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The Battle Of Blasé

AN INSIDE LOOK AT SALES COLLATERAL

Is it just us, or does it seem like marketers often save all the good creativity, design, content and interactivity for consumers? The sales force gets the short end of the stick— especially when it comes to merchandising and training materials. We worked with one client to change that.

Through an extensive overhaul, we helped our client transform their approach to marketing through their sales channel. Bye, bye stale/redundant/long-format sales materials. Hello interactive/content-rich/easy-to-navigate sales app!

PRELUDE TO A FACELIFT

Our client has a network of over 200 area sales managers (ASMs) throughout the country. In a nutshell, they support, educate and train their enormous retail and single/multi-family homebuilder channels. Traditionally, merchandising and training teams would separately produce a litany of materials for ASMs to use with their customers. The list was extensive. And it grew. And it grew. And it grew. Until, one day…

POP!! Someone looked at the staggering amount of collateral produced and spit out their Starbucks.


GO FORTH AND STREAMLINE

The marketing team was finally ready to change their collateral strategy. It was a long time coming.

They turned to Power for a progressive solution that would not only save costs, but also improve content. We were ideally suited. Our troops were on the ground, listening and responding to requests from the merchandising and training teams. We knew what type of information was essential in the field—and what was superfluous.

On the other side of the coin, leadership in our account and creative departments had a 30,000-foot vantage point from which to identify systemic patterns in everything from printing costs to brand inconsistencies. We had a plan.

Eliminate inefficiencies and redundancies, while improving and simplifying content, by consolidating numerous printed materials into multi-purpose sales tools.

Although the proposal to migrate sales materials wasn’t innovative (by any stretch), it would require a monumental undertaking. Consolidation of merchandising and training content was half the battle.



BETTER, STRONGER, FASTER

We called it the Sales Education Guide (aka “The SEG”) and designed it as a focused communication platform with digital/print adaptability. Our proposal was to produce both print and digital versions for now. And, hopefully, migrate away from print after a few years with an oh-so-gentle push on the sales force. We’ll let you know how that turns out. Meanwhile…

Our SEG approach, for both print and digital, incorporated a simplified content template featuring predetermined categories designed to:

  • Make content easier to navigate, find and retain
  • Reduce the gratuitous process of creating “custom” versions
  • Standardize photo and video asset needs
  • Reduce content creation and execution costs
  • Maintain a consistent brand voice and user experience

Built-in flexibility in the categories gave our client’s various marketing teams the ability to tailor the selling message and imagery to their own product line AND their own audience: independent retailers, national account retailers or contract. They also had the ability to expand the scope of their content to go into greater detail, if desired.


TOUCH, SWIPE, PINCH, OH YEAH!

Since the dawn of the tablet, we’ve taken every opportunity to help our clients adopt the technology for sales channel marketing. The new SEG was perfectly suited as an app. In addition to the ability to easily and instantly update content (eliminating printing costs), the rich-content and interactive possibilities really got our client jazzed. In addition, it allowed us to leverage and integrate other existing brand assets—created in-house at Power, of course—to create an exciting, robust experience. For example:

VIDEOS

For several years, our creative and video teams developed an extensive catalog of video content for our client’s website (and still do, today). These videos ranged from product overviews to individual features. In the new SEG app, we were able to embed them.

PRODUCT SIMULATORS

Developed primarily for our client’s training teams to utilize in the field, this digital tool gave users the ability to interact with a control panel. In the new SEG app, these simulators were embedded to offer a more “hands-on” approach.


THE BIG EMBRACE

Qualitatively, the sophisticated and modern execution of the SEGs did wonders for brand impression. ASMs gave them glowing reviews and were told by many dealers that the brand, by far, had the “slickest, most professional” materials in the market

This is particularly important among dealers who have the option to offer multiple appliance brands, whether in-store or as part of a new home inclusion package. Brand impression matters, and has a big impact on future investment.

In addition, our client was thrilled with the positive response to the new streamlined and consolidated collateral strategy. They particularly liked the reduction of materials into a single impactful piece, with the flexibility to choose either print or digital formats.

Reports from the field revealed dealers thought the content was so user-friendly that they were using the printed SEGs as consumer brochures and point-of-purchase literature. We’re flattered, but we’d prefer they not, and are working with merchandising teams to develop a consumer-focused option.

PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPER

Obviously, we would have loved universal adoption of the tablet app. But it seems the tide is turning back toward print. Slightly.

We understand. Print is what the majority of our client’s sales force has always known (that’s why we agreed to produce both formats in the first place). But our hope was, once the channels had a chance to interface with the easy-to-use app, the migration would be swift. We may have lost that battle, but we won the war against antiquated sales collateral.

Product merchandisers, training materials, PowerPoints and every other type of marketing directed to the sales channel does not have to be stale and devoid of interest and personality. All can be interactive, engaging, visually stunning, educational, easy to browse—and even fun. With SEGs, we were able to prove it.

Let's get this party started

Glad you like what you see. If you're ready (or just about ready) to start talking about your next marketing need, tell us a bit about yourself and we'll put the wheels in motion.

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THANK YOU

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