A Bristol innovator is using interactive digital technology to help advanced manufacturing businesses create powerful and visually compelling sales experiences and communicate complex concepts to their clients. It has developed a pioneering new product, refined its marketing strategy and tripled its revenue – all with Innovate UK EDGE support.
POPcomms creates bespoke interactive experiences which can be exhibited on any device from tablets, laptops and smartphones to large format touchscreens at conferences, showrooms and in sales pitches.
Prospective customers can swipe through 3D models, product information, images and videos, and with integration into their clients’ systems these assets are always current, creating a single source of truth for sales and customers.
“We help companies with large, complex portfolios who sometimes struggle to articulate the value that they bring to customers,” says Damjan Haylor, Managing Director, POPcomms.
“These businesses will often be selling to people who aren’t experts in the relevant fields i.e. finance or operations managers, so it’s important to build trust, confidence and understanding.
“By building a 3D model of a city, for instance, we can help clients selling into the manufacturing sector to clearly demonstrate to prospects; ‘this is your world, and this is how we fit seamlessly into it.’
“That approach can really help clients to wow their customers and foster a more conversational based sales experience.”
POPcomms also tracks interactions with clients. By feeding an analytics management tool that allows sales managers to review which customers are engaged, what’s working and where improvements can be made, the sales team get a better understanding of the customer experience.
In 2021, POPcomms decided to expand its product offering and turned to Innovate UK EDGE to support its development and rollout.
The new product has been ported on to a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that enables clients to create their own interactive sales experiences, with technical support and guidance from the POPcomms team.
Innovate UK EDGE Innovation and Growth Specialist, Giulia Pratico, worked with the M.D. Damjan to develop a detailed growth plan focusing on the company’s technical development and marketing strategy.
Product development support
To support the work, Giulia introduced Innovate UK EDGE colleague Ralph Wood, who helped POPcomms create a comprehensive product development strategy.
“We were a very traditional creative agency looking to transition into a SaaS business, which is a huge change for the company,” says Damjan. “Creating a product for one client is very different to creating something for thousands of clients – and Ralph’s support was a huge help.”
“He delivered some brilliant workshops where he pointed out pitfalls we hadn’t even considered and helped us bring a lot more structure to our processes.
“As an agency, we’re often operating in silos and working on certain assumptions, so it’s great to have someone experienced who can support with external guidance and act as a sounding board for our ideas.”
Giulia next introduced Innovate UK EDGE colleague Phil Johnston, who helped POPcomms create a new messaging framework to reflect its new product offering.
“Although we specialise in sales software, we've always struggled to capture exactly what we do in a short couple of sentences,” says Damjan. “We do this for our clients every day, but sometimes doctors can make the worst patients.”
“Phil’s support was incredibly valuable. He would point out things that sounded like ‘marketing speak’ and let us know when he didn’t feel we were properly conveying our energy, excitement and value.”
“We’ve had to pull things apart slightly to move in the right direction, but it’s put us in a far better position. We now feel we have a much stronger brand and that’s a real differentiator for us as a business.”
A Critical Friend
Reflecting on his support journey with Giulia, Damjan says: “Giulia’s support and guidance was really invaluable.
“She chose exactly the right specialists for us who are not only experts in their fields, but also experienced in our sectors. Phil has experience at a major pharmaceuticals business and Ralph worked at Dyson and has launched products himself, so they both understood our business, our clients, and where we needed to get to. It’s been great.”
POPcomms is now growing rapidly, having tripled its revenues since 2020. Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support this Bristol innovator as it brings more visually compelling, interactive sales tools to advanced manufacturers across the world.
Giulia’s support and guidance was really invaluable...she chose exactly the right specialists for us who are not only experts in their fields, but also experienced in our sectors".