Sennhesier is looking to provide a piece to the missing puzzle for adventurous thrill seekers looking to complement the vivid and often rugged footage they capture with quality audio and sound recording by partnering with GoPro.
The GoPro-verified MKE 2 is Sennheiser’s microphone technology aiming to be an ideal solution for the camera company’s HERO4 model. The MKE 2 survives adverse conditions like wind, water and snow, making it a model fit for extreme action filmmakers.
As Sennhesier takes its sound recording into adventurous new territories, the integration also positions the 71-year-old German brand as the only officially audio company that is verified obtained by the GoPro Works program.
Uwe Greunke, head of global marketing and brand marketing for Sennheiser, and Achim Gleissner, head of commercial management of broadcast and media for Sennheiser, joined AListDaily for a joint interview to discuss their partnership with GoPro, as well as their most recent marketing activation with Pink Floyd.
Why was the extreme sound-recording process a step you wanted to complete in the action-pursuing consumer journey process?
Gleissner: ActionCams are widely used by both commercial and non-commercial users. As with every other camera category, the video quality has improved significantly over time—yet audio was lagging behind. There is a huge demand in this area, but no one really addressed this situation until now. For Sennheiser, the water factor made this project especially challenging.
How will Sennheiser be marketing the MKE 2 Elements Mic differently than its other products?
Greunke: We are focusing even more on the experience itself and the user benefit rather than simply the product. The language we use on our website is very experiential.
Gleissner: Also, from a channel perspective, the MKE 2 elements is an accessory for a very specific camera—therefore we have focused our marketing and sales campaign on those areas where camera owners typically buy their accessories and consumables. Another main challenge for us is to make sure that HERO4 owners know that this unique product exists. Lastly, we had to demonstrate the benefits of the MKE 2 elements in a brief and convincing way. For all of these considerations, online platforms and social media play a very important role.
How did you decide that GoPro were an ideal fit for Sennheiser as a partner?
Gleissner: GoPro is the market leader in the action camera market sector. They are perceived as a premium brand, and their products are also used by professional clients. When GoPro created the developer’s program in order to liaise with partners combining core competencies for the benefit of end users, it was the ideal way for us to partner and complete our mission to provide an audio solution for every major camera category in the market.
What kind of content marketing do you plan on producing to promote the partnership, and product?
Greunke: We are certain that a lot of content creators will generate extraordinary material with incredible audio. We are very much looking forward to reposting such kind of new content on appropriate channels, such as YouTube.
Gleissner: Also, we are closely collaborating not just with the marketing and engineering experts on the GoPro side but also with their associated enthusiasts and athletes. This helps ensure that the products are performing as requested by the most demanding users. It also creates exciting content as well, which could be used for marketing purposes. The collaboration with GoPro is intended to be a continuous one, and the MKE 2 elements for HERO4s is just the very first result.
What are the insights and data that influence your marketing strategy? Is there a new product or service out there that you think will influence decisions?
Greunke: We are primarily influenced by the content creators who want to bring their stories to light. Our mission is to provide them with the best audio quality possible, and unleash the full potential of their extraordinary creativity. These content creators deserve the finest audio quality to unleash their mission and story to the world.
Gleissner: In the eyes of a camera owner, a microphone is an accessory, and this needs to be reflected in the marketing and sales strategy. After the initial setup, and in parallel to the MKE 2 elements being the first manifestation of our partnership, we’re working on more solutions to align with GoPro’s product portfolio.
On a separate front, why is leveraging experiences like your recent one in “The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains” a critical strategy to connect with consumers?
Greunke: The story of Pink Floyd is deeply attached to new horizons in sound experience. Pink Floyd was one of the first bands to experiment with new sound experiences in the studio, and also on live performances on stage throughout their career. This is evident on albums like “Atom Heart Mother,” “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” and others. Remixing an original track and performing it through our Ambeo system with 25 loudspeakers is truly an experience of its own.
Gleissner: What really matters to consumers is the experience being created with these audio devices. Experiencing music in new dimensions, or listening to the sound of an athlete heading into a big wave illustrates the meaning and importance of sound in a very human and impressive way.
Will you be marketing the activation in any unique ways?
Greunke: The tagline “Sound experience by Sennheiser” explains Sennheiser’s contribution to the great history and milestones Pink Floyd took in their creative music career. We have also just recently announced a special edition of our HD 1 wireless headphones commemorating “The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains,” which features a design inspired by their iconic “The Dark Side of the Moon” album.
What other experiential marketing is on the agenda for this year? What music festivals do you plan on participating in?
Greunke: We will continue our work and collaboration with sound artists and contemporary musicians, such as Robin Schulz, and others.
Gleissner: As for specific activations around our MKE 2 elements launch, we’re planning activities in the action sports domain, as our new microphone is targeted at both commercial and non-commercial users.
What are some other verticals and platforms that Sennheiser would like to experiment with in the future for their marketing mix?
Gleissner: In the world of broadcast, the two most interesting and challenging verticals—which are both still very young and experimental—are mobile journalists using smart phones for journalistic storytelling and the whole domain of audio for virtual reality. Sennheiser began its activities in both areas very early on, and will continue our efforts in both domains. Our Ambeo program plays a key role in this approach.
Greunke: We’re always open to collaborating within verticals and/or among platforms that help us to transform the listener into another sphere through audio. “The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains” is an excellent example, as was our Art Basel engagement with artists such as Nik Nowak—who challenged the status quo, while helping us explore new horizons of audio experience. These events challenge the status quo and help us to explore new horizons in audio. These new worlds of sound also extend to innovative products. With the upcoming Ambeo Smart Headset, we will introduce an easy-to-use device that will transform a simple iPhone audio recording into a binaural recording—which will let you experience real-world, 3D sound. We’re very curious to see how the creator community will pick up this new recording possibility.
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