Traditionally, B2B marketing – for any industry- has been viewed as a landscape riddled with out-of-date promotional practices, with corporate decision makers refusing to take chances on brand imaging and awareness, and neglect for both customer engagement and adopting imaginative uses with resources or personnel hires.
This obtuse mentality has led many companies to hire PR firms that lacked intimate knowledge of their client’s services. PR firms that, for years, have created bland promotional material, effectively deafening the client’s voice in the white-noise of uninspired monotony.
Successful marketers know campaigns must be multi-layered using a variety of platforms, strategically timed and aligned with sales and engineering departments and executed with planned precision by multiple team members doing a variety of tasks at the same time.
Think of it as an orchestra playing a symphony. If all that was audible was the cello section- even in something as profound as Beethoven’s 9th- it would lack sense, seem out of place, and the message would be lost on listeners, ultimately forgotten. But put it together with violins, trumpets, French horns, tympani drums, woodwinds and the chorale and it becomes a multi-faceted message that is heard, remembered and inspiring.
Jaymie Scotto Cutaia conducts her firm, Jaymie Scotto & Associates (or JSA), in arranging savvy public relations, marketing and event planning for the tech and telecom industries. Through Mrs. Cutaia’s blend of marketing acumen and perception of ever-evolving technologies, JSA has revolutionized the B2B Telco marketing landscape. Network infrastructure companies such as Dark and Lit fiber providers, subsea cable contractors, data centers, Big Data tech companies and multiple-system operators currently aligned with JSA are having their product and service messages heard with an amplification previously muted.
Before launching JSA, Jaymie Scotto Cutaia was a writer and producer at MSNBC, reviewing press releases and writing on-air scripts for anchors such as Ashleigh Banfield and Lester Holt. Sifting through informative leads and headlines, Cutaia showed a keen sense for picking out what was desirable and deserving to her audience, and proved that she could turn those stories around quickly- practices that would later be key to JSA’s PR effectiveness. Cutaia’s considerable research and writing skills culminated with an Emmy Award win for her extensive story-coverage of the 9/11 tragedies.
It can be easily argued our entire world took a left turn after the events of that September, becoming saturated with depressing fear and ignorance. The news industry was no different, perhaps even compounding those emotions, but anyone who has ever met Jaymie Scotto Cutaia or has seen her speak and interact with others would know she reflects the opposite of those traits. She works with a vivacity that exudes optimism. In a time when the news industry became saturated with turbulence, Cutaia became more interested in becoming part of the ecosystem that physically delivered the news to end users. She took her enthusiasm and vigor to the Telco circuit, becoming the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for New York City based Telx, then a collocation and interconnection operator for facilities in the U.S.
“I was impressed by Telx’s business model and managerial team,” says Cutaia, “which was inventing the colocation business model, from a carrier-neutral perspective. It was a great marketplace, a new frontier. It was exciting to be a part of the network infrastructure supporting all of our different means of communicating, to be an integral part of communication itself.”
At the time of her hiring, Telx had been represented by a large PR firm that, like probably most others in that era, lacked an understanding of their client’s technology and was naïve of even the most basic of industry lingo.
Calling the firm to check the level of Telx-interest from the media, Cutaia was told, “To be honest with you, no one cares about calla-cation [sic].” She laughs about it today but at the time that response didn’t resonate well with Cutaia. “I was very disturbed, to say the least,” she confirms. Unimpressed with the lack of care for perception, she fired the PR agency. It was her first day at Telx.
As she strived to market Telx across media outlets and interacted with other players of the Telco world, it became evident that this ignorance-of-service was an industry-wide problem. Frustrated, Cutaia declared it was unacceptable for telecoms to be represented by anyone other than those who were conversant with their trade. “I don’t prescribe to the ‘well, we can sell anything’ type of motto. In order for an agency to be successful [representing clients], they need to be passionate, to understand the key players, the key words, the acronyms, the impacts, the benefits, the challenges, the opportunities, the storylines and why it’s all important to that ecosystem.”
It seems quite fitting then that JSA’s mascot is the peacock, a symbol regarded around the world with representing awakening, watchfulness, guidance, and vision, and is seen as the manifestation of the ethereal phoenix, since out of the ashes of creative neglect the transcendent marketing agency was born.
Beginning in January of 2005, Jaymie Scotto & Associates became the first PR and marketing firm dedicated solely to the telecom industry. And Cutaia wasted no time establishing the agency’s credibility signing global subsea network operator, Hibernia Atlantic, and organizing the Telx Customer Business Exchange, a networking event for her former employer (which would later morph into JSA’s own Telecom Exchange). With a higher profile established through JSA’s representation and continued networking, Hibernia Atlantic was acquired by Tier-1 network provider GTT Communications, Inc. JSA had represented both entities, as well as Spectrum, Crown Castle Fiber, FirstLight and eStruxture, to name a few.
In 2008, Tiscali International Network (also acquired by GTT Communications, in 2009) chose JSA for its global imaging. That same year, Cutaia founded DealCenter, LLC, an online meeting planner designed and used to view attendee and exhibitor lists for industry events, to search the lists by company name or product offered and to create one-on-one meetings held at the events- a service predating what is now found, albeit rudimentarily, on many major tradeshow websites.
As the years progressed, JSA’s marketing methods helped their clients launch networks between North America and Europe, organized executive speed-networking events, founded the industry’s first monthly video newsletter, launched JSA TV as a virtual newsroom on YouTube, established the Telecom Exchange C-level networking event in New York for colocation and service providers, redefined the standard for industry blogs and newsletters, incorporated advanced lead generation and inbound marketing tools, expanded the Telecom Exchange to a second venue in Los Angeles, became certified social media experts, recorded podcasts with high-level industry guests and decision makers, held Virtual CEO Roundtables, introduced an innovative video-based platform for client websites, unveiled JSA Canada, and won two Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence Awards (2015’s “Most Outstanding Telecoms PR Agency” and 2016’s “Telecoms PR Agency of the Year”).
The customer may or may not always be right but a good marketer knows that they always come first. The prosperity JSA has seen over the last thirteen years could only have happened by providing success to their clients. “It’s about listening to our clients, then building the channel that best gets their message to market.” However, “Some companies are very engineer-oriented, so very intelligent, but can’t take what they do and the benefits they offer and turn that into a mainstream language that would be attractive to readers for a publication like, say, the New York Times. So we believe our job is to be really solid translators and then connect that message to the correct platform or journalist who sees it as viable to their readership.”
It also helps that the agency’s staff is continuously trained in the on-going evolution of the tech and telecom industries with monthly “lunch and learns.” “We train each other,” Cutaia explains. “Tech and telecom is a beast of an industry that’s always changing. We keep each other well-versed.” JSA chiefly hires those with a background involving such industry knowledge to begin with. “We try to hire with that skill-set in mind. A lot of the JSA’ers [sic] who are with us are former analysts and journalists from within our industry. And some of us are new but add a whole new level of expertise with SEO or social media, some type of marketing automation and certification. We all learn from each other.”
While JSA team members continuously live, breathe and learn the industry, the industry is also learning from JSA. As many Telco companies (not represented by JSA) continue to have trouble with their messages being heard, they fail to realize the cause usually lies internally. There seems to be opposition between marketing ideologies, a disconnect between the letting go of old-school, outbound marketing methods and those of the newer, lead-generating methods of inbound marketing. What remains is a misunderstanding of the initial investigative practices one does today for looking up a company’s information, which is usually to go straight to Google’s search box. According to a market study by Industrial Strength Marketing, 81% of B2B purchase cycles begin with a web search.
Though the prior conservative mentality is fading as positions are taken my Millennials with each passing day, there is still a serious lack of properly promoting one’s services online. Research by management firm, Boston Consulting Group, states that by promoting via online platforms, companies reduce the costs of customer acquisition and relationship building, and are actually more transformative than B2C companies since B2B organizations have smaller potential customer bases, higher average price points and a customer decision funnel that is more influenced by word of mouth and reputation. It can be mind-boggling then, that in 2018 there are still technology-based companies that do not acknowledge or correctly utilize the marketing power of the internet – especially telecommunication companies that rely on the internet and its services for their very own relevance and existence.
“It is a digital world,” Cutaia explains, “Think about every time you’re looking for, say, a grill or a car. You go to Google, you go to Amazon and Bluebook first and research what’s out there and the price marks. Such is true for our industry.
“[Buyers] want to know who the options are, where they are located, who the people are behind those brands, what’s the difference in the quality of services. Think with an outside perspective, like a potential buyer. That’s what we try to do, and get our clients to do.
“We create content that’s going to be meaningful and SEO-enabled so it does show up higher on the Google searches, whether they are e-books or info-graphics, social media, etc., especially with short headlines. We don’t have time for long whitepapers. No one reads them! We put the digital resources in place to make sure we’re leveraging the key words, the correct vernacular [buyers] will use to find us on Google.”
Still, many companies fear allocating resources to digital marketing, principally social media, even though the phenomenon has transformed the interaction between individuals and companies throughout the world. “I will say it gets less and less every day,” Cutaia continues, “but I still hear the same question ‘Do you really think social media is effective?’ It used to be ‘Do you really think a website is effective?’ It blows my mind to this day. Everyone has a social media presence. It’s whether or not you choose to own yours and engage in it, that’s the question. People in our industry are on Linkedin, on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, asking about your services. If you’re not there to respond, that seems like a very lost sales opportunity and could be a real brand issue as well.”
Cutaia and her team have encouraged their clients to use social media in ways other than brand awareness. “Our savvy clients are using social comments to help guide them in their R&D. If someone out there says ‘I love this carrier but their customer service agents aren’t helpful or aren’t available when I need them’, they’ll respond to that issue internally. There’s so much to be learned from it but mostly, you’re customers are all in one place. You need to be there.
“I can’t wait until the conversation turns to inbound marketing and lead generation campaigns, the next phase of digital brand awareness and lead-building. That’s where I aim to get my clients to be.” And that’s where she’s taking them.
Affirmed by IBM case studies, inbound marketing improves each customer’s experience by personalizing their interaction with a company and leverages investments through inbound channels. Some of the online tools JSA uses to create inbound marketing for their clients are live virtual roundtable discussions, press releases, newsletters, blogs, case studies, drip campaigns (where emails are sent out based on lead behavior and interest), eBooks, video interviews, podcasts, webcasts, PPC management and the out-of-the-box WalkOut, which is a pre-shot video of a spokesperson walking across the screen, allowing for interactive capabilities with prospects.
This doesn’t include the relationships and extensive network of media partners, journalists, analysts, bloggers and social influencers JSA has built-up over the years, and has immediate access to for funneling campaigns. Jaymie Scotto Cutaia herself is a member of the Forbes Agency Council, where she contributes articles on the latest trends, tools and best marketing practices. One published article of hers, on the “JSA Checklist for Merger & Acquisitions Communications” has become the instructions for some companies’ M&A deals, as well as a guideline for rebranding.
JSA’s own blog, “Tech & Telecom News Now” currently boasts a readership of 130,000 subscribers. Their monthly newsletter has 38,000 subscribers and the firm’s weekly news wrap-up email goes out to 34,000 subscribers.
Speaking of numbers, all of this online marketing comes with need for analyzing the data it produces, both for JSA internally and the agency’s clients. Using data-driven applications (DDA’s) and operating from multichannel data sources (DaaS), JSA can analyze insights that are linked directly to the execution of specific campaigns and platforms. By generating and analyzing metadata, digital impressions, models, user searches and patterns of customer interest, JSA is able to continue with working strategies and implement new promotional techniques across trending avenues. The results also serve as a barometer for current data-tracking software packages. “At the end of each year, we have an in-house ‘Tech-Check’. We keep up with all of our certification, go over all of the tools that we use, whether it’s our media database, reporting tools, social media tracking tools, project management tools- we have a lot of tools,” Cutaia laughs, “and we make sure we are still leveraging the best-of-the-best and that it’s all exactly what our clients need.”
Regulations, too, evolve year after year as a response to the changes in telecommunication-collected data and user applications. It’s not as though companies weren’t thinking of it anyway but in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelation, it’s understandable that clients would be weary of the agency collecting so much information that pertains to their business. Cutaia states, “No one wants to be a part of a group they didn’t ask to be a part of. That’s sort of ‘Marketing 101.’ With regulations like GDPR on the landscape, we’re making sure that all of the data collected is done so in a mindful and meaningful way, and we’re teaching our clients how to do the same, finding the best practices for them to follow.” (GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is a regulation on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union, though this does not exclude American-based companies from adhering to the EU law. Forbes Council member, Yaki Faitelson, writes “For U.S. companies, EU-directed online marketing forms and (Web) interactions will have to be adjusted to obtain explicit consumer consent.” The penalties for neglecting to do so are severe. First-time offenders will be hit with a fine of up to 2% of their global revenue).
Consistent with Moore’s Law, telecom and tech advances have transformed at an exponential rate as connectivity continues to spider-web across continents, communities and devices- and all with more automation. IoT, artificial intelligence, Smart City applications, Cloud computing, virtualization, et al, are all raising as many questions about their pitfalls as they are about their potential.
JSA keeps a close eye on tech trends in telecommunication evolution and incorporates those topics as the main discussion points at the agency’s invitation-only event, held twice a year in both New York and Los Angeles, the Telecom Exchange. “It’s really about listening to the industry at large,” Cutaia explains.
In this regard, Telecom Exchange is quite deliberately tailored differently than other industry events. “When you go to other shows and expos, it’s rows upon rows of pop-ups, logos and lights flashing. It’s really just an infomercial and seems like a colossal waste of time. Let’s get rid of those marketing frills and get down to the trending topics and discuss what’s keeping us up at night.” Get rid of the marketing frills? That may sound strange coming from the CEO and founder of the industry’s leading PR and marketing firm, but that’s exactly why JSA is leading the way with agenda-driven conferences.
Telecom Exchange’s main effort is to bring the industry forward cohesively. The most recent Telecom Exchange panels featured roundtable discussions on topics such as risks in the IoT and cybersecurity supply chain, telemedicine, Big Data and the subsea cable spaces. JSA brings the leading players and analysts of the current trends together to collaborate on, and implement within the calendar year, 3-5 action items. “Not just talk but get right to it,” Cutaia emphasizes, “It’s not so broad as network security but very specific steps that we can enact up and down the OSI stack, like ‘let’s all deploy patches within a week’s time.’ Action items that are going to bring the industry forward.” Not only is JSA helping bring the industry forward by placing the doers in the same room, but in doing so, the firm has also effectively marketed each present company as a forerunner for the industry’s direction. This becomes especially important since the show is broadcast on YouTube.
CISCO studies show that by 2020, 82% of all internet traffic will be video consumption. JSA, fully aware of video’s power for delivering messages, films the panel discussions from each Telecom Exchange, and Cutaia herself conducts on-camera interviews with participants and attendees. The segments are then delivered through JSA TV on YouTube and posted across social media. YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community and second largest search engine in the world (second only to Google).
Cutaia is very interested in taking advantage of this video-viewing trend and to innovatively tailor content for clients that only visual storytelling can punctuate. “It’s such a compelling format for delivering news. [Like JSA’s WalkOut] you can create an immediate call-to-action and just click right from the video to a point-of-sale or new landing page.” Cutaia continues, “We’ll be pushing video a lot more in the future but it won’t just be about how many views you’re getting or how long they’re watching. It will be more about using video technology for engagement with the customer.”
Jaymie Scotto Cutaia is also engaging top-level women within the telecom sector with being more publicly involved in the forming and execution of industry agendas. This past March, JSA launched the Women’s Speaking Initiative. As stated in JSA’s press release, “WSI’s goal is to seat more women in the leadership roles on the telecom and tech speaking circuit by connecting qualified speakers with industry event organizers.” In doing so, Cutaia “hopes that we have more diverse voices in our roundtables and conferences.”
“Not only do we need more seats at the table for women,” Cutaia continues, “but we need more women comfortable and confident enough to voice their thoughts.” That sentiment is shared by founder and President of Hot Telecom, Isabelle Paradis. Paradis, who moderates women panels at conferences and conducts written and video interviews with leading women in the industry, confirms, “Encouraging women to play an active role in the transformation of our industry is crucial in its success.” When women share the spotlight, she continues, “it will show other women that it can be done and inspire them to tackle the challenge of a career in our industry.”
“It’s a ripple effect that begins with encouragement,” Cutaia explains, “It would be amazing for even just one person to read these words and feel encouraged to speak. In little steps forward by each of us, collectively we leap.”
Jaymie Scotto Cutaia could probably have arranged anything she set out to do. As it turns out, the tech and telecom industries are her repertoire, JSA her orchestra, and lead-generating campaigns her ongoing opus.
As Jaymie Scotto & Associates takes those steps forward hand-in-hand with its clients, using an endless roll out of diverse tools and creative content, the industry and its customers- all of us connected in communications- collectively leap indeed. As telecommunications evolve, it will be exciting to see how JSA not only responds with innovative marketing tools but also how the agency pushes marketing trends forward. Having recently launched its newest division, JSA Europe, Jaymie Scotto & Associates continues to expand its marketing reach and influence in the tech and telecom sectors. There is little doubt, through its integrity for client focus, passion for networking, strength in revitalizing brands’ imaging, and influence when bringing main players to the forefront, that JSA not only helps companies with their ROI and bottom-lines, but in doing so also helps effect the evolutionary layout of network infrastructure and communication itself.
That is marketing conducted to its most efficient and impactful form.