Using research to support the theory that Color Works.
In 2003, the economy was in recovery-mode, but an air of caution still existed. When it came to technology expenditures, businesses were focused on mission critical spending. Color printing was still considered more expensive than black and white and was a cost that small businesses were only willing to incur for a limited number of marketing purposes. Without introducing a new product, Xerox wanted to reignite interest in color printing and capture the attention of the large and growing small business market.
While office printing marketers were largely focusing on the affordability of color printing as compared to monochrome – in some cases giving away color laser class printers in exchange for guarantees of ink volume purchases – Ogilvy PR proposed that the real opportunity was to demonstrate how color could to be a business builder that drives small business. However, research on the cost and value rationale for color printing at work was dated at best, and the validation to support our approach would require evidence that put a higher value on the use of color in business documents - beyond affordability and aesthetics.
The result was a campaign we call Color Works, which was designed to supply Xerox with the needed research and validation, as well as give their sales channel a compelling story to wrap around its product strength. Working with International Consumer Research (ICR), Ogilvy PR conducted a national survey of more than 1,000 small businesses with less than 100 employees. The survey unearthed that the majority of small businesses associated the use of color in documents with successful business practices and a competitive advantage. Whether it was enhancing creativity, impressing clients, or making documents more memorable, our evidence echoed the theory that “color works”.
To promote the story, we selected Xerox customers in each geographic market to serve as examples of small businesses realizing the benefit of incorporating color documents in the workplace. We also conducted a satellite media tour with a third party spokesperson to promote the research results. The interviews featured a Xerox printer in the background and included B-Roll footage. Conducting such research, and having a broadcast-worthy story, was a real first for this product group.
In our clients’ words, “The success of the program was in its ability to get people to consider color as a business need rather than a luxury item.” And it worked. Visibility-wise, the campaign generated over 300 stories delivering over 36 million impressions across print, broadcast and online media. Xerox was mentioned in conjunction with the survey results in 99 percent of the coverage, thus achieving our objective to build brand visibility and show the value Xerox color brings to small business.