For Kiva Systems, the Woburn, Mass., developer of robotic solutions for distribution and order fulfillment operations, the maxim "seeing is believing" permeates the marketing process. With a technological solution for order picking that deviates from the norm and can seem a little space age, the company knows words and pictures alone do not suffice in the selling process.
"If you wanted to convey an important but incremental innovation, you could compare your technology to another conventional offering. People usually form a picture in their mind when it's something that's quite familiar and essentially an improvement over a well-understood product. But Kiva's technology is not merely an improvement, and so people won't believe our claims at all until they see the robot automation in action," says Mitch Rosenberg, Kiva Systems' vice president of marketing. "Short of flying people to a distribution center, that's often in a remote and hard-to-reach geography, the fastest way to give them that experience is with video over the Internet."
While the B-to-B marketer has been using video to reach prospects for years, its prior method consisted of creating custom DVDs or CDs and mailing them to leads. With the implementation of video-sharing technology from Lexington, Mass.-based Wistia, Kiva Systems has moved this process online and gained immediate benefits.
"With online video, the time lag [between prospect interest and video fulfillment] is very short, the quality of the video is high, there is no incremental cost to sending additional video and there is very little labor, since there's no separate person who has to spend their day replicating video," Rosenberg explains.
But even more valuable is the tracking tools that Kiva Systems' sales force can leverage for additional insight into prospective customers' levels of interest. Rosenberg notes that with the old method of mailing DVDs, the sales team had no idea if the video was "viewed once by a low-level person or seven times up the hierarchy of the decision-making process." Now, sales representatives can see if their leads watched the videos, how many times they watched, which parts of the videos they watched more than once, whether they shared the videos with colleagues and who those people are, and more.