Thermo Fisher Scientific Converts 50% of Inbound Leads Using 3D Product Tours to Convey Value
The Invitrogen brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific produces instruments and reagents for academic, biopharma, pharma, and medical industry laboratory research and analysis to help customers accelerate life science research, solve complex analytical challenges, and increase laboratory productivity. The company is well-established as a thought leader for medical schools and immunologists who frequently visit the vast Thermo Fisher Scientific website for insights and educational content.
The Invitrogen Attune NxT Flow Cytometer represents one of the many products within the Thermo Fisher Scientific portfolio of products and solutions. With a wide variety of customers – from academic to food science – the challenge is to sell a complex instrument and software solution that is just a small part of the customer’s workflow. Due to the complexity of the product and the diversity of customer needs, the flow cytometry sales teams require extensive technical expertise and support. Conducting successful product demonstrations are key to the sales process involving technical sales specialists, field application scientists and field service engineers.
This results in a sizable resource load – and impeccable communication requirements between the team members – to demonstrate and sell this instrument and its accessories. There is also a significant cost to shipping and setting up the product for demonstration (between $8,000 and $10,000 per meeting).
Invitrogen does not rely solely on physical product demonstrations; they have a model of the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer and its accessories built by a third-party video resourcing company. However, accessing the model required the sales reps to have an uninterrupted internet connection, which was difficult in certain geographies and locations where WiFi wasn’t accessible or reliable. They needed a virtual demonstration for when the physical product wasn’t available – in Latin America, for example – and they needed the ability to access this virtual demonstration offline, which is when they sought the services of Kaon Interactive.
The attributes of the Kaon High Velocity Marketing Platform – offline access, simple sharing through the cloud, the extensibility to include evergreen content and expand the application after the initial launch – was the driving factor in deciding to develop a new interactive sales and marketing application with Kaon. Thermo Fisher Scientific stated, “We didn’t just do a revamp of the old application; we built the Kaon application from the ground up. We truly believed this would be the difference-maker in helping Thermo FisherScientific demonstrate to our prospects why our products and solutions were the right choice for them.”
With Thermo Fisher Scientific’s partnership, Kaon developed the Invitrogen Flow Cytometry application, a 3D demonstration tool for the instruments within the Invitrogen Flow Cytometry portfolio. The tool allows customers and sales representatives to explore the optics, software, fluidics and key design features of the instruments.
To gather the content for the application, engineering and sales were engaged early on, collecting testimonials from around the globe. The Attune NxT instrument demonstration alone has nine animations illustrating, in lifelike quality, the ease of use, workflow, and software benefits of the instrument. It was critical to get all the resonating testimonials, specifications and features included in the interactive application.
“The advantage of this interactive application is that the customer is driving the experience. They are looking around inside the product and finding the aspects that are important to them. They’re looking at the software and finding what their specific need is without the sales rep needing to draw it out of them. And, it’s a handy tool in the marketing toolkit.”Thermo Fisher Scientific Global Market Development Manager of Flow Cytometry Patricia Sardina
The interactive application was launched on a large scale – internally, externally, at trade shows – after a mere three months of design and development.
Because the application contained eight language translations (another benefit of the Kaon platform), it was universally deployed to the entire sales team globally.
Thermo Fisher Scientific also chose to embed the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer and Orbitor RS Microplate Mover virtual 3D product tours directly into the product pages on their website via an iframe. Now, potential customers could interact, examine, and learn about the products on their own, anytime throughout their buyers’ journey, before deciding to engage with sales.
“Providing customers the opportunity to explore the product via an interactive application has been very beneficial. People like to engage with products and services prior to making purchasing decisions, and this application enables customers to experience the product at their leisure,” Patricia commented.
Another benefit of Kaon’s SaaS platform is its User Adoption and Advocacy Program, created to ensure customer success with the application. Post-launch, Patricia is currently working with Kaon for ongoing global sales training sessions. Kaon’s Thermo Fisher Scientific account team is attending sales kickoff meetings around the globe to help promote the application and educate sales representatives about the benefits.
Patricia said, “And, in the end, the project was well-done and truly effective. Kaon delivered all the things promised. It was amazing how this project vision was brought through to fruition.”
The ROI Advantage
Thermo Fisher Scientific has seen one of the largest impacts of the application on their website. Once the interactive 3D product demonstrations were added, the Invitrogen Attune NxT Flow Cytometer delivered a massive jump in engagement on those pages. The virtual product tours draw visitors into the content and help educate customers about the product, effectively moving them through the sales funnel.
Thermo Fisher Scientific can easily track the number of unique devices that interact with the virtual 3D product tours through Kaon’s user statistics, and they match those interactions to inbound leads from the quote-request form. Those are entered into a sales CRM, where they are tracked through the sales cycle to determine close rates.
While the sales cycle for these instruments is understandably long, Patricia has been able to determine that prospects who interact with the 3D product tours have a greater than 50% close rate much higher than those that only view the non-interactive marketing collateral on the website. The interactive 3D product tours help the Invitrogen marketing team deliver higher qualified leads to sales, with much higher conversion rates.
Patricia shared that “there was an instance in North America where the sales team could not demonstrate the physical product, so they used the application as a virtual demonstration of the product for the customer. The virtual product model was so realistic, compelling and detailed
that the customer purchased the instrument without ever seeing the physical product!”
Additionally, she said, “the use is there, and it should be apparent to anyone marketing an instrument that there’s utility to having this type of application. I see a clear ROI benefit.”
Now, the Thermo Fisher Scientific team is working internally to introduce the benefits of the application into an annual, global plan to expand it with more information and functions – such as augmented reality, which will enable the sales representatives to virtually place the interactive 3D product tour of the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer into customers’ labs to visualize how it will fit in place of their current solutions.
“This application has become a leading, powerful asset for the flow portfolio. It draws people in when we run social media of the 3D product tours, driving traffic to the application and to the website,” said Patricia. “The application gets a lot of traffic at trade shows, even if we have the physical instrument there. If we have the 3D product tours on a touch screen, we can let people experience it at their own pace and see what is of interest to them. This has been a worthwhile investment.”Patricia Sardina, Global Market Development Manager of Flow Cytometry, Thermo Fisher Scientific