Making the engineering shift
16th August, 2021
Related News: Case Study
With roots in a small Swedish town, called Sandviken, Sandvik Coromant has transformed into an engineering giant. Today, Sandvik Coromant owns over 3,100 patents worldwide, employs 7,600 members of staff and is represented in 150 countries — largely in Europe but also in the Americas and Asia Pacific region. Such a large, international presence requires a global voice that not only speaks about Sandvik Coromant’s range of products and services, but challenges industry perceptions and pioneers change.
Stone Junction first began working with Sandvik in January 2020. Previously, much of its PR efforts focused on product press releases. Thought leadership was thought to be too difficult to manage across a global brand.
To achieve a strong media presence that establishes Sandvik Coromant as a thought leader, Stone Junction initiated a thought leadership campaign to run from June 2020 to May 2021. Our objectives were to:
- Increase Sandvik Coromant’s global media footprint
- 600 pieces of media coverage across Europe — Sandvik Coromant’s core market
- 60 pieces of media coverage across America
- 60 pieces of media coverage across Asia
- Position Sandvik Coromant as an industry thought leader
- 30 clippings referencing sustainability in machining
- 30 clippings referencing female leadership in STEM
- 30 clippings referencing digital manufacturing and Industry 4.0
- Promote Sandvik Coromant’s annual product launches
- 40 clippings for Autumn 2020’s product release, the GC4415 and GC4425 steel turning grades
- 40 clippings for Spring 2021’s product releases,
200 backlinks to the Sandvik Coromant website to drive traffic and ultimately sales
The campaign uses media relations to gain online and print coverage to communicate the company’s messaging on a global scale. The eleven month campaign comprises of several mini campaigns, each with the ambition of positioning Sandvik Coromant not only as a company with industry-leading products, but a business that is leading shifts in perspective across the metalworking industry. Taking a bespoke approach for each region, while maintaining uniform messaging, was key.
Sandvik Coromant bases its marketing activity around four core content pillars: sustainability, innovation, digitalisation and people. Communicating these pillars globally was key, but naturally, each region has very different stances, opinions and environments for these themes. To align with these focuses, we conducted research into the how manufacturers are navigating these themes in each region. Research included reports and surveys from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Mckinsey and Company and the World Economic Forum.
We found that, for instance, a Digital Factories 2020 report PwC found that 98 per cent of manufacturers expect to increase their efficiency through use of predictive maintenance. We also knew that the Americas market, for instance, was substantially behind Asia and Europe in terms of digitalisation, so our content needed to reflect that. Other third-party research focused on industry responses to COVID-19, and how manufacturers were adapting production.
Primary research required extensive interviews with Sandvik Coromant’s technical engineers from each region. This was conducted by Stone Junction’s in-house language speakers, to ensure the team thoroughly understood the state of the market — and the engineering terminology required to communicate effectively in each country.
We targeted 26 countries as part of our media relations campaign, in 23 languages. To make sure we understood the localised impact of these key engineering issues, we held regular meetings with marketing representatives from each of Sandvik Coromant’s core regions: Europe, Asia and the Americas. As part of these meetings, we engaged with representatives from each country to help us define the topics most pertinent to them. This helped us to adapt our content and give Sandvik Coromant a leading voice that translated globally.
We dedicated month one to interviewing Sandvik Coromant experts and planning thought leading content around the campaign’s core pillars of sustainability, people and digital manufacturing. We also invested time into creating core media lists for each of the 26 target countries.
The timing of some projects meant we had to carry out planning simultaneously. For instance, the announcement of Sandvik Coromant’s new president came one month after the Autumn product release.
We had set dates for the Autumn product release, the new president release, and the Spring product releases. In addition, we bolstered each release with additional pieces of content, such as technical articles focusing on the technologies of each new product, and opinion lead articles on the role of women in STEM – leveraging Sandvik Coromant’s first female president.
We created content on Sandvik Coromant’s core pillars throughout the year, ensuring we regularly switched focus to avoid saturating the media with a particular topic. Each piece of content was strategically placed with relevant target media, spanning the manufacturing, metalworking, automotive and materials sectors. This method meant each of Sandvik Coromant’s core focuses remained at the forefront of the target audience’s minds – one focus was never neglected in favour of another.
Stone Junction realised that a campaign of this size and scope required an all-hands-on-deck approach. The account was split across two internal teams, each of which had specialist regional knowledge and languages to suit the campaign.
As part of the campaign, Stone Junction:
- Conducted monthly interviews with Sandvik Coromant specialists in each region, to identify how the campaign’s core themes affect each region
- Created news releases for the new product launches, as well as several key partnerships throughout the year
- Developed thought-leading and technical articles that highlighted issues of sustainability, digitalisation and diversity in engineering, linking back to the core product launches of the year
Objective one: Increase Sandvik Coromant’s global media footprint
- 1,366 clippings in 26 countries reaching 1.18 billion online and 1.35 million people in print
- 1,100 clippings in Europe (exceeding target by 83.3%)
- 107 clippings in America (exceeding target by 78.3%)
- 159 clippings in Asia (exceeding target by 165%)
Objective two: Position Sandvik Coromant as an industry thought leader
- 48 clippings referencing sustainability in machining (exceeding target by 60%)
- 60 clippings referencing female leadership in STEM (exceeding target by 100%)
- 86 clippings referencing digital manufacturing and Industry 4.0 (exceeding target by 186.6%)
Objective three: Promote Sandvik Coromant’s annual product launches
- 62 clippings for Autumn’s product release (exceeding target by 55%)
- 133 clippings for Spring’s product release (exceeding target by 69.9%)
Total of 860 links from coverage back to the Sandvik Coromant website (exceeding target by 330%)