The Real Time Communications Tour
GENBAND is a global leader in telecommunications specializing in real-time communications software solutions. The company, which employs over 2,000 employees, provides software solutions through cloud services, client platforms, and element management systems that ultimately help connect people to each other and satisfy the increasing demands of today’s consumers and businesses for real-time communication.
In 2016, GENBAND won the Gold Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service. GENBAND places strong emphasis on satisfying customer needs and is constantly seeking innovative ways to increase ROI while engaging customers and generating buzz around new initiatives.
In fall of 2014 GENBAND launched Kandy.io, a new strategic initiative which aimed to provide a more engaging user experience for applications through the incorporation of real-time communication (RTC) capabilities. Kandy is GENBAND’s communication Platform-as-a-Service that allows companies of all sizes to incorporate RTC into their applications and business processes. The platform was built using GENBAND’s core communications, presence, security, and real time technologies.
Amazing ROI for 4% of total marketing budget
From new clients acquired across thirty 925 iN Motion tour events in 2015 and 2016.
A Tailored Tour
The number of dates and branding was agreed upon by Kandy and 925 iN Motion and all logistics were handled by 925 iN Motion including driving to, setting up, and tearing down each event.
Upon the Kandy launch, GENBAND was in need of a creative marketing solution that would introduce the software, generate buzz around the service, execute sales, and ultimately excite customers. The solution was found with 925 iN Motion, a leader in experiential marketing that allowed GENBAND to engage customers and thoroughly communicate Kandy’s value through interactive product demonstrations. 925 iN Motion handled logistics for a customized, six month tour throughout the US and Canada, allowing mobilization of business for Kandy and access to customers all throughout the country. With 925 iN Motion’s expertise, Kandy branded a 38-foot RV and outfitted it with seven demo stations to create the ultimate customized mobile showroom.
The vehicle was wired with business-class LTE internet to allow seamless connectivity in any location. 925 iN Motion interfaced with GENBAND’s internal sales and marketing teams to fill up tour dates with targeted customers and schedule locations for each event. Overall, the tour consisted of 10 events held in customer parking lots and 2 trade show events. Each event was unique to the city and the customers invited. Events were complete with food trucks, often live music, hackathons, and product demonstrations.
925 iN Motion provided an innovative approach to product interaction and engagement with customers for GENBAND/Kandy. According to Kandy CEO Paul Pluschkell, Kandy was attributed 10% of GENBAND’s annual marketing budget. Of Kandy’s total marketing budget, roughly 40% was invested in a year long partnership with 925 iN Motion, whereas the other 60% went to trade shows and other marketing efforts.
Although the tour only cost Kandy 40% of their annual marketing budget, it yielded exponentially larger results than the other 60%. CEO Pluschkell attends to the successes achieved by the Kandy tour.
“The tour has been the single greatest part of Kandy’s marketing efforts for the last two years. Instead of being constricted to showcasing products to companies in a trade show environment, the tour allowed us to interact with company decision makers directly, on their own campus and their own time. We got full attention on our products from the people who matter most, allowing them to fully experience our brand,” says Pluschkell.
The majority of Kandy’s most valuable US customers were acquired during the 2015-2016 Kandy tour. Pluschkell went on to say around 400 leads were generated from the tour events, and he feels confident that many of these relationships will evolve into new partners in only a matter of time.
Kandy engaged with C-level executives at roughly 60% of tour stops. In fact, every stop with a C-level executive in attendance resulted in a signed deal. This fact plays into the real value of 925 iN Motion’s service, which involves the type of engagements fostered with customers. “Most of the tour events stood on their own, independent of a trade show and were typically held at a customer’s premise. With a customer’s complete attention on us, we were able to efficiently communicate the value of Kandy, while cultivating genuine, long-term relationships with new and existing customers,” says Bita Milanian, SVP Global Marketing GENBAND.
Overall, the tour resulted in an astronomical 1200% return on investment. Success of this magnitude is unheard of in this industry, before implementing experiential marketing.
“Marketing and sales is no longer a guessing game consisting of dumping huge sums of money into a trade show and hoping for a large turnout. We flip the model. Our team at 925 will work with each client first hand to reach out to targeted customers and ensure the presence of C-level executives at events before the money is invested,” says Joe O’Loughlin, President of 925 iN Motion.