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When Motricity spun off its mobile advertising division in early 2012, I was tasked with the marketing and re-branding of the New York-based firm. I took a faceless company and shaped its brand, identity, and storyboard.

This is the story...
 
 

Motricity was a hemorrhaged brand, confused about what it was and how much would fit under its branding umbrella. Growing through acquisitions, it ended up with a lot of mobile technologies under its belt. But without focus, it was a jack of all trades, master of none. And so the company took to spinning off its 3 divisions: one for the carrier business, one for enterprise-grade solutions, and one for the media division (which will eventually birth Voltari).

(As an aside, Silverback Media purchased BrainTrain inc., which is how I joined the “family”. Eventually I grew to manage sales development and operations at Adenyo, then joined the executive team when Motricity completed its $100MM acquisition and led as senior director of ad operations. My time was split between Toronto and New York City, and I stayed with the company another 3 years until moving on to the next challenge in 2012.)

I decided to join the media division, which was my first passion, and was head of marketing. I took a faceless company and shaped its identity and entry into the market.

Building the brand.

To start, I looked at the colour palettes within our industry and found a sea of blues and greens. I settled on an orange and deep red palette to really differentiate from the other players:

 

Next up was the name. I went through hundreds of possibilities and with each batch, the discovery process got a bit more clear on what we wanted. 

The branding was done remotely, while I was enjoying some much-needed downtime on a little island called Ithaki in Greece, combining my vacation with work ("workation"). Certainly there are worst backdrops to take on the daunting task of rebranding, but the inspiration was priceless.

 This is "work".

This is "work".


 

The name was chosen: Voltari, rooted from Greek meaning change, revolution. It was a fitting name as we were about to embark on a revolution of our name with technology unseen in our market.

We decided on the logo fairly quickly: three loops that primarily represented the continuos loop our platform takes during each intelligence cycle. Secondary is represented omni-screens (such as feature phone, smartphone, tablet; or mobile phone, tablet, emerging device).

 
 

Next up was the messaging houses, pitch decks, and website. All were woven around the concept of “revolution”, both in theory (being different) and in practice (how our platform differs from competitors). The design was to stand-out, making it very different from the competition by using over-sized imagery, infographs, splashes of colour, and engaging effects in Keynote. 


Building the funnel.

After identifying our key personas, I put together key activities to increase awareness for each of the outbound sales reps.

For inbound and media, I worked on various outreach campaigns, including targeted display ads, press activities, and content creation. Leads would come in from the website and be vetted by marketing, then passed along to an outbound sales rep for follow-up. Everything was tracked within Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Hubspot.

During this time I created and ran V-Labs, an internal boutique agency. Myself and my team would work closely with sales during the development opportunity to ideate, and ensure consistency of our messaging and solutions across RFP responses.

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Debut


Debut


Jul 2012

The internal launch during
our sales summit.

Aug 2012

The soft-launch through the
sponsorship of the MMA CEO/CMO Summit in the Dominican Republic.

Sep 2012

The official launch at SM2
during Advertising Week in NYC.

 

For SM2, I wanted a strong theme that would help Voltari not only stand out, but have relevance to attendees. Drawing from the Latin roots of our name, the theme was simple: Revolution. We played on what the platform’s strengths are, at the same time highlighting what it does not do (manual optimization, generic audience profiles, etc.).

We sponsored the event, moderated a session on predictive analytics, and concluded with a great cocktail party (featuring the Voltarini).

 

On April 25, 2013, less than a year after Voltari was born, the parent company (Motricity) officially changed its name to Voltari, including the Nasdaq ticker (VLTC).

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