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Case Study: How to Increase Sales of New Products

How product promotion helped a small company grow 8x in size

MATTHEW BEEBE

Sept 2018 Blog Photo 1
The Company

Crystalline Mirror Solutions (CMS) was incorporated in 2013 as a spin-off of the University of Vienna and the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology. CMS offers a ground-breaking optical coating technology that completely redefines the standards of laser-based optical precision measurement. Rather than relying on direct deposition via evaporation or sputtering, the company has pioneered an alternative coating technique, whereby single-crystalline compound semiconductor multilayers are removed from a native growth wafer and transferred via direct bonding to arbitrary bulk optical substrates. CMS currently has two primary locations in Vienna, Austria, and Santa Barbara, California. Its proprietary crystalline coating process has won numerous awards including the 2015 Vienna Startup Award, the 2016 Leibinger Innovation Award, and the 2017 Prism Award in the category of materials and coatings.

The Challenge

The success of developing a breakthrough technology ultimately created an unforeseen problem for CMS: How does a company bring a new and unknown technology to market? Given that its crystalline coating process previously did not exist, there was little demand outside of a select set of initial academic customers. To make things even more difficult, all of the target customers were already using competing and well-established coating processes.

The Solution

After a strategic meeting with Photonics Media at Photonics West 2014 in San Francisco, CMS began a small advertising campaign in Photonics Spectra magazine to promote its coatings with a simple tagline: “A New Paradigm in Optical Coatings.” In addition to actively promoting the technology in the magazine, CMS also started a campaign in the Photonics Buyers’ Guide so it could be discovered by prospects who were searching for competing technologies such as ion beam sputtering. It wasn’t long before CMS began receiving inquiries based on these advertisements. After the success of this first-year campaign, CMS decided to increase the frequency of its advertisements for year two. Repetition in advertising is key for new companies, as each time future customers see the company’s message delivered in a professional way it reinforces the customer’s instinct that the company is an established and trustworthy organization, not a new, fly-by-night operation. As the company’s revenue grew, so, too, did its advertising program. In the third year of the campaign, CMS shifted its advertisements to the high impact cover positions of Photonics Spectra magazine.

Original Advertisements from Photonics Spectra in 2014

Sept 2018 Blog Photo 2


The Results

Since its initial advertising campaign began, CMS has grown from two employees to over 15 staff members working in three countries. This growth is backed up by results from an annual reader survey conducted by Lion Associates. Each year the readers of Photonics Spectra magazine are asked to give their feedback on the advertisements inside. This data is then compiled into categories such as Attention Getting (A-G), Believability (BEL), Information Value (IV), and Overall Effectiveness (OE). Below is an overview of how these scores increased in the first three years of the company’s advertising campaign.

Sept 2018 Blog Photo 3

As a consequence of the increased recognition within the photonics industry, CMS’ revenue has grown by a factor of eight since its inception just five years ago. According to Dr. Garrett Cole, co-founder and CEO of CMS LLC, “The Photonics Media team has been our go-to partner for print and electronic advertising since our founding. Being a new player in the rapidly growing photonics industry, it was very important for us to identify a trusted and high-profile outlet to build brand recognition in such a competitive field. With their feedback and guidance, we have published an effective set of professional advertisements enabling us to efficiently convey our technical capabilities and outline our products. This partnership has been invaluable in the expansion of our business, and we look forward to many years of shared success.”

Conclusion

For many companies, creating a new product is only half of the battle. Whether it is a breakthrough technology or an improvement to an existing product, educating future customers on the benefits of these developments is a crucial element for sales success. The example shown here is one of many instances where a strategic partnership between the vendor and marketing/advertising outlet has significantly enhanced the successful commercial uptake of such advances.

For more information about how Photonics Media can help you educate your future customers and grow your sales, please visit www.photonics.com/advertise.

BrandingB2B SellingMeasuring ROIOutbound MarketingProduct MarketingProduct Advertising

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