A few months ago, I pinged some colleagues with an idea; last week, that idea came to life in the form of a new video.
Back in August 2016 (OK, so we’re stretching the meaning of “few”), I sent a short note to folks on our Marketing Communications and Corporate Communications teams:
Just an idea (maybe a resuscitation)…
Last week when [account manager] was here, he shared that the facility tour led by Brad had a huge positive impact on [customer]. They already liked us, but the tour – which stopped in at manufacturing, the labs, etc. – really drove home how ‘serious’ or ‘real’ of a company we are.
Perhaps a video that showcases the same stuff might come in really handy from a competitive and vendor vetting standpoint, especially for the majority of situations when a prospect isn’t able to visit. I don’t think this’d be the same as the corporate vid that’s been tossed about in the past, as this one would have a specific intent to show our suitability as a trusted solution vendor; and I’m not thinking anything really long is needed…anyway, just an idea.
With that, my work was mostly done (I love being an ideas guy!). From then on, the project was led by our very capable Digital Marketing Specialist, Josh Cronk.
A few extra points of context and clarification:
- [account manager] = One of our account managers. I’ve worked directly with him a number of times in the past and consider him a friend; importantly, and perhaps more relevant, I trust his opinion and knew that he’d be completely honest with us as we sought his input during the project.
- Brad = Brad Siim, one of the company’s founders (you’ll see him feature in the video).
- “corporate vid” = A general video about the company, what we do, etc. My proposal above is for a video that assumes the person watching already knows who we are and what we do, and is already in the process of picking a vendor/solution.
We often host customer or prospect visits at our HQ or in one of our regional offices, and the feedback we’ve received is very positive. Visitors love that they’re meeting a wide range of team members, that they get to walk through our manufacturing (most of our competitors outsource their manufacturing), that they can feel the fans blasting in our software lab – it’s a very real, very sensory, very visceral, very genuine experience. They came away from these visits with a strong belief that they could trust us a solution vendor.
One final, critical piece of context: consider that before visiting our HQ, most customers or prospects have had relatively limited interactions with us, as a team. They’ve no doubt met with their account team on many occasions, and have probably had some visits from other people , or maybe they chatted with us at a tradeshow – but we’re still only talking a single-digit number of Sandviners. And sure, maybe they’ve been to our website, and read some material…but that’s a pretty passive way to engage with us. By contrast, in a single visit to HQ a visitor might meet 20 new people, ranging from our executive team, to product marketing and product management, to our global services organization, to the very engineers who build and test the products that the visitors are considering.
So, our goal was to capture the essence of a visit and to elicit the feelings that a visit generates, at least as much as the video medium allows. Ultimately, we wanted to show why a prospect should choose – should trust – Sandvine.
To get the ball rolling, we had a quick brainstorm sessions to capture our thoughts, and we solicited input from account teams who had brought folks to visit HQ.
Just before posting to YouTube, Josh asked me, “Hey, what do we want to call this?”
In conversations, we’d referred to the video in a few different ways, mostly variations of “Sandvine: A Trusted Vendor”, but that seemed a bit meh.
I suggested, “Why not just call it, ‘Why Choose Sandvine’?” After all, that’s the question we’re trying to answer. And with that, up it went.
My thanks to all the Sandviners who participated along the way, and to the folks at Memory Tree for helping our vision come to life!