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Samsung rolled out the red carpet to train Verizon sales reps

Iris won the B2B category at The Drum Marketing Awards US 2020 with its Samsung Infinity Screening activation. Here, the team behind the project reveals the challenges faced and strategies used.

The challenge

Samsung knew that the key to a successful launch of their flagship Galaxy S10 device would be mobilizing an army of sales reps across the country. To this end, Iris began creating an experiential training program to educate and engage Verizon sales reps. It aimed to increase their product knowledge, train them in unique selling propositions, and inspire them to recommend Samsung over competitors. The final objective was to create maximum influence at retail by making Verison reps more likely to suggest the Galaxy S10 to customers.

The strategy

Sensing limited time and attention spans, the team at Iris decided to subvert the traditional approach to B2B training – who really wants to sit in front of another PowerPoint presentation? They recognised that the most effective learning tools are multi-sensory, and that an emotional response from the reps would reinforce the educational aspects of the training and lead to greater retention.

So, taking cues from pop culture trends, Iris built a training program that did not look or feel like a typical corporate training experience, but instead engaged sales reps through interactive experiences that mapped to their passions.

The campaign

Inspired by the new Galaxy S10’s oversized display and the enduring popularity of film festivals, Iris rolled out the red carpet and welcomed the Verizon reps to a one-of-a-kind, hands-on festival: The Infinity Screening.

Following the launch of the Galaxy S10, Verizon sales reps were invited to attend Samsung Infinity Screening events in three key markets across the United State – Denver, Atlanta and New York. Through a combination of events in unique theatre environments and customized film festival-inspired kits delivered to Verizon stores, Iris transformed device training into a series of surprise-and-delight experiences. Attendees were given the celebrity treatment upon arrival, complete with a red carpet and 'paparazzi' taking their photos.

For the main attraction, YouTube content creator Bad Lip Reading provided four original parodies of famous movies, each designed to illustrate one feature of the Galaxy S10: a scary movie about the horror of running out of battery power, a romance about falling in love with a camera, and so on. After the screening, Samsung master trainers brought the sales reps into movie-themed rooms for hands-on device training and demonstrations.

Finally, the best performing sales reps were invited onstage and given an Oscar-inspired Samsung Award at a closing ceremony. Iris extended the experience by creating illustrated movie posters, collectible tickets, feature-inspired candy, and lots of popcorn. Those items were also sent to Verizon stores around the country to help train those who couldn’t attend the Infinity Screening events in-person.

The results

The Samsung Infinity Screening activation trained over 3,000 Verizon sales staff and represented the first large scale training activation of its kind, with the previous year’s program only having a small event-based training for 50 people total. After the Infinity Screening training, 90% of participants felt 'highly confident' in speaking about multiple features of the device, and 92% of attendees said they would 'highly recommend' Samsung to customers at the end of the training.

The Infinity Screening program created an important precedent for all Samsung Verizon device launches to come. As a result similar training experiences were used for new device launches in the year following. Samsung continue to replicate this model, now called EnterTRAINment.

Testimonials

“Iris did an amazing job with the Infinity Screening. Not only was the concept beautifully executed, but it was also effective – helping Verizon sales reps to truly understand the new features of the S10 and how to explain them to consumers. This was definitely a win for Samsung and our relationship with Verizon and revolutionized the way we approach training our partners’ teams.” – Lyndsey Allison Williams, regional sales director, Samsung

“I really enjoyed how all the great features of the new phones were related back to human interactions and needs. I learned more details on the function of some of the features and loved to learn ways to relate these back to my customers.” – Verizon sales representative

“It was fun. Full of laughter. I came out the event with more knowledge about the S10 than before.” - Verizon sales representative

This project was a winner at The Drum Marketing Awards US 2020. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entries, click here.

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