Abalta is a global leader in automotive-grade software design and development, empowering auto makers to deliver branded in-vehicle experiences via the driver’s smartphone. When the company was planning its presence at TU-Automotive in Detroit, they turned to Third Law for strategic guidance and tactical execution.
Knowing when to get support
While industry conferences are critical avenues for suppliers to make connections and gain exposure to OEMs and tier ones, it can be tough for a small player to make an impact. Michael O’Shea, the Founder and now Board Member of Abalta, notes: “The OEMs are particularly difficult to penetrate. They are inundated by hopeful suppliers at events and often attend without business cards or have cards without contact information in order to make themselves less accessible.”
“We were impressed with the LA Auto show’s conference and knew Third Law was involved in it. They seemed like a logical choice.”
Michael also recognizes the strategic importance of understanding how to speak to a target audience. “One of the mistakes companies make is not understanding who within the automaker is their target audience. It’s not just a matter of getting as high into the organization as possible. In reality there are many influencers you need to talk to throughout the organization.”
So, Michael and his team knew that, to participate in TU, they needed to get it right. “An event is a significant undertaking and very distracting for a smaller company. We had attended the LA Auto Show’s conference, were impressed with it, and knew Third Law was involved in it. They seemed like a logical choice to talk to about our participation at TU.”
Crystallizing the message
Abalta had secured booth space at TU in Detroit and turned to Third Law to develop their strategy and to take care of the details, too. “TU was strategic for us but we had no formal marketing department,” Michael says. “Most marketing was carried out by the company principles so being able to hand it over to someone was a great relief.”
While Third Law was already familiar with Abalta, they began with a strategy session. Andy Gryc of Third Law recalls: “Their product was complicated and difficult for them to simply articulate its value, so we started with a positioning exercise to crystallize their message and approach to clients.”
“TU was strategic for us. Being able to hand over the strategy and execution to Third Law was a great relief.”
Based on that positioning, Third Law then developed the show strategy and all supporting materials, including messaging, booth graphics, a corporate video, press release, and more, all within a few months.
Easy to work with
Ultimately, TU allowed Abalta to make important new industry connections, and to solidify existing ones.
Michael says that Third Law made it easy: “They are great to deal with and very pleasant. Sometimes marketing people make assumptions about software engineers and try to dictate how to do things, when what’s needed is a dialogue. Third Law does the latter very well as they understand both technology and marketing.”