Reinventing the Demo

I work for PGi.  We are a technology company and we sell two primary software prodcuts – GlobalMeet and iMeet.  The way we sell our products, is to show our products.  To do demos.

But, in this day and age, customers are much less likely to sit through a full demo with a sales rep.  Most want to evaluate our products on their terms.  When it’s convenient for them.

Studies have shown that customers are about 70% of the way through the purchase process before they even engage with a sales rep.  What are they doing during that time?  They are online.  Looking at our website.  Reading reviews.  Doing research.

So, we know it’s important to build content that lets a customer demo the product on his or her own time.  The only problem is that these demos can be really boring.  Most are just a slow walkthrough of the user experience with a monotone voiceover.  They don’t exactly get you excited to buy the product.

We’ve done a lot of these demos at PGi and they work fine.  But, they don’t really engage the customer in a meaningful way.  And when we look at the analytics, we haven’t generated much activity.  You can see an example below.

So, we wanted to try something different.  We looked at a lot of online software demos.  The ones we found most engaging were on editorial sites like CNET.  You see a person talking about software and giving commentary about the features.  It’s not surprising that CNET reviews get hundreds of thousands of views.  These videos are pretty compelling.  See an example below.

So, we decided to take a shot at a new demo format similar to what they do on editorial review sites like CNET.  We shot 20 videos about our iMeet product, focusing on a range of innovative features.  Becuase I’m very familiar with the product I decided to do the demos myself along with a co-worker.  We talked about real hiring actors, but felt that these videos needed be authentic.  It’s like you’re coming into my office and I’m just casually telling you about this really cool product.  It’s not a sales pitch.  It’s just a conversation.  Plus, it’s nice to see the passion and excitement of the people who work at the comapany.   It creates more of a human connection with the customer.  You can see an example below:

I have to admit, these were a lot harder to produce than I originally thought.  You have to think through the story you want to tell and then be very consise in the way you communicate (not my strength).  I also hate seeing myself on video.  But, thanks to my good friends at ECG Productions, these demos turned out very well.

We just loaded the first six videos to our PGi YouTube page and they’ve gotten several hunderd views so far.  We’ll continue to look at the analytics to see if this new demo format is more effective.  But, the inital results are very positive.

Let me know what you think of these new demos?  Do they work or should we go back to the old standard demos?  Let me know.

One Comment on “Reinventing the Demo

  1. Pingback: The Blooper Reel | single-minded proposition

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