B2B inspiration #3: Making the intangible tangible
One of the toughest challenges to be reckoned with in B2B SaaS marketing is promoting an often intangible offering.
How do you talk about and explain something that you can’t see? For example a warehousing system or cloud solution that is hard to visualize because it works its magic “behind the scenes”. On top of that, how do you do it in an attention-grabbing and user-friendly way?
On the other hand, more “traditional” B2B companies struggle to promote their very tangible products (Physically tangible. Such as industrial machinery.) but that are very technically advanced (and therefore quite abstract in the sense that the details of their functionality can be hard to grasp for the mind). How do you explain the functionality of such a product to someone and make them quickly understand the benefits, without making them spend hours deciphering a spec sheet?
Here are two great inspirational examples of how to make the intangible tangible and the complicated, less so.
1. IBM Watson at US Open
About IBM Watson:
Watson is a question answering cloud-based artificial intelligence capable of answering questions posed in natural language. Initially developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy (which it won in 2011), it has now been commercialized and applied in a range of different industries for various purposes including decision management for cancer treatment, building codes, weather forecasting and tax preparation.
What they did:
For the launch of Watson Media (a new suite of AI-powered solutions on the IBM Cloud that analyze images, video, language, sentiment and tone) IBM set up a temporary control center at Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open. The purpose? To serve the fans with real time analyses of audio and video that was then displayed during the tournament (e.g. using machine learning to understand players’ styles).
Why it’s inspiring:
- This was a brilliant way to show a very abstract concept (AI) in an everyday, understandable way. It explains Watson's potential and triggers the imagination for future applications without the need for complicated words.
- It's part of a series of similar initiatives. E.g. in March 2017 IBM Watson Created a Modern Sculpture Inspired by Gaudí, the famous Spanish architect.
2. Atlas Copco - The Simba S7 Trick Shot
About Atlas Copco:
Atlas Copco is a Swedish industrial company that manufactures industrial tools and equipment.
What they did:
In 2016, Atlas Copco launched a campaign that was marketing a highly advanced piece of machinery, the Simba S7. Its main benefit was boiled down to a single word: precision. Supported by a landing page containing details and technical facts, the campaign's main act was the following video:
Why it's inspiring:
- Sometimes a one-minute video says more than a thousand words!