running within a very short period of time. The communication strategy in the two markets was relatively similar: identifying key players, industry media, influencers and the most important conferences in order to position Entersekt there in a targeted manner. In order to build the relationship with the industry media, BSK first organized a press tour and visited – together with Entersekt CEO Schalk Nolte – the most important trade media for the banking sector in Germany. Based on these initial background discussions with the most influential journalists, BSK began to arrange interviews and place trade articles and blog posts.

In addition, BSK succeeded in placing Entersekt with a presentation and/or an information stand at relevant events such as the Retail Bankentag, conferences such as the Profitcard, Zahlungsverkehr der Zukunft staged by the Bank-Verlag or the Crealogix Digital Banking Days. These appearances strengthened brand awareness and acceptance and provided Entersekt with important personal contacts in the financial industry. In order to generate further leads for the DACH region, BSK localized existing content for a German website. BSK also established Entersekt’s presence on the German-language social business platform XING, provided content for the news section and initiated marketing campaigns on this platform.

Relevant and well-written content for online and print media, interaction and discussion of topics with key influencers, backed by a social media presence including a local social media platform, as well as promoting one-on-one meetings with decision makers at events were key to Entersekt’s successful market entry in the DACH region.

Results

Already in the very first year of cooperation, BSK had succeeded in generating 27 print and online articles, in addition to placing Entersekt at several conferences and events. Today, after five years of continuous, cross-divisional communication work and the expansion of relationships with relevant opinion leaders as well as important media and event organizers, Entersekt ranks as an established player in the DACH region’s financial world. Entersekt managers are acknowledged as top-notch experts in the mobile security and strong authentication market. As Entersekt reports, this sound reputation significantly supports the contacting of potential new customers as well as the acquisition of new employees.

We at BSK are particularly proud of the following feedback from our customer Entersekt:

“We have worked with many agencies, but we have to confirm that BSK is in a class of its own when it comes to responsiveness and exceeding expectations. They are not only 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 associate our name with theirs,” as Jeanne Maartens, former SVP Marketing, Entersekt, stated.