In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
For as long as companies have been selling online, they have struggled to match the offline world’s ability to have someone stand alongside the buyer to walk them through a product’s features and benefits.
US-based collaboration software maker, Citrix, believes it has found the next best thing, thanks to technology from startup company, WalkMe.
Founded in 2012, WalkMe enables the creation of sophisticated online walk-throughs and demonstrations that guide users through features and functions by tagging websites with a sequence of instruction bubbles. While the technology was initially designed for training purposes, increasingly it is being used to drive sales conversion and promote premium features.
For Citrix, WalkMe was initially engaged to help customers of its GoToWebinar Web conferencing service become accustomed to a new user interface.
“We wanted those customers who were getting converted over to the new UI to see that everything was still there, it was just enhanced and updated,” says Citrix’ marketing conversion manager, Jay Hall.
It was at this time that Citrix realised the tool could also be useful in encouraging its ‘triallers’ to convert to paid versions.
Hall says the company has recently completed a test using a 50/50 split of its trial customers, and early results have shown a much faster conversion for the version that featured WalkMe.
“The control group that didn’t experience WalkMe had 6 per cent conversion rate, whereas with WalkMe they were converting at a 13.3 per cent conversion rate,” Hall says. “What that showed was that customers were engaged with the product and after their trial ended, they were likely to converts at a faster rate.”
Another benefit was the ability to draw attention to specific features within the product, such as recording audio from the webinar, which was highlighted with a WalkMe tag.
“We had a 41 per cent increase in the test group over the control group got to that audio page,” Hall says.
When using WalkMe users are prompted through a series of bubbles that ‘walk’ them through sequence of product features or the process of completing a task. What makes the technology different from competing solutions is the ability for tags to be set contextually to the task being performed, and their ability continue functioning across different devices, such as from a PR to a tablet or a smartphone. The tool also includes extensive analytics capabilities for tracking user behaviour.
Head of corporate and marketing communications at WalkMe, Boaz Amidor, describes the technology as like adding a GPS to a website or service. While WalkMe was initially used for training and on-boarding of staff, increasingly it is being used as a sales conversion tool.
“The Bank of Montreal uses us for its customers,” Amidor says. “Insurance companies use it to educate their customers. When you are smart you can use a tool like WalkMe to drive people to higher health coverage.”
Amidor says the technology also results in savings through decreasing call volumes within the contact centre.
“The average cost of a call to a call centre, no matter where it is in the world, is US$9,” Amidor says. “And when she uses a machine like WalkMe it is a percentage of a cent.”