10Fold developed and led research and PR campaign execution to highlight discrepancies in technology requirements in available job postings and how prospects can solve the puzzle
Cleo, provider of Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC), is a supply chain software company focused on ecosystem integration to digitally connect systems, partners, customers and suppliers across an enterprise’s supply chain network. 10Fold has worked with Cleo since 2019 to elevate the company’s reputation and thought leadership through strategic media coverage and promotion. Throughout the course of Cleo’s relationship with the agency, 10Fold has secured over 400 pieces of coverage for Cleo, including pieces in The Washington Post, Crain’s Chicago Business, Inc. and Forbes.
In late 2022, Cleo was closing out a banner year for the company and wanted to continue the momentum into the new year by maintaining a constant flow of media coverage. Without existing news to announce, Cleo turned to 10Fold to generate a solution to continue Cleo’s media trajectory over the holiday season and into 2023. 10Fold helped Cleo identify a strategic opportunity to demonstrate the supply chain industry’s need to uplevel operations through digitalization and automation adoption. Working closely with Cleo, 10Fold developed a plan to secure media coverage and develop a long-term marketing asset for Cleo’s sales team by analyzing publicly available supply chain job data. 10Fold’s analysis uncovered insights into how enterprises are executing operations (both customer-facing and internally). In addition, 10Fold was able to gauge the state of technology adoption within the industry by analyzing how companies’ hiring strategies addressed specific business needs.
Structured as original research, Cleo’s Supply Chain Jobs Report secured coverage from 12 target publications, including FreightWaves, Supply Chain Quarterly, Supply Chain Management Review and TechRepublic. The campaign assets also continue to be used by Cleo’s marketing and sales teams in 2023 and serve as a useful resource in conversations with potential customers.
Cleo possesses a unique history as a company. Originally founded in 1976 with a focus on secure file transfer software, Cleo was joined by CEO Mahesh Rajasekharan, who immediately re-focused Cleo’s priorities on integration software, in 2012. Recognizing that integration technology was lagging as eCommerce took root, Mahesh’s vision was to build a platform to help companies connect and integrate applications and data across not just their internal systems but externally, with their partners, customers and suppliers – i.e., a company’s entire digital ecosystem.
Cleo’s flagship offering, CIC, simplifies ecosystem integration by consolidating EDI, file and API-based integration to support end-to-end integrations across multiple communication protocols, including AS2, SFTP and more. CIC’s robust capabilities enable Cleo customers to onboard new partners and applications faster, providing the opportunity to quickly capture revenue, as well as the opportunity to gain real-time visibility into end-to-end business processes and interactions such as order-to-cash or procure-to-pay.
Today, Cleo stands as the leader of the burgeoning ecosystem integration software category (competing with other well-known organizations such as OpenText and Boomi, which have much larger marketing budgets). Cleo delivered over $4B in value processed through CIC as of 2022, serving over 4,100 companies to solve integration challenges and attracted significant equity investment in 2021 from H.I.G. Capital. Since the introduction of CIC in 2017, customer adoption has more than doubled each year.
Cleo’s growth signifies the need for, and success of, CIC and the ecosystem integration approach. However, supply chain companies are still perplexed over how to best overcome supply chain disruption. Enterprises don’t seem to understand the connection between business success and modern, cloud-based integration enablement. To gain a deeper understanding of supply chain companies’ IT landscapes and their priorities, Cleo needed a way to better assess and understand the state of digital transformation and automation adoption within U.S.-based supply chain enterprises. Understanding this challenge, 10Fold proposed an expedited research report that would use hard, real-world data to assess the state of the industry, generate coverage and position Cleo as an expert in supply chain digitization and workforce strategies.
The campaign goal was to execute a research report to not only provide valuable insights into the behavior and strategies of Cleo’s target customer base (manufacturers, logistics providers and wholesalers/retailers), but also secure media coverage that positions Cleo as the authority in tracking supply chain professional skillsets and job requirements. The scope of the research covered publicly available job listings from supply chain organizations. Research findings were then announced in press release and branded report formats, which secured coverage in U.K.- and U.S.-based publications.
- Establish Cleo as an authority on supply chain job and hiring strategy trends through development and distribution of a report addressing supply chain workforce hiring strategies based on publicly available job postings.
- Inform Cleo’s customer-facing strategies based on report findings, including what supply chain companies should look for in new certifications and technology familiarity.
- Provide comprehensive PR support, including gathering and analysis of data, developing research report and press release to announce findings, and leveraging the final research report materials to drive media coverage for Cleo.
Communications Strategy and Challenges
- Raise awareness among supply chain businesses within Cleo’s core verticals (manufacturers, logistics providers and wholesalers/retailers) of successful hiring strategies to employ in 2023 and beyond: The 10Fold team knew that, while the job market was tight at the time of data collection, simply analyzing the number of open jobs and their locations would not be enough to generate media interest beyond the low level trade publications. To make the research findings more interesting to top-tier trade media, 10Fold also analyzed specific key terms from supply chain job descriptions, including salary ranges, certification and skills requirements, experience with technological systems and data types, as well as specific technologies mentioned by name (ERP, MES, QMS, etc.) that would be interfaced by the job role in question. 10Fold’s hypothesis was that companies were leveraging a wide set of digital supply chain technologies (ERP, MES, QMS, etc.) and were attempting to recruit candidates that have deep expertise in knowing how to best-use these core systems. However, the findings would paint a very different picture of supply chain recruitment strategies.
- Secure coverage of the Supply Chain Jobs Report from interested media outside of Cleo’s typical PR purview: While the PR team knew Cleo’s typical media targets (supply chain-focused publications and reporters at technology publications covering the enterprise technology beat) would likely be interested in covering the Supply Chain Jobs report, they also knew this unique research presented an opportunity to secure coverage of Cleo outside of typically targeted publications, thus expanding Cleo’s audience and attracting new prospective customers. To maximize the opportunities for coverage, 10Fold conducted research and developed a comprehensive list of enterprise HR and jobs market reporters to target with the report findings.
- Standardize and clean unstructured data for analysis purposes: The PR team collected job data from leading supply chain companies with revenue between $250M-$2B posted on Indeed.com (which included prospective Cleo customers), standardization and analysis. Throughout the data collection process, the PR team noticed different terminology was used for job responsibilities across enterprises, and standardization of like-terms would be needed before the data could be adequately analyzed. The team then sorted through individual job listings to label different phrases describing or addressing key responsibilities, and collated corresponding job descriptions that contained key terms for analysis.
- A condensed timeline to finalize and announce findings to media: 10Fold began the research by collecting data through September 2022. Given the timing of the research and data collection, 10Fold knew that if they waited until after the new year to announce the findings the data could prove to be irrelevant in 2023 – especially when considering the rapid rate of change and fluctuations in supply/demand that supply chains have experienced in the past three years. To align the timing of data collected and the rapidity of change in the supply chain market, 10Fold expedited the development of the press release to accompany the research report, as well as the development of media targets, pitches to secure media interest and plans for embargoed media outreach to secure coverage in advance of the announcement and ensure day-of news publication.
The campaign secured coverage results that exceeded established KPIs and continued to publish into January of 2023, including coverage from top trade publications FreightWaves, Supply Chain Management Review, Supply Chain Quarterly and DC Velocity. Metrics include:
- 12 total articles across North America (10) and the U.K. (2)
- 3,112,999 total Unique Visitors per Month (UVM)
Secured Coverage to Date
- BorderlessAndBeyond – A ‘deep supply chain automation deficit’ is hurting businesses
- DC Velocity – Report: Hiring trends overlook needed technology skills
- Enterprise Times – Research from the week beginning 12th December 2022
- EPS News – 3 Initiatives Top Supply Chain’s 2023 ‘To-Do’ List
- Freightalent – Deep Deficit In Supply Chain Automation Harming Companies
- FreightWaves – ‘Deep deficit in supply chain automation’ harming companies
- Industry Today – Cleo Releases First Annual Supply Chain Jobs Report
- Multi-Channel Merchant – Cleo Releases First Annual Supply Chain Jobs Report: What Supply Chain Recruiting Tells Us About Agility & IT Innovation in 2023
- Supply & Demand Chain Executive – Over Half of Supply Chain Managerial Roles Don’t Require Software Experience
- Supply Chain Management Review – Cleo releases its first supply chain jobs report
- Supply Chain Quarterly – Cleo Releases First Annual Supply Chain Jobs Report: Supply Chain Recruiting & IT Innovation
- TechRepublic – Supply chain job openings point to a lack of automation and innovation
By the end of the PR campaign, Cleo had successfully leveraged publicly available information to generate news and coverage during a time that would have otherwise been a quiet period for Cleo’s news cycle. The success of the campaign drove elevated awareness of Cleo’s technology, product, thought leadership and expertise – setting the company up for a successful kick off to 2023 and a new slate of prospective customers to target in marketing initiatives.