Eiler Success Stories
Media relations drives product and brand launch for Ditech
- Client Background
Ditech is a nationwide provider of residential mortgage loans and financial services driven by the belief that people are smart - and that they should be treated that way with smart products and services. Customers can choose from a variety of Ditech products based on their specific needs, such as first mortgages, refinancing, second mortgages and equity lines of credit. As a business unit of leading real estate finance company GMAC ResCap (Residential Capital, LLC), Ditech provides customers with the security of working with one of America’s largest residential lenders.
Ditech was founded in 1995 to provide mortgage loans faster and more efficiently than traditional brick-and-mortar lenders by servicing the customer directly instead of relying on an intermediary. This “di”rect “tech”nology solution gave Ditech its name. The company introduced its paperless online mortgage origination process as customers were beginning to embrace the Internet as a purchasing tool, and business took off.
After hiring a number of new executives and conducting extensive market research, Ditech decided to initiate a brand makeover. Its research revealed that, despite high brand awareness, people perceived Ditech as a subprime lender, and many would not consider it for a home loan. The perception was inaccurate – Ditech is a mostly prime lender.
In an effort to realign image with identity, the company name was changed from ditech.com to Ditech, and a new advertising campaign and buying strategy were created. Ditech also instituted a new employee communications program and decided to launch a proactive public relations campaign to announce both the new brand and a new group of home financing products for consumers. Eiler Communications’ role in the launch initiative was to help communicate news of the re-launch and new products to consumers through proactive media outreach.
There was almost too much news to communicate. Eiler needed to find a way to announce multiple new products, a new brand and introduce the company’s newly-hired executives to media, all at the same time.
Eiler recommended the PR portion of the launch focus on promoting Ditech’s new products to consumers while using new language and company messaging to support the broader marketing campaign (“People are Smart”). It was also important to establish the new Ditech executives as thought leaders among the key mortgage trade publications.
After speaking with some key influencers among the mortgage press, Eiler noticed that many had the same inaccurate perceptions about Ditech as consumers. A successful launch would require Ditech to educate and communicate the history of its business in a new way.
Eiler created new background materials about the company and a press release announcing its new products. The writing style was changed from formal to conversational. Eiler worked with Ditech executives to identify new key messages for the company – the central themes of the brand to guide all future engagement with media.
Prior to the official launch date, key media contacts were sent a flash drive depicting Ditech’s new logo containing soft copies of the new written materials. Eiler wanted to make it easy for reporters to upload and access the information, and as an e-lender it made sense for Ditech to send its news in an innovative way.
Eiler scheduled a day’s worth of interviews with target reporters on launch day for Ditech executives. Marketing reporters were invited to view the new commercials in advance and interview Ditech about its campaign strategy. Eiler arranged interviews with CNNMoney, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, American Banker, U.S. Banker, Origination News, Mortgage Banking, Home Equity News, AdWeek and Brandweek and others.
The new Ditech ad campaign was discussed on a number of blogs and mentioned in The New York Times. In total, the resulting news was viewed by more than 2 million.