Bio-Rad Laboratories, Cisco, Micron Technology, PHC Biomedical, Siemens Industry, Thermo Fisher Scientific Share Their Stories of Success at Kaon’s Regional Seminars
Crossing state and industry lines, marketing and sales leaders from companies in the life sciences/biotechnology, industrial, and information technology fields shared the challenges, best practices, and results of their unique digital transformation journeys, during three regional Kaon Marketing Innovation Seminars, titled “A Road Map to Digital Transformation Success.” The common thread between them all is how groundbreaking and impactful these processes have been for their teams, their companies, and their customers.
Industry leading speakers at the seminars included:
- Sarilyn Johnson-Carter, Director of Sales at Bio-Rad Laboratories
- Spandana Lakkaramju, Global Digital Marketing Manager at Cisco
- Morgan Pearson, Senior Manager of Marketing Operations at Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Carl Radosevich, Head of Corporate Planning, Manager of Product & Business Intelligence at PHC Biomedical (formally Panasonic Healthcare)
- Heather Rickart, Head of Communications at Siemens Industry
- Tim Silk, Senior Manager, Systems Engineering, Data Center Technologies, U.S. Public Sector at Cisco
- Matt Wokas, Sales Enablement Manager at Micron Technology
Defining Digital Transformation
So, exactly what does digital transformation mean? Digital transformation is the use of digital technology to solve traditional problems. These digital solutions enable new types of innovation and creativity, driving business outcomes and change, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.
Every organization must create their own unique roadmap for digital transformation to overcome their specific business challenges and achieve corporate goals.
Morgan Pearson from Thermo Fisher Scientific and Tim Silk from Cisco explain their definitions in this short video from the Boston seminar.
Creating Snackable Content
Heather Rickart, Head of Communications at Siemens Industry, at the seminar in Chicago, defined digital transformation as the transition to “snackable, personalized content”, similar to social media, that finds buyers at the right time along their journey with the right message. Siemens’ transition to creating, deploying and adopting an interactive application initiated and propelled this transformation for them.
Until recently, Heather described Siemens as an old-school organization, relying on very traditional forms of printed marketing communication, with which their existing sales force was very comfortable. However, as their workforce is shifting and they are recruiting talent straight out of universities, they realized they needed to catch up and present themselves more innovatively.
The Siemens application, created to align with “The Challenger Sale” methodology, focuses on 10 vertical markets and horizontal segments (automation, fire, security, IOT, smart spaces) and is being used as a sales tool and at trade shows. It empowers 900+ global sales people to walk customers through data center content and to talk clearly and consistently about why Siemens is the expert, what the best practices are, and which Siemens solutions will solve the customer’s unique problem. Further through the buying cycle, the sales reps refer to the application and share links with their customers; it provides them with an easy touch point.
Returning to the concept of snackable content, Heather shared how the application content creation process forced them to pare down, making content that is concise, relevant and meaningful. It now is much more effective and accessible.
From Product Sellers to Interactive Storytellers
At the seminar in Santa Clara, Spandana Lakkaramju, Global Digital Marketing Manager at Cisco, demonstrated their CX Product and Services Catalog application – a virtual, fully interactive, 3D catalog containing every piece of hardware Cisco sells. As a long-standing customer, Cisco has continually found value in this application because it truly transformed the way that their sales team communicates, by giving them access to their virtual products EVERYWHERE, online or offline, regardless of device, geography, or venue.
From 3D product tours embedded into their website to augmented reality displays at Cisco Live, this application enables Cisco’s employees and customers to access photo-realistic, to-scale product models, with relevant product value messaging, anytime and anywhere. The application also includes several interactive stories that walk users through some of Cisco’s more complex, ethereal service products.
In Boston, Tim Silk, Senior Manager, Systems Engineering, Data Center Technologies, U.S. Public Sector at Cisco, demonstrated a new storytelling addition to the Cisco application, which has empowered their sales team in effectively telling their multi-cloud story.
This “Multicloud World” application communicates an intangible, complex concept in a way that is visually simplifying and engaging so that customers can understand and retain the value of Cisco’s cloud solution.
Micron Technology, a provider of OEM memory solutions, needed an interactive application to change the conversations their sales reps were having, focusing them on value-based discussions instead of price. “Our products are, literally, everywhere, and we really needed a way to show how our technology makes everyday life possible,” explained Matt Wokas, Sales Enablement Manager, during the Santa Clara seminar.
Kaon developed “The Storage Revolution” application that sets the stage of what is changing in the storage industry and why Micron’s solutions are so important. The three-tier layout, focusing on “drive change, deliver value, and make it possible,” allows them to tell their story and extrapolate the conversation with other parts of the business to talk in a broader way about a commoditized product.
The application is used on touch screens at trade shows to start conversations and generate leads; on tablets, smartphones, and laptops by the Micron sales force; and on Micron’s website – increasing session duration, lead qualification, and conversion rates.
Moving Biotechnology Buyers from Awareness to Decision-Making Faster
Perhaps no solution story is more complex or has a more potent impact than the inner workings of a laboratory. A cluster of intricate instruments and highly customized workflows all need to work harmoniously in a small space. Oddly enough, many of the products in modern-day labs have become commoditized, leaving competing marketers scrambling for differentiation points that set them apart.
Thermo Fisher Scientific already had realized the power of digital transformation on marketing and sales and are well into their journey. The marketing team elevated it to the next level when they introduced their digital lab design tool. They went from an antiquated, but common, analog way of laying out a lab using Post-It notes on graph paper to a fully digital, interactive, personalized, and precise laboratory design tool.
Morgan Pearson, Senior Manager of Marketing Operations at Thermo Fisher Scientific, demonstrated how this application enables Thermo Fisher Scientific sales reps to digitally lay out the customer’s lab, to precise scale, in customer meetings with all of their current furniture and instruments (including windows, doors, desks and accessories) and then insert Thermo Fisher Scientific products to see how they will fit and function in their actual laboratory space. Moreover, the customer can then experience their newly created digital lab in augmented reality (either life-size or on a tabletop) or virtual reality, creating an incredible and unparalleled emotional connection for the buyer.
Bio-Rad Laboratories also has harnessed the power of augmented reality (AR) to show how their products fit within a customer’s space, giving customers the ability to see and manipulate the products through photo-realistic, animated, 3D product models in a way they never could with physical products.
Demonstrating the application in Santa Clara, Sarilyn Johnson-Carter, Director of Sales at Bio-Rad, said that with AR, the conversation with the customer goes from “why” would they want our product to “where” should they put it. She stressed that these interactive and innovative applications completely shift the conversation with the customer, leading them through the buyer’s journey faster and more effectively.
PHC Biomedical (PHCbi) was facing a huge logistical challenge of shipping hardware all over the world, and in the case of some of the larger lab equipment, it was almost impossible to transport. They found the perfect solution with photo-realistic, virtual, 3D product tours that enabled customers to interact, explore, and uncover product features, functions, and value differentiation messaging. Running on Kaon’s platform, PHCbi also had access to their 3D product models in AR, which allowed them to virtually show products within their trade show booth, at scale, without actually having their physical products present.
Now, as Carl Radosevich demonstrated in Chicago, PHCbi marketers can “virtually” bring their products to hundreds of small, niche trade shows and university events. The product marketing team says the application is “super valuable” as a way to provide virtual, hands-on training for the global sales teams and educate them about the equipment.
With the ability to share links with customers directly to these 3D products from the application, the application itself has become PHCbi’s collateral in the form of a modern, virtual handout to leave with customers and sales reps. Thoroughly embracing the digital transformation concept, the marketing team uses the application anywhere and everywhere traditional collateral would be: website, email blasts, fact sheets, brochures. It becomes a more innovative and reliable guide, with built-in metrics behind it, that the team can feel confident in given that 70-90 percent of their buyers’ decisions are made prior to talking to a sales rep.
Road Mapping Your Digital Transformation
It is interesting to note the commonalities among the challenges that prompt digital transformation across these different industries: a need to appear innovative and modern, a lack of consistent value message across global organizations, difficulties in demonstrating large and/or delicate products, and complex solution stories that sales and customers struggle to understand. Taking up the digital transformation torch can be risky and intimidating (real change always is), but each of these marketers has proven that it is both necessary and worthwhile to achieving success.
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