Staying connected to headquarters remotely
As the New York-based director of brand and digital marketing for Fiverr, the online freelance marketplace headquartered in Tel Aviv, Matt Clunan and his team typically traveled to Israel at least once per quarter to collaborate with their larger team. When the pandemic hit, Clunan says he initially feared his office of about 30 would feel cut off from their roughly 500 colleagues seven time zones away.
“Not seeing someone face-to-face changes how you communicate,” he says.
At first Clunan’s team resorted to video-based communication, but before long he noticed that staff members in both cities were overwhelmed by constant video meetings. An avid podcast listener, Clunan decided to try the pre-recorded, audio-only format to improve internal communications.
With the help of independent podcast publishing company Wonder Media, he and his team began producing internal podcasts in early April. The format offered a respite from video calls, allowed team members to consume the roughly half-hour long updates at their own convenience, arrive at meetings already briefed, and make better use of those limited hours when staff members on both sides of the planet are available.
“It allows us to stay connected on a more personal level, and I think that’s what was missing,” says Clunan. “Whether there are travel restrictions or not, [internal podcasts] will continue to be part of our [team’s] culture.”
In-person demos from a distance
While its virtual care practice has exploded in popularity since the start of the pandemic, Manhattan-based primary care provider Eden Health still needed to find ways to show its clinics to potential landlords or employers considering building out an Eden Health clinic for employees.
The company offers its digital services in 48 states, and in-person healthcare solutions throughout the New York tri-state area, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston. “Normally we’d invite folks out, give them a tour of the office, sit down, and talk through what it might look like in their space,” says Jonathan Stevens, head of growth for Eden Health.
But this year the company turned to a new, travel-free approach: 360-degree virtual tours.
“In some ways it’s better, because we can not only show them one location, we can actually show them many of our clinics, and the different configurations, layouts, and aesthetics,” says Stevens.
Stevens adds that it’s a lot easier for his sales team to send a link via email than it is to get a prospect to schedule an in-person tour.
“The virtual tours are hosted on URLs that you can share with the prospects,” he says. “You give them the tour together, and say ‘as you’re thinking through this, you can take yourselves through the tour again.”
A sales floor without a floor
Prior to the pandemic, HP hosted guests at its Customer Welcome Centers all over the world to demonstrate its latest innovations for clients, media, analysts, and technology partners.
But when the CWCs were closed in February of 2020 because of the pandemic, Ester Chiachio, HP’s head of CWC experiences, and her team began exploring digital and virtual alternatives.
At first they used video presentation tools to host meetings online. Then they brought in telepresence robots that would allow visitors to explore the physical space remotely from their laptops or PCs. Then, they created a 3D rendering of the flagship CWC location in Palo Alto for customers to explore in virtual reality (VR).