A streaming platform with bite-sized business videos was launched by Publicis Sapient.
While during the global pandemic every company pivoted their strategy to digital events, the digital transformation consulting firm, Publicis Sapient, went beyond the typical webinar.
It went to create what it dubbed at the time “Quibi of business,” referencing the now failed streaming company that launched in the midst of the pandemic offering short videos designed to be consumed on a phone while on-the-go.
The consultancy found out in beta testing that this type of content could quickly outperform written thought leadership and adjusted their offering based on that observation. Publicis now believes it is a differentiator.
“The HOW Channel” was built on the belief that people will be seeking something that provides connection, an immersive experience, and offers learning – all aspects that are more important than ever today. Publicis targets the service at a previously underserved audience craving snackable video business content.
The goal of this move was to get executives to watch the videos when waiting at the doctor’s office or on their morning commutes. Working from home has also highlighted the need to take short breaks throughout the day. The channel’s use cases are these in-between moments—a similar strategy to Quibi and one that could be more difficult to execute in the middle of a pandemic when more people are staying home.
“The HOW Channel” features 10-minute video interviews with guests talking about their organizations’ efforts to adopt tech like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and cloud computing. The free-to-watch channel also includes broad overviews of how the pivot is affecting certain industries, as well as live discussions with Publicis consultants and other experts with advice for businesses pursuing an overhaul.
The streaming service is attractive for a number of reasons: the novelty of short-form video for people, a slick design, and the initial lineup includes the likes of Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, and Kim Scott, author of “Radical Candor”. All the episodes are less than 10 minutes in length and can be viewed in either portrait or landscape mode.
Having long offered written content on tech adoption, Publicis quickly embraced the idea of video streaming. Once the intention was set, the team took just two months to build the channel. For that, Publicis poached employees from top firms like Netflix, Deloitte, and Wall Street Journal.
The company acknowledged that it built something that it’ll continue to optimise and that will continuously have new content, features, and functionalities with each new release.
In a signal of the demand and the pandemic-driven focus on digital investments, the site had 300% more engagement time than the firm’s general website in just the few days since the channel was launched.
Why it’s important: This is an example of an idea that originated from customer research, was quickly executed, and is being improved—all in accordance with the best practices of ‘running lean’.