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Strength in Numbers:
Sales Activation Through Storytelling Via Episodic Online Mini-Series

Pitching Beans Hits The Small Screen

The X-Factor For Acquisition,

Retention And Brand Impression

Is “Creative Glue”— In Marketing,

Sticky Is Good.

When Business Objects came to us they were looking for a new and powerful way to reach out to the Planning Industry to market their enterprise business software solutions. Specific strategic goals for the campaign included:

—Generation of no less than 600 viable leads in their database.

—Demonstrate increase in Business Objects brand presence and top of mind awareness.

—Increase traffic to Business Objects Enterprise Performance Management site with a conversion goal of registration to watch a web-enabled product demonstration.


The challenge for the campaign centered around creating content more exciting than a balance sheet, a seemingly simple task but the reality was not without its own irony when talking to the financial industry.

Throughout our planning process we uncovered numerous discoveries stemming from often overlooked differences between the planning community, who were our primary target and those from the formal accounting discipline.

Within the financial community great stigma existed around conventions like: the world of finance is dry and boring, employing dry and boring people, that accounting is exclusively a hard science based largely on fact and not conjecture, and that the financial audience only responded to hard physical evidence in evaluating offerings like business software. The disruptive truths, however, painted a far different picture, informing the effort that became manifest in the truth that ‘planners are people too’ and the idea that planners have vibrant, often witty and creative personalities.

We gave shape to these discoveries in a poke at “Bean Counters” through the creation of the online parody mini-series, Pitching Beans.


Platforms and campaigns

working together to convert

interest into engagement.

Our primary goal in outreach is centralized around leveraging the modicum of entertainment built over a means to facilitate engagement, conversation, interaction, education and conversion. But the real foundation of our strategy lay in understanding the key motivators of financial industry decision makers. Our profiling and discovery with this unique audience informed every aspect of our effort to generate interest and awareness and convert it into a brand dialogue, conversion and even advocacy. We did this by overlaying our inbound advertising over the foundation of a platform that facilitated conversation and provided real utility to our audience.

Ownership Belongs

With The Audience.

While the inbound advertising efforts focused on the entertainment value by poking fun at social norms and stigmas, platform engagement was fostered by drawing on audiences natural interest in sharing their own stories and even participating in directing and informing the series itself. By allowing the audience to take ownership in the course and direction of the campaign we were able to further hone and adapt messages and conversion opportunities to align with where the audience was really at. But the real reward was that doing so fostered a sense of joint ownership and advocacy that could never have been generated in an analog brand monologue.


As the series progressed with a new webisode each week, even richer engagement became possible as viewers became fans and fans became advocates. Promotional opportunity to

appear on set or even in an episode further fueled audience excitement and participation as well as opened a floodgate of new viewer originated episodic directions for the script and cast to propel the series forward.


Plotting A Path To Conversion:

By enabling the direct relationship between the audience and the cast we were able to empower the cast to act as the gateway to conversion, by allowing them to become the voice of Business Objects software. We furthered this even to the point of scripting the use of Business Objects solutions creatively in the plot of individual episodes. This was all aimed at further breaking down the barrier to entry of the ultimate goal of selling business software. And, it worked.


— Advertising generated 248,723 responses.

— Engagement reached 97%

— More than half of all viewers by the end of the campaign effort were return viewers.

Over 3.7 million video views.

— 17,492 trigger emails were generated.

— 369 viewer stories were submitted.

— 37 viewer submitted stories informed scripts used during the campaign and two fans made cameo appearance in episodes.

— 11,290 leads were generated by the campaign into Business Object’s database.

—Total acquisition cost per lead - $26.57 compared with the previous quarters marketing efforts that spent $243.19 a lead.

— 1,583 of the campaign leads resulted in sales directly attributed to the campaign effort.

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