Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Small Business Unit Makes Big Impact on Corporate Growth

Sasha Banks-Louie
Brand Journalist

Despite growing demand for rugged laptops, tablets, and smartphones, the Toughbook strategic business unit (SBU) of Panasonic Europe struggled to defend its 30% price premium compared with consumer-grade alternatives. While the SBUs rugged computers are manufactured to withstand vibrations or shocks and to function at full capacity in extreme temperatures, a common misperception is that consumer-grade devices “ruggedized” with protective cases or waterproof screens are just as good.

“That’s just not true,” says Kevin Jones, managing director of Panasonic Europe’s Mobile Solutions division, whose Toughbook brand dominates Europe’s rugged notebook and tablet sectors. “The design, materials, and testing that go into a Panasonic rugged device for the commercial market are incomparable.”

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But as the Toughbook SBU seeks to reach new customers, generating the right leads will require more than running awareness campaigns, says CMO Jan Kaempfer. “We’re reaching out to industrial engineers, field techs, people who want to look under the hood to see and feel the quality of our products,” he says.

Using Oracle’s cloud-based customer experience platform, the SBU can now look at the “greenfield” share of its sales pipeline and invite those prospects to industry-specific webinars and, as the relationship develops, schedule a product demo or attach a service bundle to a new product offer. “It’s become very easy to know who to target, what to offer them, and when to reach out,” Kaempfer says.

Before moving to the cloud, “we’d send out a mass mailing, target a 3% response rate, and then wait to see what the response was,” he says. “We were completely removed from measuring conversions.”

To learn more about how the Panasonic Toughbook Europe SBU plans to lift the percentage of “marketing-assisted” sales to 45% by the end of this year from 35% in 2018, read the full article on Forbes.



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