New edutainment options for B2B websites

Let’s face it. Your B2B website faces tons of competition for your customers’ attention. You used to just have to educate prospective buyers, but now you also have to entertain them so they don’t get bored and click away before you get your key points across.

Text and professional quality photos are no longer enough. You need to “tell your story” fast and with as much impact as possible. If you don’t, your competition may get the business – not because their product or service is better, but because they explained it better…and faster.

As a creative agency, we help B2B companies tell their stories with videos, animations and interactive tools. I’d like to showcase some that have been very successful.  This entry is about edutaining on a website using animated videos. “I should put a cash recycler in my ticket vending machine, why?”

MEI_why_Recycle_buttonMEI is an electronics company that manufactures nifty devices let people pay for purchases without a cashier. One of their products is a cash recycler which goes in ticket vending machines placed in railway stations and parking garages. When travelers go to these machines to buy a ticket, the cash recycler “pulls in” dollar bills, validates they are not counterfeit, and stores them securely until they are needed as change for future transactions.

MEI’s cash recycling product is a clear advance in technology, but prospective buyers of ticket machines – mass transit companies like Amtrak and New Jersey Transit – don’t know it.  They’ve been building their machines the traditional way for so long that they aren’t aware something better exists. The sale is even more challenging because so many job functionsneed to be involved in this purchase, including IT staff, loss prevention, purchasing and upper management. Each of these groups needs to understand a different aspect of the product.

Even if the MEI sales rep was in the same room with the transit company management, it would be challenging to explain how the product works using words alone. A product demo isn’t a slam dunk either because the product just looks like any other mechanical device. The real benefits only emerge when seeing the recycler in use in a mass transit environment.

To meet all these challenges, we helped MEI create a microsite specifically to build the case for this specific audience. One of the interactive elements of the site is an animated video that lets prospective buyers “see” the product in action in a train station setting.  The 2-minute video compares two ticket machines – one with the traditional technology and one with the new technology, “demonstrating” the clear ROI to management. An animated video works well in this case because it uses “generic” ticket machines rather than a specific customer’s product. It also bypasses the challenges – logistical and legal – of filming in an actual public setting.  To view the animation, click here and then the yellow play button on the right side of the page.

Chris HenneghanChris is one of Schubert’s longest-standing employees, starting with the agency in 1987. She now serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist. Chris is a Notre Dame grad and enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and reading.

Schubert b2b