When you’re a little kid, your brain often runs wild with aspirations for the future. You may aspire to be an astronaut, a rockstar or a firefighter. For young tech startups, this experience is relatively similar, as founders aspire to grow into the next big brand like Apple or Google.
Growing a company to the size and reputation of these behemoths often includes many factors such as an aggressive acquisition strategy and funding. From there, organizations must leverage this news and other assets to generate media coverage that improves brand awareness, creates a greater sense of credibility and helps position the company as the brand it wants to be. One organization which effectively deployed this strategy is DocuSign, the world’s leading eSignature platform.
DocuSign wasn’t the aspirational brand it is today when it first launched in 2003. However, a smart combination of media coverage quickly led them to find a synonymous association with electronic signatures. Here’s a look at DocuSign’s media coverage evolution that helped lead to the SaaS company’s long term brand awareness.
Competitors Dominate Industry Conversations
When DocuSign launched in 2003, the company’s first concern was likely funding. Taking an initial Seed Round in 2003, followed by a $4.6 million Series A in 2004 quickly got them off the ground, but DocuSign’s media coverage presence was lacking. At this stage, funding is often at the center of executives’ minds, but, at first, the lack of media coverage allowed competitors such as EchoSign, to dominate industry conversations.
DocuSign caught on quickly and began utilizing media coverage placements to amplify their funding announcements and create valuable brand awareness. Coverage in TechCrunch and Xconomy with headlines such as “DocuSign Raises $2 Million For E-Signature Software” helped to show the value of the DocuSign brand. It also created an association between DocuSign and electronic signatures in highly respected publications with the right audience.
An Improved Coverage Mix
Continuing into the following years, DocuSign began to gain even more traction by earning a greater mix of media coverage. This media coverage mix included a steady cadence of thought leadership, roundup inclusions and even partnership news. DocuSign also employed a strong reactive strategy, inserting their name into the conversation around various industry events to earn an increased amount of media coverage within numerous publications read by the SaaS company’s target audience.
These notable mentions as well as DocuSign’s growing industry presence from a funding and acquisition standpoint led to a notable turning point when VentureBeat wrote a feature article about DocuSign’s new CEO. The article included the key message “electronic signature,” not only within the title but various times throughout the article. From that point forward, nearly every piece of DocuSign coverage included the key message “electronic signature,” or “e-signature,” helping amplify their messaging further and solidify their association as an industry leader.
Becoming a SaaS Leader
DocuSign’s final close on market dominance came when Adobe acquired EchoSign. From that point forward, DocuSign was recognized as the clear leader in electronic signatures by industry executives and notable members of the media.
Like most public companies, the variety of media coverage has now changed to mainly include financial information and significant announcements. However, DocuSign continues to leverage thought leadership and often features articles in top tier and trade publications like to offer their insight and tips on the e-signature market. If it weren’t for an impactful media strategy, DocuSign’s brand awareness would have continually struggled and they would have never grown into the aspirational brand they are today.