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Work Smarter, Not Harder: Boost Digital Sales & Engagement With Interactive Content

Investing in interactive digital content will help sales teams struggling to close deals by delivering clear, cohesive messages and effectively demonstrating even the most visually inaccessible products.

The thought of investing in bespoke digital sales software can be scary. But what if it promised a rapid 100% return on marketing investment and long-term boost to sales?

The benefits of equipping your sales team with interactive content for field sales, exhibitions, and presentations are numerous, and, designed well, can grow with your business.

Cisco, for example, have used gaming strategies to enhance its virtual global sales meeting and call centres to reduce call time by 15% and improve sales by 10%.

People love interactivity. Our brains are programmed to respond to colour, movement, sound and physical interaction. Interactive digital sales content can deliver this, resulting in deeper engagement every time.

Providing your potential customers with exciting and inspiring mobile apps, dynamic websites, touch screen displays tailored to your business will lead to:

  • An uplift in sales & an enhanced sales pipeline
  • A happier, more confident sales team
  • A lasting impression and greater memorability for your brand

The outcomes for products that are hard to visualize or demonstrate to potential customers – either because they take no physical form, can’t be seen in action, are technically complex, or can’t be brought into meetings – are especially impressive.

You only have to look at the Audi R8 V10 Plus advert to see that insight into the interior of a product can be hugely powerful in demonstrating its value, its appeal and its worth.

Creating unique media such as eBrochures, 3D animations, product simulations and 360° tours of such products will result in more sales, thanks to sales staff being able to show rather than tell what you sell. This type of interactive digital sales content will:

  • Enable your team to close deals anywhere, anytime
  • Equip sales team to explain products accurately and consistently
  • Render visually uninspiring products eye-catching
  • Make complex processes understandable and memorable
  • Demonstrate how your product fits the precise needs of potential customers

Uptake in interactive digital sales applications is growing fast. Gartner predict that more than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one “gamified” application by the end of 2014. It’s time to get on board.

Need further convincing? Take a look at our testimonials to hear from happy clients in their own words.

Stay ahead of the competition and request a free consultation with us today! Get in touch for advice and a no obligation chat about digital sales by calling 01908 522532 or emailing info@pauley.co.uk.

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3D Product Explosion: Murata PS Smart Meter

Do Interactive Digital Product Demonstrations Really Improve The Chances of A Sale?

Effective product demonstrations have always been an essential sales and marketing tool, but advances in digital technology and changes in consumer expectations are taking their potential to convert prospects to customers to a whole new level. Engaging and influential, digital interactive product demonstrations are now a key tool in pre-sales and the qualification of a lead into a prospect. They allow your prospects to take control of their ‘pre-sale’ product experience and form their own individual bond with them.

There are now so many innovative ways to use digital interactivity to present your products, and they are being applied to all industries to help increase sales through engagement and inspirational visuals. Interactive product presentations are becoming an essential part of all marketing and sales strategies; The ability to offer the prospect an ‘experience’ to outdo any other, whether this be in store, on an exhibition stand, online or in person. Customers have a new found expectation as a result of faster computers and more powerful graphics cards. Improving technology has meant that consumers expect suppliers to do something amazing with it. Companies cannot afford to ignore this expectation and must embrace the new power of computer graphics and interactive technology to keep consumers engaged with their brand and ultimately sustain and improve their sales.

Photo-realistic, 3D product models, which look and behave exactly like the actual products, allow companies to present sophisticated on and off line products and demonstrations. Extraordinary interactivity allows customers to experience products in a virtual 3D environment, with the ability to rotate, zoom, measure, and interact with the product’s features and options. Through user interaction, selling is transformed from a passive process to an active, dynamic one that gives users control over their own experiences.

If well executed, prospects can effectively be nurtured using tools that allow them to fully explore the key benefits and features of the product and even explore opportunities to tailor it to their requirements. Especially in the case of complex and highly technical products, interactive demonstrations can help ‘break the ice’ when understanding technical jargon. In the past, prospects would only have had the option of trawling through technical specification sheets or calling up the sales team to gain a full understanding of what is on offer. Now, a prospect can be given all of this information (and more) in a visual presentation that allows them to explore details on parts of the product that they wish to get information on, rather than having to trawl through loads of technical text. Furthermore, this presentation can be given through many different display mediums, for example, online via a website, on a mobile device or app, touch screens in foyers, in store or at events, and through webinars (online sales presentations). This range of display options gives their application the power to sell anything from anywhere. No longer are there restrictions around getting prospects to a physical showroom or store.

Touch Screen Monitor with interactive graphics

Touch Screen Monitor with interactive graphics

A well-executed visual presentation permits customers to review instructions at their own pace, put up their queries as and when required and revisit areas of interest as necessary. No amount of text can ever be equated to a visual demonstration of the product. Shooting fancy words or an eloquent usage of language skills is unmatchable to the impact that a live moving image can create. 3D models of a product that can be pulled apart (extracted) and queried by the viewer allow them to focus on areas of the product of interest to them. These presentations can also offer the viewer the ability to ‘customise’ aspects of the product (for example, changing the colour, size etc.). This gives the consumer so much more flexibility and the option to interact with products on an emotional level, creating their own unique visual experience. If the emotions of a consumer can be provoked successfully, they are much more likely to relate to a product and want to make a purchase.

3D interactive demonstrations are now also being applied in new and innovative contexts. During a recent attendance at this year’s Retail Business Technology Expo in London, we experienced a new application of an interactive product demonstration on a touch screen on Samsung UK’s stand. They presented a 3d product demonstration alongside specification and stock information, on a touch screen transparent box around an example of the physical product itself (see image below). Retail outlets with limited space are using 3D product demonstrations and catalogues to expand their ranges displayed in store.

Samsung interactive product display unit

Samsung interactive product display unit

They may only have one physical product on the shelves, but an associated interactive display allows them to show the customer what else is available in the warehouse. Demos are also used more frequently by Sales teams to demonstrate products on the move using mobile tablets or through a web-based presentation. This process has been proven to shorten the sales pipeline, and reduce costs of running the sales teams. Prospects can be pointed towards an online product display before a visit from a sales representative may be required. Then if they choose to request a demonstration of the physical product at a later stage, they are much more likely to make a purchase, making more productive use of the sales representatives time. Interactive demonstrations are also used on touch screen devices on exhibition stands to add to the overall brand experience.

Interactive demonstrations can also make great training tools, ensuring that staff know as much as they can about the product they are selling. They can then be used to continuously train your sales and support staff, sales channel business partners and customers. Helping everyone to understand your product better is the most effective way to reduce both sales and support costs.

With product demonstration evolving as an excellent tool for marketing, one thing that remains certain is that the content of any marketing tool must be visually appealing and engaging. In order for a demo to create a long lasting impression on the minds of the customer, the content must be inspiring. Interactive features can include 360 degree product rotation, drag, drop and zoom and pan, step by step animated information, hotspot information, custom menu and navigation design, user input via search or select, product customisation (eg, colour, finish and dimentions), video user controls, sound effects and audio overlays.

So for the sceptics amongst us, embrace the technology available to ensure you don’t lose market share over your competitors during the pre-sale process. Potential customers are much more likely to buy your products if they can experience them in a way that allows them to tap into their personality and emotions; a place where they can make their own choices in their own time. People generally don’t have the time to trawl through large documents or data sets to find the information they want. Interactive demonstrations can take thousands of words and present them in a visually stimulating way, guaranteed to capture the imagination of your customers.

If you’d like to find out more about interactive product demonstrations and how PAULEY can help you achieve your goals, please contact Christina Lacey on 01908 522532 or info@pauley.co.uk.

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Dugard Digital brochure with product demonstrations, created by PAULEY

The Future of Marketing: ‘Digital’ Is On The Move

There seems to have been a lot of talk recently surrounding a prediction made by Research leaders Forrester, that digital marketing will shortly cease being a sub-discipline and simply become known as ‘marketing’, as our marketing output becomes inherently digital.

The rise in the uptake of mobile devices has had a dramatic effect on society and is in turn creating a generation who expect everything to be available and delivered through digital channels to whatever device they may have, wherever they are, at any time of the day. Consumers are now ‘on the move’ 24/7, can access information wherever they go, and are much more likely to make a decision to buy whilst on the move (through researching on social networking sites, price comparison sites, the use of Smartphone Apps and the general experience had with a brand online). Digital marketing has grown out of the improvements in and introduction of new devices and platforms, so it is safe to say that it will continue to grow as we strive to develop the next generation ‘intelligent’ or ‘automated’ hardware and software.

This shift in consumer behaviour has posed many challenges for businesses who have had to rethink not only their marketing and sales strategy, but in some cases, their entire business model. It has also meant that consumers expect to see and receive marketing messages through digital channels. The key to success, therefore, would now appear to be the development of a sound ‘digital’ marketing strategy that compliments any other channel activity you may be doing. The strategy should not only incorporate multiple channels (mobile, email, social media, web etc), but consideration for the design and optimisation of content for multiple devices. This content should include not only optimised copy but engaging and interactive visual content that allows your audience to explore in their own way and tailor the experience to their requirements. Data will play a big part in driving the strategy, but so will the levels of expected engagement by consumers on mobile devices. By allowing your brand to come to life in an interactive way that was not previously possible, and exploring the senses of sound and vision, you can touch a consumer on an emotional level. This has been proven to make them more likely to strike an affinity with your brand and make a purchase.

Bar code scanner application on SmartPhone

Bar code scanner application on SmartPhone

Mobile technology has allowed marketing professionals to become much smarter about the way they promote a product, making the consumers life so much easier and giving them instant access to targeted information relevant only to their interests, or where they are currently located for example. In the Retail industry, mobile technology has created a double edged sword! On the one hand, satellite technology within phones now allows retailers to display location based information directly to the phone owner that may only be relevant to the store that they are currently nearest to. This can be used to drive potential buyers into a nearby store and in turn, increase sales. However, on the flip side, scanning technology now allows consumers to enter a store, scan an item and search for the cheapest one available online! This can result in them leaving that store without making a purchase. This has forced retailers to push their prices down and work hard to offer products that cannot easily be found elsewhere. The High Street is now competing for real estate against its digital equivalents, so not only could digital bury traditional marketing channels, but could also bury traditional sales methods too.

In B2B organisations, mobile devices now enable sales teams to demonstrate and customise their products on the move, eliminating the need to take the potential buyer to the product. This gives companies greater flexibility and allows a prospect to become more qualified and more likely to make a purchase before the organisation needs to invest in getting them to the showroom which might be at the other end of the country! This is particularly applicable to companies who sell large or complex machinery and invest a lot in its transportation to and from events or showrooms in order to demonstrate the product at exhibitions or directly alongside their competition.

Mobile devices, however, are rendered useless without suitable software and graphics. Digital technology has also allowed for much more advanced and engaging visual media to be created and displayed, adding to the impact of sales and marketing campaigns and facilitating direct interaction with a brand via mobile devices. Advances in mobile and online technology have made interactive media, 3d visuals and animations much more readily available than they used to be with fewer technological limitations and reduced costs of production. And you don’t need to worry about SEO! The limitations previously imposed by flash animations are no longer such a hindrance to successful SEO with the emergence of JQuery and HTML5.

Interactive product demonstrations, touch screen engagement and integrated video can make your brand stand out from the crowd in a digital environment and can be extremely cost effective, cutting ongoing printing and personnel costs and justifying any upfront investment required in their creation. Consumers now expect to be able to make informed decisions without necessarily needing to either contact a physical person, visit a store, or see a physical product. If your brand does not facilitate this in an engaging way, you risk loosing market share.

Increased interaction with your products online can be achieved through the development of digital brochures that can contain 3D product engagement, 360 degree animations, and integrated video and can respond to user commands. For example, a visitor to your site could create their own customised version of your product on their mobile and see what it will look like before contacting you or making purchase decisions. Machinery with highly complex components can be pulled apart and explored by the user in great detail without seeing the physical machine, and video can be used to explain complicated functions and highlight USPs (Unique selling points). Visual presentations create a long-lasting experience for the end user and improve client engagement and retention.

As well as brochures, video animations can be created to show virtual worlds / concepts for future developments of both environments and products. Particularly useful for promoting public visitor sites and helping them to understand and explore them in their own time, making their own informed choices what to see and when.

It is then also possible, via mobile and electronic devices, for the end user to share these experiences with their own communities, by text or email or via social networks.  A decision can be made and action taken in an instant, and that’s how important the quality of digital assets and Digital Asset Management can be to your business. A good experience, and everyone could know about it extremely quickly. A bad one and you could have lost a lot more than one potential customer.

Allowing your prospects and customers to make their own informed decisions whilst on the move, giving them all the information  they could possibly need and presenting it in an engaging and market leading way so that they cant help but want to know more. And if that’s not enough of a challenge, link all of that mobile consumer behaviour into your multichannel strategy so that if they do choose to speak to you or visit a store, their experience of your brand is seamless and continues to engage rather than deter. Your digital footprint is no longer just about having an optimised website and presence on the social networks. You need to allow the user to explore, discover and interact, as the battle to engage users in your brand as oppose to a competitors, advances at an alarming rate in a highly competitive and evolving market place.

If you’d like more information on creating an interactive brochure or any 2d or 3d video and animated content, please contact Philip Pauley on 01908 522532 or visit our website at http://www.pauley.co.uk. We can also help you develop and implement your ongoing digital strategy and offer advice on creating content for mobile apps and managing your Digital Assets (DAM).

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