Warner Brothers Discovery

HBO Max POS Marketing

Advertising   |   Branding

Communication strategy for a streaming giant

The introduction of HBO Max marked the emergence of a premier offering in the ever-expanding landscape of streaming entertainment. Leveraging our longstanding partnership with their Point of Sales team (POS), we were entrusted with developing ongoing communications materials to educate and inspire sales reps, and ultimately increase subscriptions—even as the COVID lockdowns closed call centers and workers went remote. Through a creative and strategic restructuring of POS communications, we successfully positioned HBO Max’s sales teams ahead of the curve, generating momentum and paving the way for a successful launch.

CHALLENGE
How could we help HBO sales managers educate and inspire their teams to get HBO Max off the ground and into homes? They needed the tools, language, and strategies that would encourage their customers to make the leap—and the ability to stay up to date on the service’s persistently changing offerings.

INSIGHTS
Based on our expertise in communicating with partner sales, gained through our long-standing working relationship with HBO and their POS team on streaming services HBO GO and HBO NOW, we knew that current circumstances demanded an entirely new approach—and a major shift in content and delivery. Previous tactics, such as printed brochures and standees, would need to be replaced with easier-to-distribute, easier-to-update digital tactics, and our messaging strategy would need to reflect the shift from the existing HBO streaming products to the new HBO Max.

APPROACH
Our team got to work on a digital strategy to reach remotely working sales teams that would be easily accessible in a spectrum of conditions. We developed new language, formats, and content to communicate everything reps needed to know, from the breadth of new streaming content to installation and activation across different platforms.

EXECUTION
We launched monthly interactive toolkits, which would become the essential tool for POS. This resource provided the latest programming priorities and sales strategy through engagement. Each toolkit was designed with a fresh approach anchored by a spotlight premiere. Interactive elements linked reps to trailers, offered portals to VR games and served to navigate content. Our team developed the messaging and content, providing sales reps with essential talking points and targeted program categories to connect with their customers’ unique interests. Games encouraged sales reps’ engagement while communicating key selling points.

“Suzy and the team at SJI are an invaluable extension to our core partner marketing team here at HBO / Max / WBD. They bring a very concentrated balance to our Consumer meets B2B marketing and creative needs, all the while having a deep understanding of our ever-changing business. They’re able to continually provide effective marketing and creative strategy which drives our core partner marketing business and key growth strategies, as we forge into a new phase of the business—where streaming meets cable.” Marissa Grasso Creative Director, Partner Marketing, Warner Media

OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT
We designed and developed fresh, fun email blasts on “Toolkit Tuesday” the first week of the month, alerting managers to the latest toolkit. Our system delivered emails tailored to multiple partners across the country. When interactive toolkits transitioned into a complete website, SJI developed the structure, provided content, and restructured monthly email blasts to inspire return engagement for fresh tools and messaging.

 

ON-BRAND SOLUTIONS
We developed a visual system to unify POS with the new HBO Max brand. A library of flexible elements provided visual solutions for essential sales tools, including quarterly letterheads, posters, engagement activities, partner one-sheets, and sales floor standees.

Our tile grid served a core communications role, a quick reference for the latest featured programming, unique to HBO Max in a landscape of streaming competitors. A tailored device lockup provided a multi-use resource to feature entertainment. The system provided presentation and education tools designed to fulfill the teams’ ongoing needs, and support the unique requirements of multiple providers, platforms, and devices.