When ‘Plus Your Business’ was approached to write a promotional piece about Sage’s Google Business View, we jumped at the chance!
After all, it is the first FTSE100 company to get with the future of Google in this way!
What’s it all about?
Google Business View, the commercial Street View service offered by Google Maps, has been hitting the headlines recently with rapid expansion plans into several sectors including the Hotel and Restaurant markets. Whilst these more traditional types of businesses have been quick to adopt the Street View technology, which offers users the ability to take a virtual tour of the insides of their premises directly from Google Search, Google Maps and Google+, the Google cameras have also been caught wandering off the high street and into the corporate world.
We’ve seen quite a handful of office based businesses invest in a Business View tour, some keeping it plain and simple, others adding some flair and fancy dress into it – our tour of The Office is Dead recently won the Interactive Design category at the Design Week Awards. Whilst we have seen these larger, corporate tours being created for the likes of Universities, Business Centres and Supermarkets, the headquarters of leading businesses have been left unexplored, until now that is. Sage Group PLC, a FTSE100 Company, is the first amongst the corporate giants to grant an access all areas pass to the Google Cameras at its purpose built HQ in Gosforth, Newcastle.
But, why would a FTSE100 software and accounting services company want to be featured on Street View?
Well, as Tori Newcombe, Digital Content Manager at Sageexplained“we’re incredibly proud of our workspace at Sage, and our North East heritage. Putting our headquarters on Google Maps gives us a unique ability to virtually open our doors and show off our working environment and culture, it’s promising to be a fantastic tool for recruitment.”
We have to agree, the building itself is very impressive from an architectural and design standpoint and it certainly makes you feel like you are inside the offices of an innovative FTSE100 Company. But what really makes this tour stand out is the human touch. Featured throughout the tour are carefully choreographed Sage employees holding printed signs in front of their faces, a tactic which avoids having to use the anonymous Street View blurring of any faces that are visible. These signs include messages, feelings, and emoticons and feature throughout the entire building.
Not only does this help to keep the user engaged throughout the tour, but it also really gives you the feeling that Sage is a great place to work. The signs show the fun side of Sage and add a sense of humour amongst an impressive and very corporate environment. Whilst navigating the tour, you get the impression that the people featured throughout the tour had a lot of fun making it! It’s great to see that Sage really jumped at this marketing opportunity and involved quite a number of different staff to pull this off – a real team spirit with energy runs throughout the tour as a result which I imagine is exactly the kind of the messages Sage wants to promote throughout it’s marketing.
With this in mind, the tour now becomes a very powerful recruitment tool for Sage, who will be using it prominently in their online recruitment strategy with a link being included within all of Sage’s Newcastle job adverts. This not only helps the job advert to stand out, but also provides potential applicants the opportunity to look around the offices and imagine what working at Sage would be like – although it kind of ruins the ‘Sorry I’m late, I got lost’ excuses on your first day!
For the rest of us, Sage have also created a viral treasure hunt aspect to the tour by utilising the TourDash platform to create a quick navigation menu and also to hide several hotspot items and features within the embedded version of the tour on Sage’s website. A competition has been launched with a series of questions about the hotspot items featured in the tour in a treasure hunt fashion where users can enter to win a luxury weekend from the local region. This will help to promote the tour via social media and acts as an incentive for users to fully engage and explore the tour and premises further driving online engagement. You can access the treasure hunt here: http://www.sage.co.uk/press-room/google-business-view.html
We love what Sage have done with their tour and think it’s a great example of what a Google Business View tour can be with a bit of creativity and imagination. If you have a fun or creative idea for a Google Business View Tour we’d love to hear from you, as PYB’s in-house Business View expert, I would be happy to discuss any ideas you might have, so feel free to get in touch.