Fujitsu Generates $25 Million in Online Sales Opportunities by Reusing Trade Show Virtual Product Demos
Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. is an innovator in Connection-Oriented Ethernet and optical transport technologies, and is a marketleading provider of SONET, WDM, and packet optical networking solutions. Fujitsu Network Communications is supported by Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), a $50B dollar global corporation, with approximately 170,000 professionals in 70 countries. Fujitsu optical networking products are sophisticated and typically large in size, often weighing between 50 and 300 pounds.
Fujitsu’s significant outbound marketing efforts include exhibition in nearly a dozen major trade shows and up to 75 regional events per year. For inventory control purposes, products for demonstration must be ‘rented’ from the company’s inventory department for use. While the cost represents only a fraction of the value of the product, based on the time it is out of stock, these expenses still total hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. To illustrate how significant product costs can be, take for example a 10X10 booth. In a smaller space, one rack of equipment would likely be required. A single rack, which weighs approximately 700 pounds, holds two to three shelves which support 20 to 25 cards. The total “street” value of the single rack of equipment equals approximately $65,000, with a per-month use charge for the exhibition of $1,805. This expenditure is product cost alone and does not take into account shipping, drayage, handling and space requirements. For larger events, which can require up to eight racks, rental costs can exceed $18,000 per month.
According to Michael Rapp, Senior Manager of Marketing Operations for Fujitsu, “We needed to significantly reduce our direct expense budget, and the most obvious way we could see to do so was by reducing the number of products we procured for demonstration.” Rapp continued, “Aside from the cost, we were also being confined by space and needed a solution that would enable us to showcase the breadth of our offerings at all trade shows, customer engagements and sales presentations.”
It quickly became apparent to Fujitsu that the only way to overcome their obstacles was to create digital representations of their products–digital versions that look, behave and perform the same way as their physical products. The search for companies that could provide this technology brought them to Kaon Interactive. Kaon’s photo-realistic, interactive 3D Product Tours allow users to rotate, view and measure products from every angle, explore unique features, and view animated product demonstrations to deliver a dynamic customer experience, while significantly reducing costs. Kaon’s solutions allow marketing and sales teams to showcase full product and solutions portfolios anywhere and anytime, eliminating the need to ship physical samples to trade shows, sales presentations, and other venues. This product accessibility, drastically reduced the costs surrounding acquiring products, shipping, drayage, travel expenses, and printed collateral.
3D Products — Virtually Everywhere
Rapp contends, “Kaon offers a more sustainable model to showcase our products. With budgets being cut, we would have otherwise had to pare back the number of engagements, or the amount of product we could showcase.” Using Kaon’s 3D Product Tours, Fujitsu required 70% less product inventory at trade shows annually, and associated equipment shipping costs decreased by 84%. Kaon’s technology is being deployed at 90% of Fujitsu’s trade shows and sales events. The availability of the Kaon solution has allowed Fujitsu to be present at smaller events and still demonstrate the Fujitsu portfolio in a highly cost-effective manner, whereas without this capability they would not have been able to demonstrate products and solutions at these smaller events.
The Kaon v-Brief® helped Fujitsu seamlessly simplify their sophisticated product stories by weaving together virtual 3D product demonstrations, interactive flow diagrams, video, collateral and PowerPoint presentations. The result is the cohesive communication of strategic messaging, product overviews and detailed information. Kaon’s interactive content could be deployed on laptops, desktops, websites, iPads and on the Kaon v-OSK®, a large high-definition touch-screen appliance.
In any venue, the interactive 3D Product Tours put customers in control of their own experiences with the ability to explore features and options with incredible realism.
The Kaon v- Brief also affords Fujitsu with the opportunity to demonstrate complete solutions portfolios, as opposed to just products. “This is a way for us to position solutions pre-sale, and allow customers to grasp the full depth of our portfolio offerings. The technology allows us the opportunity to open the spectrum to greater options and potential sales.”
Capturing on Cross-Marketing Opportunities
Extraordinary interactivity allows Fujitsu’s customers to experience products by viewing them from every angle and exploring options and features that are of interest to them. With Kaon’s virtual interactive experiences, sales engagements become non-linear, leaving the customer in control of the process. The combination of the virtual product and solutions demonstrations and relevant product messaging created a more engaging and memorable customer experience. In the first six months of their deployment, interactive product models and PDFs downloadable from the corporate website drove almost $25M into the sales opportunity pipeline.
Once Fujitsu realized the benefits of using Kaon’s engaging solutions on the Kaon v-OSK touch-screen appliances at trade shows and regional events, Rapp repurposed the content for various channels. Today, Fujitsu’s content has been proliferated within Fujitsu and made available within the following departments:
Marketing: Fujitsu’s marketing team leverages Kaon’s interactive 3D PDFs and web models on the company website to better understand and track customer behavior and buying patterns. The availability of this valuable information allows the marketers to promptly gauge interest from prospects.
Sales: Deployed on numerous sales team laptops, Kaon’s virtual experiences allow Fujitsu to tell a bigger and more compelling solutions story to prospects and customers, and demonstrate that solutions are part of a value chain, not just a commodity. With the interactive content, Fujitsu is able to consistently offer an elevator pitch that is customizable to the customer in every sales meeting or engagement.
Education: Fujitsu discovered that Kaon’s technology is extremely effective in introducing and
demonstrating new products to employees as well. As with sales events, physical products are no longer necessary to procure for these sessions.
Beyond the departments referenced above, the content has been syndicated for use with far-flung offices and several channel partners, who also experienced notable success.
The ROI Advantage
For Fujitsu, being able to deliver complete solutions stories virtually has translated into dramatic cost-savings and increased sales, while customers encounter an incredibly engaging and customized experience. Not only is Fujitsu able to present anywhere and anytime, but virtualization also allows the company to participate in far more trade shows and sales events, providing the ever-important opportunity for more face-to-face interactions with prospects and customers.
In addition to improved customer engagement and sales traction across the board at all participating events, Fujitsu was also able to decrease annual internal product inventory by 70%, reduce annual costs associated with ‘renting’ products internally by 53% (or approximately $110,000) and decrease annual equipment shipping weight by an astonishing 84%. While experiencing these significant savings, Fujitsu was able to better invest monies previously used for hardware display in opportunities that enhance presence and the value to the customer at smaller, more strategic events.
Interactive 3D Product PDFs and online 3D Product Tours generated over 1,518 leads and numerous sales opportunities in the first six months of deployment, valued at approximately $25M. “Kaon has been instrumental in helping us to implement our new strategy of shifting the focus of our events from just a few large shows annually, to targeting smaller, more nimble, niche events.” Rapp continued, “The deployment of the Kaon solution allowed our exhibit marketing efforts to thrive during the economic downturn of the last year or so. We found the adaptability and efficiency of Kaon solutions allowed us to quickly and conclusively document ROI.”