By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing, Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
“The Holy Grail for Infographics’ clients is engaging product consumers in a continuing dialogue – and that’s where we come in,” Rob Eddy says.
Since we first met the company’s President almost two years ago, we have published a number of articles about the firm’s expanding and evolving product and service lines. During our most recent discussion, we learned about the latest addition to Infographics’ offerings – something they call the “Consumer Engagement Toolbox.”
The Knoxville-based company works with clients to develop innovative ways to make complex information easier to understand. The technical communications company “cut its teeth” on printed instructional and user manuals, recently adding intuitive content development for platforms utilizing interactive animation and video.
Clients include a wide range of internationally known brands from the “Do it Yourself” (DIY) segment such as InSinkErator, Rubbermaid, Husqvarna, and Lowe’s.
“The next logical step for Infographics was to deliver information in a user-friendly format that was accessible to the consumer through mobile devices,” said John Thigpen, Vice President of Business Development. This is what brought Infographics together with another local start-up, Voices Heard Media.
First, Infographics’ technical information designers adapt information and user content to phones and tablets. Next, they incorporate capabilities that allow the consumer to interact both with the product and the company.
Infographics’ research shows that individuals assembling or installing a product need more support than traditional printed or modern video instructions can provide. This is particularly true for Millennials, a generation that often relies on websites, videos, and animation, but it is not limited to them.
Consumers cannot squeeze their laptop computer under the sink to install a plumbing product or lug their desktop to the backyard to assemble a play-set. Thanks to Infographics, however, there is a customer friendly solution.
The company’s technical information designers are making content “specific to what they’re (the consumers) doing right then” available on phones and tablets so that it can be utilized wherever needed, even under their sink or in their backyard.
One might characterize this approach as “specific information on demand.” Infographics imbeds this capability in the instructional materials it develops for its clients.
Another tool within the Toolbox that is perhaps more important to manufacturers is the ability to deliver real-time analytics.
“In addition to making content more usable and accessible for consumers, we can capture data and information from users on the backend,” Eddy said. “We can provide a wide range of useful and actionable data through the app developed by Voices Heard.”
No longer do the manufacturers rely solely on focus groups and online reviews. They receive real-world metrics on the user experience.
“Our products allow manufacturers to identify specific steps in the assembly or installation process that consumers view most often,” Thigpen explained. “A high number of views on Step Five, for example, may indicate that this part of the installation is the most difficult, suggesting either an improvement in the instructional materials or a redesign of the product.”
Eddy noted that consumers regularly search the Web for a solution when they experience a problem. “You find all kinds of content out there – and not all of it is good,” he said.
Infographics has addressed that problem for manufacturers in its new “Consumer Engagement Toolbox.”
“Our capability provides the manufacturer with the ability to synchronize and control content to ensure consistent and accurate information for the consumer,” Eddy said. The Toolbox also includes useful capabilities such as live chat and access to easy product registration.
“The Toolbox is part of our corporate strategy to provide rich, user-friendly content that allows individuals to control where and how they view instructions,” he explained “We continue to focus our services on finding innovative ways to deliver easy-to-use consumer content for our clients, and we’re getting a lot of traction with the new Toolbox.”