Why SAP Launched A Branded Podcast To Bring High Tech To Life

While B2B marketers commonly rely on white papers and infographics, SAP is starting to embrace branding to stand out amongst consumers.

But it can be tough for an enterprise tech company to connect with people in their everyday lives.

So, SAP launched a podcast called “Searching for Salai,” a story about Leonardo da Vinci’s fictional apprentice that encompasses technology and time travel. Although the podcast never mentions SAP, it raises awareness about its Leonardo platform, which is designed to help enterprise clients harness blockchain, predictive analytics, data intelligence and other new technologies and buzzwords.

Rather than hitting prospects with blunt facts about these mystifying technologies, SAP wanted to explore how they affect people’s lives outside of work, said Jeff Janiszewski, marketing director at SAP.

“It’s showing them how the technologies that SAP offers impact their daily life outside of balancing books or crunching numbers,” he said. “You might not even know that you’re using an SAP technology, but this is how it’s benefitting you.”

SAP decided to launch a branded podcast because the format reaches young consumers in a new and interesting way, said Ginger Shimp, senior marketing director at SAP. Thirty percent of all podcast listeners are millennials, according to a 2018 study by Edison Research, who are starting to move up and make important decisions in the workforce.

“This is definitely more of an awareness play,” Shimp said. “Our challenge was to communicate the value of putting these technologies together, and do it in a way that rises above the noise.”

SAP will not advertise on the podcast but will guide users to a landing page through the credits where they can learn more about the story and the Leonardo platform. The website will feature one blog written by a character from the show that speaks more to casual listeners, and another business-focused blog where potential customers can get more information. SAP also created audio versions of its white paper to continue the listening experience.

“Business consumers can transition to more content and we can follow up with them if they choose to download,” Shimp said.

So far, the podcast has been downloaded 3,500 times since its launch, received five-star ratings and dozens of comments from both casual and business listeners. SAP distributes the show through Libsyn to all of the major podcast player apps.

SAP had never created a podcast before and therefore didn’t have any data behind how the show would perform. But with 26% of Americans listening to podcasts monthly in 2018, they thought it was worth a shot.

In other words, “It was a risk, but it was a calculated risk,” Shimp said. “I’d love to tell you we were dead certain this was going to work.”

SAP will wait three to four months and analyze the data before moving forward with a second season. But based on the current results, “absolutely, we’d like to continue,” Janiszewski said.

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