Anatomy of the buy: Wills & Co. talk business

Jeff Wills tells MiC about the new media strategy behind the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants' (CICA) 'Decisions Matter' campaign.

Just because you want to talk to businesspeople doesn’t mean that trade media is your best media-planning option, according to the contrarian B2B theory of Jeff Wills, president, Wills & Co. In his agency’s first national outing for new client the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), Wills describes how the agency – in partnership with DraftFCB for creative – used mass media to reach ‘MOPEs’ where their attention is most available.

What are you trying to accomplish with this campaign?
The main goal of the campaign was a two-part thing. One was to continue to establish them as the pre-eminent designation. They’re better than other accounting designations, better than various degrees you can get, and, as important, if you need a partner to solve business problems, a CA is somebody you’ve got to have on your team.

That’s what we’re trying to establish, that when you’re making decisions that matter, CAs are a great resource to tap into.

What’s the media strategy?
We don’t tackle things the normal way, especially when it comes to B2B. The normal B2B tactic would be, ‘Let’s talk to businesspeople in business publications or business media that they get at their desk.’

Our point of view is that businesspeople are overwhelmed when they’re at their desks, not just with business media but their daily job…This is probably one of the most desirable target audiences in the world, so how do you break through all that stuff?

The strategy we used is a mix of television, radio and outdoor. They sound really mass, on the surface, and they are, but the way we executed each one is extremely targeted towards insights around the target audience.

When it comes to TV, radio and outdoor, we handpicked TV shows, like news. CP24 is a destination for them, CBC Newsnet is a destination for them. We handpicked those types of shows. And radio was the same idea. It’s a hand-picked station buy in all the key markets across the country…we isolated the news talk radio stations and used high frequency on those.

For out-of-home, it’s in high-traffic commuter routes into business cores in all the major cities across Canada. You’d see it on the Gardiner and in midtown Toronto…very hand-picked boards, and you’d see the same kind of tactic in Regina.

How will the results of the campaign be measured?
From talking to MOPEs (managers, owners, professionals and executives) and CAs across the country. They know now what people think about them and they’ll know after what people think about them.

The campaign runs until March 2011.