In 2015 I was a Copywriter at a marketing and communications agency in Antwerp. They’re experts at helping high-tech indsustrial giants differentiate themselves and their products in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. One of my favourite projects was the Dialog DA15100 worldwide product launch.
Dialog Semiconductor, with revenues exceeding $1.3BN, powers the smart connected world by designing and building the semiconductors (or ‘chips’) found in all sorts of industrial and consumer electronics. In recent years Dialog’s focus has been mobile computing and IoT.
The DA15100 was Dialog’s answer to the massive problem of IoT interoperability which, in 2015, was throttling product innovation and slowing the uptake of IoT devices in the smart home. How can a home be smart if the devices in it can’t talk to each other?
My brief was to craft the story that would convince a global audience the DA15100 was a gamechanger for building interoperable IoT devices.
The agency had a defined process for crafting messaging and value propositions. It’s a five-part process:
- In-house market research to understand the current market context
- Customer research to understand current pain points the product can address
- Product research to get the technical capabilities and features that need to be transformed into a compelling story
- Draft messaging and value propositions for client comment
- Final versions for production based on client feedback
Big players had recently entered the market. They were offering their own ecosystems, all of them operating on different networking protocols:
- Apple HomeKit on WiFi
- Google Thread on 802.15.4
- Samsung SmartThings on ZigBee
Devices from different ecosystems were unable to communicate. As is so often the case the giants were building themselves walled gardens to play in at the expense of everyone else.
This lack of interoperability was making it extremely difficult for designers to create products for the smart home. No one wants to manufacture three different versions of the same product. Even worse, it was slowing the rate of consumer adoption.
Designers and engineers were also worried about security. Competing standards, in their eyes, added insecurity to a market (IoT devices) already perceived as insecure.
I’d found two major pain points:
- Lack of interoperability causing expensive design and build overheads and slowing consumer uptake of products
- Security concerns
I reviewed the technical product specifications and talked with the designers and engineers to get the raw technical capabilities of the DA15100:
- A single chip
- Operates on both Bluetooth® Smart (BLE) and IEEE® 802.15.4
- Embedded hardware cryptography engine
- Low power consumption
- SmartSnippets™ tooling
I transformed my research and the DA15100’s features into a compelling value proposition. Here’s a snippet:
There needs to be a single secure interoperable solution – one that can talk to all things smart, streamline the development of secure IoT applications, and bridge current gaps between the different standards. The DA15100 secures the future of home automation, providing a simple, cost-effective and interoperable solution for those trying to navigate the IoT standards minefield.
Dialog was thrilled but wanted to expand the brief. Leaning on huge industry clout, Dialog’s internal team had devised an ambitious plan: lay the foundation for BLE and 802.15.4 to become the leading standards for IoT. Then use this as a basis for marketing the DA15100. The deliverables for this campaign were:
- Two 15-slide keynote presentations complete with scripts to be delivered by different speakers at the Bluetooth Asia and Bluetooth Europe 2015 conferences that told the story of IoT interopability to the world
- Value propositions for the various regional in-house marketing departments of Dialog to base their marketing campaigns around
- A 2000-word whitepaper that told this bold story and shared the nitty gritty technical capabilities of the DA15100 for designers and engineers
The DA15100 went on to propel interoperability across countless IoT devices across the world.