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When Metrohm, a leading international producer of high-precision instruments for chemical analysis introduced an innovative modular titration system platform, the main challenge was finding a channel for informing and motivating the international sales team: Getting sales to hit the ground running was an important precondition for the success of the launch operation.

Global tritration market leader Metrohm teamed up with Netural to create a launch app for the new OMNIS system, providing an audience of 420 sales persons and product managers around the world with latest know-how. What made the resulting app project very special was its didactic concept. It dished out important informations in one small, easily digestible slice per day, inviting the target group by sending notifications. Departing from the conventions of mostly text-based instructions, these “know-how snacks” consisted of smartphone-scaled photos, diagrams and video snippets, all of them consumable on the go.

The OMNIS Daily app´s minimalistic, reduced-to-the-max design focused on content and usability. Messaging started in February, three months before the official launch of the OMNIS platform. We took the occasion to visit the Metrohm headquarter in Switzerland and arranged an interview with marketing vice president Markus Steinke and marketing manager Roman Moser.

Could you please start by introducing Metrohm in the shortest possible manner?

Markus Steinke: „A globally operating manufacturer of high-precision instruments for chemical analysis who provides the machinery, but the necessary know-how as well, both being of equal importance for our customers.“

Roman Moser: „In short, we are solution providers.“

Last year in May you approached Netural. What was your precise request?

MS: „We had to prepare the transfer of enormous amounts of knowledge about our new product range. Both the amount of information and its complexity were beyond our experience horizon. Exacerbating the situation was the sales team´s lack of enthusiasm for learning bulky written documentations by heart. How could we supply them with all the necessary know-how, creating the credible competence they needed to sell the new system? We initially considered installing an e-learning system, but found the approach unconvincing.“

What did you achieve in your initial workshops with Netural?

RM: „We found the courage for a complete turnaround. The „OMNIS Daily“ approach was something we had never really considered. This was the input we received working with Netural, and it came late, but late is better than never.“

So you came up with an app which feeds the sales team all the information in slices?

MS: „We decided to serve sales persons one slice of information about OMNIS every day. Smartphone notifications reminded them to take their daily „info snack“, helping to quickly build a habit. We targeted all our sales and service staff, adding up to now 420 registered users with access to OMNIS Daily.“

How many language versions of the app did you launch, in which markets, and on which operating systems?

MS: „We rolled out the app worldwide, and only in English, our group´s working language, but we are considering a Chinese version as well. OMNIS Daily is available for iOS and Android.“

What is the special appeal of OMNIS Daily?

RM: „Well, it is visually appealing, and I like the multimedia capability: embedding graphics and short videos is helpful. But the real appeal is that OMNIS Daily forced us to reduce content to the bare minimum, to tell the whole story in one or two sentences, including the customer benefit.”

What were the challenges in app and content development?

MS: „The toughest part was keeping the very tight schedule for the OMNIS Daily launch. Things turned out to be bit sportive, to say the least.“

RM: „Still it worked out very well. Dividing content into small sections made work easier for our authors. They did not need to fill pages and pages and precise input requirements kept the content pipeline running.”

MS: „There were numerous launch presentations. During every presentation we held for branch offices and product managers we collected questions, and the answers were included in the app content.“

Will you make the app publicly available?

MS: „We considered this. But we like this quick, protected information channel and are frankly a bit reluctant to open the door, because that would force us to align the content with customer requirements. So for now we have decided to regard OMNIS Daily as privileged information for our sales staff.“

Did you receive feedback from international sales?

RM: „Yes, and they are enthusiastic, saying the app is great, is something new, is really up-to-date… - We are even receiving requests from staffers who do not have access yet, and that tells us a lot about the positive impact of OMNIS Daily.“

Are you planning to build on that?

MS: „We are counting our options. But decisions will not be made before the second semester, when we can review the initial experiences.“

Thank you for these insights.

MS, RM: „Pleasure.“

Article: 18.10.2016




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