Read our new manifesto

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 reveal the challenges faced and strategies used.

The challenge

Samsung knew that the key to a successful launch of their flagship Galaxy S10 device was mobilizing an army of sales reps across the country. To this end, Iris set to the task of creating an experiential training program to educate and engage Verizon sales reps by increasing their product knowledge, training them on unique selling propositions and inspiring them to recommend Samsung over competitors. Ultimately, our most important objective was to create maximum influence at retail by winning over Verizon sales reps and making them more likely to push the Galaxy S10 to customers.

The strategy

With limited time and attention spans, we strategically chose to subvert the traditional approach to B2B training – who really wants to sit in front of another PowerPoint presentation? We recognized that the most effective learning tools evoked multi-sensory approaches. We also understood that getting an emotional response from the reps would make room for 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 popularity of celebrity film festivals, we rolled out the red carpet and welcomed the Verizon reps to a one-of-a-kind, hands-on film festival: The Infinity Screening.

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

For the main attraction, we teamed up with YouTube content creator Bad Lip Reading to create four spoof short films using famous movies to illustrate each 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. Following the screening of the films, Samsung master trainers brought the sales reps into movie-themed rooms for hands-on device training and demos.

As a final curtain call, the best performing sales reps were invited onstage and given a Samsung 'Oscar' at the closing awards ceremony. We 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 reviews were in, and the Infinity Screening program was officially a blockbuster! In fact, it was so successful that it created an important precedent for all Samsung Verizon device launches to come, resulting in similar training experiences used for all of the following device launches in 2019 and we are currently looking to replicate this EnterTRAINment model for our next device launch in 2020.

“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 rep attendee

“It was fun. Full of laughter. Came out the event with more knowledge about the S10 then what I knew.” - Verizon sales rep attendee

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.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis