Intuit connects with small businesses, hypes product

When looking to expand its customer base, Intuit, a financial software maker, tapped into the nearly 10 million Americans that are aspiring to one day start their own businesses.

When looking to expand its customer base, Intuit, a financial software maker, tapped into the nearly 10 million Americans that are aspiring to one day start their own businesses. The company decided to market its QuickBooks franchise as a way for Americans to turn that dream into a reality, and enlisted Access Communications, to help make it happen.

Strategy
Intuit developed a campaign to drive consumers to download its Simple Start products through its Web site, IWillJustStart.com. It also wanted to position Intuit as an ally to small businesses.

"Intuit was focused on coming up with a fresh and innovative campaign that would speak to the hearts of consumers," says Lindsay Scalisi, VP at Access Communications.

Tactics
The team developed key messages to pitch to demographics that best represent the future of small businesses, Scalisi notes.

Intuit also created interactive online elements, such as a Facebook page and a Web site where entrepreneurs could post video pledges to start a business, and possibly win $50,000 in startup funding.

Results
The campaign launched with an exclusive piece in USA Today, and was then syndicated to 50 daily newspapers, Scalisi says. The second phase focused on targeted pitches and real-life customer stories that were in various consumer media and blogs. The campaign generated more than 100 posts with small business, consumer, and lifestyle bloggers.

Future
Intuit continues to work with Access Communications. "One of the key elements that we are going to apply is... the power of an integrated marketing and PR campaign," says Heather McLellan, director of communications at Intuit.

PR Team: Intuit (Mountain View, CA) and Access Communications (San Francisco)

Campaign: Just Start

Duration: October 2007- February 2008

Budget: $1 million

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