SAP Partner Marketing

The Content Bureau created thought leadership videos as personal and authentic as they were professional.

The Content Bureau had created stylish, professional customer videos for Jennifer Schulze before, but her vision for a series of internal thought leadership videos was different. She wanted to help SAP partners and marketing staff understand the company’s software business model—and she envisioned these new videos as an authentic conversation, a “casual, unscripted fireside chat. Two minutes, pick a topic, and go.”

Schulze was the VP of customer marketing at SAP, and she’d long been intrigued by the immediacy of “raw” video in digital storytelling. “People respond more to unpolished content,” she explains. “They almost expect it—it’s seen as more authentic and truthful.” She points to the popularity of social media and video blogs: “It’s OK to show the ums and ahs, to show yourself thinking in the moment.”

The challenge, of course, was to create an end product that felt authentic and immediate while addressing the content clearly and comprehensively, engaging the audience from start to finish—and adhering to SAP brand guidelines.

Schulze turned to the Content Bureau in part because of our creative team’s deep knowledge of SAP branding and messaging, developed over years of producing everything including copy blocks, white papers, ebooks, and more conventional scripts and marketing videos for the company. That history made her confident that we could deliver work that was fast and professional, on brand and on voice.

Content Bureau also “does its best to be flexible,” working in a way that suits the particular project, says Schulze. At first, she worked with a Content Bureau writer to develop a script in line with the project’s content strategy. But soon it became clear that the better tactic was to narrow down the points Schulze wanted to address and set her loose. “I’m more of a ‘five bullet points and let’s go’ speaker,” she laughs.

Schulze credited Content Bureau video producer Réka Pigniczky with making the shoot itself fun and painless. “Réka is down to earth and willing to try different things, guiding you to bring out your best,” she says. “On a project like this, you have to be able to work together, to have a level of trust. Réka would say ‘let’s try it this way’ and we’d experiment.”

Pigniczky, who has a background in documentary filmmaking, agrees that trust was crucial for the project’s success. “Jen wanted to get a message out to her sales team, all about changes in how they’re approaching marketing. It was very much unscripted, one on one, and she’s very telegenic and personable on screen. Seeing a real person behind the ideas helps an audience connect with the content.”

Behind the scenes, the work lay in selecting the right takes and weaving them together into a tight and compelling whole, framed by title and intro slides crafted to reflect approved brand guidelines and work with the rest of the content. Says Schulze, “To make something that’s complicated simple is actually very hard. The Content Bureau made it work.”

The finished videos were a hit with the target audience. Originally created for use with social media, they earned a spot on the front page of SAP’s partner website, reaching tens of thousands of viewers and earning positive feedback from field sales reps. “As a sales tool, they’re exactly what the team needed,” says Schulze. “Our salespeople are out there every day doing exactly what I’m doing in the videos. It’s a way to get the message across in a language they speak.” As for the format: “Our audience really responded. People think if they don’t have a $100,000 video it won’t work, but that’s not the case. If you’re confident and passionate about your topic, authenticity works.”

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