Abode: Perfecting Pepcom

The Client

Abode is a leading provider of DIY smart home security solutions, specializing in easy-to-use, secure, scalable, and highly customizable systems to fit any user’s needs. Abode offers three distinct systems – the Abode Security Kit, the Abode iota All-In-One Security Kit, and the Abode Smart Security Kit – each available at different price points to offer affordability and functionality. With a dedicated focus on cross-platform interoperability, all Abode DIY security kits feature deep integrations with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest Thermostats, Bose, and Sonos systems. Presently, Abode is the only provider to offer an Apple HomeKit-certified DIY smart home security solution. In addition to robust DIY home security kits, Abode offers a deep portfolio of add-on home security and smart home devices that can be used as stand-alone solutions or seamlessly integrated into an Abode system.  

The Strategy

By our admission, we’re an agency that firmly believes any preparation efforts for a tradeshow should start three months in advance at the very least. In this case, the team faced down the largest consumer electronics show with just 16 business days to prepare. We had to act quickly with the press release and messaging requiring approvals across three companies.  

The most critical component of this expedited launch plan revolved around securing final approval of the press release and foundational messaging before the holiday break to ensure Caster would have ample time to conduct outreach to the press under embargo. Caster promptly kicked off information sourcing calls with Abode project managers, engineers, and the chief technology officer, following our established processes to source all the relevant information required to draft the press release. From here, Caster oversaw the development and approvals of the materials, serving as an extension of Abode’s marketing team to ensure finalization ahead of the holidays.  

Caster also needed to support Abode in selecting the best CES-adjacent media event for the coordinated media announcement of the Abode Edge Camera. Having participated in media-only events for the past two decades, Caster’s recommendation was the Pepcom Digital Experience in Las Vegas, due to the event’s strategic timing on the evening before the opening day of CES. As a media-only event, Pepcom provides an opportunistic window for participating companies to engage strictly with the press for several hours and break major stories before the official opening of the larger CES show.  

However, simply attending a media event like Pepcom is not a sufficient solo tactic to break through the clutter of CES. While many media events like Pepcom provide a press list, the list is not made available until after the event has transpired. Caster implemented aggressive, dedicated embargo pitching efforts to high-value press and targeted media publications to ensure coverage at launch. This involved cultivating and pitching a list of hundreds of press who may find the news interesting for their audiences, ranging across beats including smart home, IoT, security, consumer electronics, and home design, as well as specialty outlets covering Google, Amazon, and Apple news.  

With materials finalized, Caster hit the ground running in the week between the holiday break and New Years Day. The team compiled the finalized assets, added them to an embargoed digital press kit, and initiated the pre-show outreach campaign. During one of the highest-volume pitching seasons for technology journalists, it was critical to reach our high-value targets with as much time as possible before the launch to be considered for coverage.