When one size doesn’t fit every prospective customer’s needs, you might need to think about how to make a large portfolio of products compelling. It’s certainly what the marketers at the IBM Storage group were thinking about as they made plans for an interactive marketing app that would let customers explore numerous storage and software-driven products. Their experience is instructive for other B2B marketers searching for new and compelling ways to hold an audience’s attention.

Our world is full of distractions. An interactive asset stands out in the crowd, demands a user’s attention, and rewards action with a more engaging experience than a passive asset can deliver. It’s one of the reasons demand for B2B interactive assets is on the rise as tech marketers strive to provide more captivating experiences for target audiences.

The opportunity to educate a customer or enable sales teams with interactive tools on smartphones and tablets is vast. B2B customers have become accustomed to driving a large part of the sales journey prior to talking with a sales rep, so bringing your solution to life via 3-D and augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) allows for self-guided (or even sales-guided) exploration, which draws customers into the experience and fosters a more meaningful conversation.

Interactivity comes in many forms. For example, interactive VR apps can put technology customers in the middle of a data center and let them explore prototype system designs, enable interaction during training, or simulate a complex, real-life experience. But marketers can also incorporate simpler interactive elements into traditional web and PDF assets, allowing customers to choose their own consumption of content in an HTML smart paper, easily navigate among chapters in a PDF e-book, or personalize their journey within an infographic.

Understanding unique interactive design requirements
So when the IBM Storage group asked TDA to help produce a full-fledged interactive app, it was critical that the asset meet specific audience needs. The IBM team envisioned an app that would allow users to approach solutions from two angles: users could choose a type of workload and then find the most appropriate solution, or they could go directly to a solution family, and then home in on specific products.

IBM also wanted to provide users with quick access to related marketing assets, and allow them to share those assets from within the app. The app had to be flexible. It had to work well on event monitors and on tablets, which IBM team members could use during trade shows and in customer meetings. At the same time, IBM wanted a browser-based version that could be accessed online or downloaded to PCs.

TDA and Kaon Interactive combine best practices
To help produce the new app, TDA turned to partner Kaon Interactive, a leading provider of 3-D applications for B2B companies.

Kaon sees interactive storytelling as an avenue into deeper sales conversations. TDA helps increase the effectiveness of that storytelling by contributing compelling written content that works hand-in-hand with the visual experience.

For this new project, we at TDA collaborated closely with IBM and Kaon to design the navigation for the new app, create concise descriptions of all the workloads and products, and assemble the related marketing assets that users can view or share. TDA also managed the project from start to finish, establishing timelines and facilitating reviews, and providing editorial oversight throughout the project.

The completed app lets customers quickly find the right solutions for their needs, explore those solutions using 3-D models, and easily access and share a variety of complementary marketing assets, from data sheets to infographics and videos. The app is optimized for tablets and offers a browser-based version to accommodate PC users.

Check out the completed IBM Storage and SDI Solution Explorer in the TDA portfolio, as well as a variety of other interactive assets we’ve developed for B2B marketing.

What does it take to produce interactive assets?
Whether you want to build a 3-D experience or enhance navigation for a PDF, you need to start with a creative vision—one that is focused on capturing and keeping the attention of your busy, distracted audience. As you start initial planning, you’ll need to match the right type of asset with your goals, intended audience, and budget.

To produce the asset, you’ll need to bring together strong design and writing with the appropriate technical skills to implement your desired interactivity. And of course, you’ll need a team that can help you meet your deadlines, stay under budget, and deliver the asset you envisioned.

The TDA-Kaon team is ready to help you build the best possible experience for your customers. Want to discuss how you could improve engagement by incorporating some interactivity into your B2B marketing? Let’s talk.