Ericsson: turning data into content marketing

In 2011 Ericsson started their journey to become the leading experts within the mobile industry. They transformed their knowledge about the industry into very successful content marketing. At Super Content Marketing 2016, Patrik Cerwall, Head of Strategic and Tactical Marketing at Ericsson, talked about how the company succeeded with using their data in order to establish Ericsson as the key source for industry insights.

Today, there are more mobile phones than there are people on the planet, Cerwall told the audience at Berns, Stockholm. 40 per cent of the world’s mobile traffic goes through Ericsson’s antennas, which has given the company a lot of knowledge about the market. Up until 2010 Ericsson was only using the data in-house in order to develop their organisation.

“I got a task 5 years ago to basically produce thought leadership”, said Cerwall. The task that Cerwall was given was to combine the company’s thinking in a report and make the data accessible to other people. Until then the data had been hidden in graphs and was not accessible to people outside the company.

“The tipping point was when people came in front of our board or in front of the Ericsson leadership team and were referring to competitors numbers when talking about our market”, said Cerwall.

In 2011 Cerwall started working on the report that would mark Ericsson as the main reference point for industry insights. Before they knew what form the report would take they had three key things already figured out: the main objectives, their target groups and their goal.

The report would establish Ericsson as the key source for industry insights, it would target industry analysts, financial analysts and the media and it would become a must have publication for operators and analysts worldwide.

In November 2011 Ericsson Mobility Report was released. Regarding the first issue of the report Cerwall said: “A learning is that even if you have a good idea you will make mistakes. You will not always get it right the first time.”

The first report did not place Ericsson as the key source for industry insight but as the company has continued to publish the Mobility Report twice a year the result has been “dramatic”. Cerwall said: “I’m astonished by how much it’s being picked up. Not only in English media, it’s being picked up in every type of media there is.”

So, what has the result of the report been so far? The Ericsson Mobility Report has not only become a reference point for the media but it is also being used by regulators, universities and other companies within the industry. According to Cerwall the report has also become a key pillar in the company’s brand marketing and is being used by their sales representatives. But, most importantly the report has created a consistency within the company. For the first time all 150 000 employees are using information and data from the same source.

What affect has the report had on the customer journey? According to Cerwall the Mobility Report serves at an early stage of the customer journey: engaging customer and pointing at the products and services that Ericsson is offering.

3 key take-aways:

  1. Define what perception changes you want achieve: always keep the wanted outcome in mind.
  2. Build your content marketing on your core strength.
  3. Become the trusted partner: create valuable insights and prove that your expertise makes you a trusted partner.