Birnbach Communications

Search
HomeAboutServicesExperienceClientsNewsArticlesContact
Client Quotes

Case Studies
   


Lead Generation: Using PR to Pre-Qualify Customers for Projected Financials

The Challenge

In 1979, the first electronic spreadsheet was created, and it was good. But ithe intervening 25 years, the electronic spreadsheet had not changed very much.

Traditional spreadsheets are widely used across many different functions because of their flexibility. But they are not very useful when it comes to financial forecasting, which can require complex formulas, in-depth knowledge, and dedicated resources to get accurate results.

Michael Hoffmann launched Whitebirch Software in 1999 to offer specialized financial projection and analysis tools to mid-size companies, financial consultants and banks. As an executive who relied upon detailed spreadsheet-based forecasts while managing other companies, Hoffmann was convinced that businesses especially small to mid-size businesses need a better, faster, more accurate solution than traditional spreadsheets.

Although its flagship product, Projected Financial was a robust, reliable product with an enthusiastic corporate user base, Whitebirch still got many more calls from customers looking for personal finance software. Yet Projected Financials produces accurate and complex financial models in a fraction of the time of traditional spreadsheet modeling. In addition to building comprehensive financial models, Projected Financials simplifies creating, comparing, and documenting what-if scenarios. It is vastly faster and easier to use than Excel.

The challenge: raise visibility of the latest version of Projected Financials among key media and potential users to better define the product and its benefits.

Strategic Execution At Work

As a small company with little recognition, except among its customers, Whitebirch faced an additional challenge: trying displace Microsoft Excel, which is far more complicated, error prone and slow but is loaded on most corporate computers.

We identified the spreadsheet's 25th anniversary and leveraged that fact with key media to highlight Projected Financial's benefits (compared with traditional spreadsheets). We also targeted columnists and product reviewers who would be interested in alternatives to Microsoft's Excel.

The Results

For a limited project, we secured 8 very positive placements with key media like eWeek, PC Magazine, Financial Executive, and Small Business Computing that defined the product and its benefits, picked up key messages, and established credibility for Projected Financials by positive comments and its 4.0 (out of 5.0) from PC Magazine.

For example, Peter Coffee's column in eWeek was headlined: "Spreadsheets: 25 Years in a Cell: Spreadsheets Ignore the Uncertainty of Forecasts," and said, "If we were starting from scratch, with the pervasive connectivity of today, I suspect that we would build something that looks a lot more like the Projected Financials product from Whitebirch Software."

According to Pat Fusco, writing in Small Business Computing, "Nowadays there are various accounting applications and financial services available to small business. While many of these programs and providers are adept at totaling column after column of hard data, few are capable of taking the next step toward forecasting financials two or three or even 10 years down the road. If you want a clear picture of your company's financial future, take a look at Projected Financials."

Best of all, the coverage generated customers leads. Interestingly, while the PR campaign generated significantly more hits to the Whitebirch website, it did not generate significantly more calls from prospective customers. But 90 percent of the calls that came in as a result of the campaign were pre-qualified, CEO Hoffmann told us – a substantial improvement.

Coverage included:

  • eWeek: "Spreadsheets: 25 Years in a Cell: Spreadsheets Ignore the Uncertainty of Forecasts" (March 22, 2004):
    • "If we were starting from scratch, with the pervasive connectivity of today, I suspect that we would build something that looks a lot more like the Projected Financials product from Whitebirch Software."
    • "The higher level approach of the Whitebirch product encourages higher level thinking about assumptions and uncertainties."
    • "Such nuanced modeling encourages decision makers to spend more time acquiring better knowledge and less time trying to spin the straw of ignorance into the gold brilliant foresight."
  • Business TechEdge: "Whitebirch Software Delivers Flexible, Accurate Financial Modeling Platform; Projected Financials 3.0" (March 22, 2004)
  • Small Business Computing: "Financial Forecasts You Can Take To The Bank" (April 6, 2004):
    • "If you've ever had to apply for a small businesses loan or make a presentation to a venture capital group, you know securing the funds depends on how accurate your financial forecast is. How many times have you had to go back to the drawing board and revise your financial forecast in order gain access to working capital? There is a faster, easier and more accurate way to make your financial modeling foolproof.
    • "Whitebirch Software designs and develops applications that help its customers create sophisticated financial models and long-term forecasts that go beyond the scope of traditional spreadsheets and standard budgeting software. The company recently released a major upgrade to its flagship financial modeling program, Projected Financials.
    • "The program prepares financial modeling and scenario analysis in a fraction of the time that traditional spreadsheets can provide. In addition to building comprehensive financial models, Projected Financials simplifies creating, comparing, and documenting "what-if" scenarios. Michael Hoffmann, Whitebirch Software president and chief executive officer, said Projected Financials is a way for small- and mid-sized businesses to avoid the trappings of using Excel for financial modeling...
    • "Nowadays there are various accounting applications and financial services available to small business. While many of these programs and providers are adept at totaling column after column of hard data, few are capable of taking the next step toward forecasting financials two or three or even 10 years down the road. If you want a clear picture of your company's financial future, take a look at Projected Financials."
  • Nation's Building News: "Financial Forecasts You Can Take to the Bank" (April 12, 2004)
  • PC Magazine: "Review of Projected Financials 3.5: Find Out if That Business Venture Will Fly" (June 21, 2004)
    • Editor's rating: 4 out of 5.
    • "Excel is, undeniably, a masterful program. But building business financials in it requires skill. Projected Financials 3.5 makes it possible for businesspeople who don't have CPA after their names to build integrated, multiyear income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, and create a variety of what-if scenarios."
    • "Projected Financial's new Scenario Editor provides a simple, powerful way to run what-if analyses. For example, you can instantly see how different pricing tactics might ripple through to the bottom line. The application's other strength lies in its financial reports, which include balance sheets and cash flow projections (the latter up to ten years, unusual in a standalone financial program).
    • "There are other alternatives to building your own financials painstakingly in Excel. Several Excel add-ons contain a subset of the features found in Projected Financials... But we've not seen Projected Financials' unique set of intelligent, flexible tools anywhere else."
  • Tech Edge Magazine: "Projected Financials: Spreadsheets Could Be a Memory of the Past as Financial Managers Dive into This Twenty-first Century Program" (Summer, 2004)
  • Financial Executive: "Technology Tools: Financial Modeling" (July/Aug. 2004) ExpertPR: "How PR Can Help Companies Enter the U.S. Market" (July 21, 2004)
  • Small Business Computing: Projected Financials: Review (July 15, 2004)

top back


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
about | services | experience | clients | news | articles | contact
fact sheet | links | home | sitemap
 

 

Copyright © 2001-2018 Birnbach Communications, Inc.