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  • Writer's pictureryan@socialbrain

Pitch videos are the unsung hero of new biz

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

We all know that video is the most persuasive content for B2C businesses what business leaders tend to forget is that video is every bit as persuasive in a B2B context. From my experience, probably even more effective.

Having produced videos to secure funding, to bid on contracts, to sell-in new service concepts, for location build-outs, and for brand testing, experience at Social Brain suggests the potential for B2B video is huge.

Although the brands involved can’t be divulged, the outlines of 2 successful pitch video formats follow:

Winning new contracts

This business had been using a standard powerpoint/ data driven pitch approach to bidding on client contracts - the business was winning 20% of contract pitches using this traditional method.

All of their research, and pitch deck building was incapsulated in a highly dispassionate, rigorously scientific, 45 min presentation and Q&A format.

Unfortunately, there was an emotional component missing - a zing factor that differentiated them from the pack and made their potential clients remember specifics & the distinctive character of their ideas.

We set about restructuring the presentations to incorporate video either in the middle or at the end of the pitch - depending on the requirements of the brief.

The process of research and powerpoint deck building remained the same for the team, but at the documents' 3/4 completion mark we paused to ask ‘What do we want to underscore about our ideas?’ 'what are our weaknesses?', and ‘How do we express the actual process of working together?’.

By responding to these questions without turning them into talking points - but through video - the company saw a huge improvement in results.

Q&A sessions turned to project specifics rather than less tangible factors such as workflow and team dynamics questions as these were addressed quickly and effectively with video.

Pitches that included a video component won 60% of contracts.

This massive bump in pitch wins came purely from from incorporating a video component - no other element of the research and prep phases were changed so there was no interruption to the team.

The key insight was to strengthen the emotional resonance of pitches and to differentiate the company’s offering from the crowd. It came down to audiences being more receptive to visual messaging than they are to lectures.

These videos used still images of team members, still photos of relevant prior work & projects, animated text & graphic elements, and topic specific footage that varied from pitch to pitch.

Importantly they also had a music track that sparked attention and raised the mood of the room. The approach quickly became scalable and, after some resistence from the team who didn't want to have to jump through another hoop, a favourite part of the pitch process.

Using video to forge internal consensus

A luxury goods company in Japan was having difficulty selling-in the time & costs of a location buildout to their European HQ.

An internal pitch video was created to document the process and show - through the voices of customers, architectural consultants, and Japan based executives - what the market realities and constraints were, and what the benefits of a new prime location would be.

The brevity & soft but compelling tone of the pitch video helped the client win the confidence of the HQ and create a case for further investment in the brand in the Japan market. It also helped the Japanese parent company build out several of its other brands in a similar way but without the hinderance of expensive questioning at every phase.

This video used building schematics, customer vox pops, executive & employee interviews, architectural expert interviews, and an interview with the CEO of the Japanese organisation to put their case.

It took 3 weeks of pre-production, shooting and editing to assemble. The video effectively built a mutual understanding of the challenges & oppotunities on the ground, ending the ongoing interrogation from the European HQ.

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