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Using COVID Delays to Improve Products & Refine Marketing: Insights from Kurt Janssen

By June 15, 2020 No Comments

As part of a new blog series, Pugh & Tiller PR is interviewing marketing leaders and sharing their insights on the impact of COVID-19 on marketing and business plans. Our second post features Kurt Janssen​, CEO & Founder, Orbica LTD.

Kurt Janssen, CEO & Founder, Orbica.

Orbica makes the complex simple and empowers organizations to make better decisions through the power of location data. Orbica is headquartered in Christchurch, New Zealand and Berlin, Germany.

Adjusting Marketing during COVID-19?

“We have changed how we position Orbica’s brand in the market. Previously, we’ve heavily relied on telling the Orbica ‘start-up’ story of growth and success, which could come off as insensitive in a time when other businesses are struggling. So, we’ve shifted to much more of a ‘how we can help’ and ‘how geography can help’ in a worldwide pandemic. We have run a paid LinkedIn campaign in Europe, but that hasn’t netted a lot of marketing qualified leads, indicating that the timing is just a bit too soon.”

Geographic Expansion

“In terms of our SaaS product, OrbViz, we were looking at a US market entry in the last quarter of 2020, but this has been pushed out into 2021 due to travel restrictions and market uncertainty. On the upside, it’s giving us more time to hone our offering and prepare for a successful US market entry. That means more time to develop some of the extras our customers indicate would make OrbViz more attractive, as well as being better prepared in terms of marketing collateral. In the meantime, we are going to start testing Australia as a potential market for OrbViz in 2020. It’s closer to home and we’re likely to open up a ‘Trans-Tasman bubble’ that will circumvent border restrictions and allow travel between the two countries shortly.”

When Do You See the Economy Re-Opening?

“A good proportion of Orbica’s market – government – never closed, so that’s allowed us to continue as usual and even create opportunities. However, our commercial clients – which are medium-large enterprises – are tightening everything in New Zealand and Europe. We don’t expect that to ease up anytime soon.

“Our SaaS product OrbViz is democracy for the 21st century: it’s an interactive data visualization tool that seamlessly integrates location data with business intelligence and narrative to tell the full story of a government’s budget or spend and the outcomes thereof.

“The pandemic has actually created opportunities for OrbViz: governments are revisiting budgets either because of tax holes due to lost income or pressure to tighten their belt, and they need an open conversation with citizens about what it means in terms of services.  It’s even more incumbent on governments now to be transparent, to inform and to engage with citizens, and OrbViz makes this easy (and digital). We are probing this further with an outbound marketing LinkedIn campaign in New Zealand this month to boost awareness of how OrbViz can help and encourage potential customers to book a free demo.

Time to Step Back Marketing or an Opportunity?

“We have actually ramped up our marketing in this time because of the opportunities that it presents for us. It’s also very important for us to think differently about generating leads in order to secure our pipeline in a time of economic uncertainty. We have to be agile with our offering in this market, so we are encouraging marketing and sales to work together closely to identify and explore the opportunities that exist.”

About Kurt Janssen​, CEO & Founder, Orbica LTD

Kurt Janssen is a geographer and geospatialist by trade, with a passion for emerging technology and just about anything to do with data. Kurt has an BSc Hons (Geography) from the University of Canterbury and was the 2016 NZSEA Young Professional of the Year. He worked for central government and private companies in New Zealand and the United States before establishing award-winning geospatial consultancy Orbica in February 2017.

Orbica is inspired by Kurt’s passion for thinking outside of the box and combining technologies to create better, more innovative solutions with location data.