Case Study

Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

The Client: Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

 

The Challenge: Attract more entrepreneurs than ever to apply for the Jumpstart awards programme

Jumpstart is a grants and support programme for start-up businesses launched in 2021 by Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Cambridgeshire & Peterborough – a provider of free and low-cost business support and advice to start up business owners, entrepreneurs, and inventors. Keystone were involved in both the design and marketing of the inaugural programme, working in collaboration with the BIPC team to name, brand, launch and promote it.

Newly scaled up and boosted by funding provided by two local district councils, Jumpstart 2023/24 had a prize fund of £75,000 to share with up to 24 local start-up businesses. With sponsors on board and several administrative changes made to the application process and eligibility criteria, the team at BIPC knew the marketing and communications plan for the programme would need a jumpstart of its own. Impressed by the impact Keystone had made during the launch of Jumpstart in 2021, we were invited back to help drive engagement during this next phase.

Kicking things off with an initial scoping workshop, we uncovered insights from the previous two years of the programme’s history and set some clear goals for the 2023/24 programme.

  1. Maintain Momentum: Build on previous years’ interest and excitement.
  2. Reach New Audiences: Increase awareness among local entrepreneurs and start-ups.
  3. Increase Geographical Reach: Target specific locations and widen outreach.
  4. Showcase Application Ease: Highlight removal of previous barriers.
  5. Assist with Eligibility: Promote support events and application criteria.

The Solution: Development of a targeted, multi-channel campaign plan, maximising opportunities to reach eligible entrepreneurs

It was clear that in order to maximise reach, our marketing and communications plan would need to include messaging issued through traditional channels such as PR and social media, alongside direct engagement with stakeholders, former winners and other influential individuals.

We started by creating a set of core Jumpstart messages, branded images and videos that would work across a variety of marketing channels. Developing audience-specific messages that followed the same “script” ensured that the Jumpstart story was clear and consistent from start to finish. This was particularly important given the relatively strict application criteria – clear and consistent messaging would build confidence with both prospective applicants and those invited to help promote the programme on behalf of BIPC.

Some of the campaign’s tactics included…

Traditional PR and social media: Used to distribute messages about the programme’s key milestones – from launch to the application deadline.

Stakeholder engagement: Creation and distribution of a toolkit to ensure they could amplify our messages about Jumpstart both accurately and with confidence within their own networks.

Prospect nurturing: Tailored messaging that would sell the Jumpstart programme opportunity during multiple, identified touchpoints with prospective applicants.

Past winner champions: Video and still image content that shared the stories of past winners, designed to inspire prospective applicants.

Judges and mentors: Prepared messaging that easily enabled them to promote their own involvement in the programme and inspire interest from their own networks.

The impact: Cross-county measurable reach that directly converted into high quality awards applications

Thanks to our campaign, the BIPC team received a high number of good quality applications from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Our activity successfully gained:

  • PR coverage across multiple local newspaper titles
  • 20% increase in Facebook followers
  • 9% increase in LinkedIn followers
  • Nearly 400% increase in impressions on Facebook and LinkedIn, with engagement rates of over 8% gained on LinkedIn and an increase of nearly 300% in clickthrough rates on Facebook

In January 2024, 30 businesses were invited through to the next stage of the process – a “Dragon’s Den” style live pitching their business to the judging panel. This stage was followed in March 2024 by a celebration event where the names of the 22 overall winners were announced, along with the prize money they would receive from the £75,000 prize fund.

We partnered with Keystone for our flagship BIPC Jumpstart programme, and their support was exceptional. From the very beginning, Keystone took the time to understand our unique needs, goals, and challenges.

 

Following the delivery of our very first programme, we were supplied with fantastic templates that would give us confidence and independence for the second Jumpstart cohort.

 

Naturally, as our third cohort received 3 times as much funding, we knew we would be in safe hands working with Keystone again. Hayley and Katherine brought creativity, professionalism, and strategic insight that significantly enhanced our marketing efforts. They delivered outstanding results and exceeded our expectations. We highly recommend the Keystone team for their expertise and dedication.

 

Thank you, Hayley and Katherine for your outstanding support!

Katrina D’Souza
Business Engagement & Marketing Manager

The Keystone impact

  • Knowing the power of storytelling, we engaged directly with the previous winners to ensure that their stories were heard first-hand by the people we knew we needed to inspire to take action.
  • Consistent and regular messaging, dropping at key moments in the campaign kept a strong sense of urgency to apply before the closing date.
  • Direct engagement with prospects through phone calls was essential to ensure that any barriers to application or queries were identified well ahead of the application deadline.
  • Having observed that “little and often” contact with stakeholders was key to gaining their engagement, we identified key moments to ask for their support.

If you want to boost your community engagement either generally or for a specific reason, do reach out to us.