LLoyd's ION Infotron

Using 3D animation, interactive design and Web technology, HexaGroup developed the gateway to consistent collateral for Lloyd’s Register Energy.

BackgroundA division of the London-based big-four classification societies, Houston-based Lloyd’s Register Energy faced a marketing and communications conundrum after a rapid expansion that included the acquisition of nine different companies and their assets. The quickly-growing catalog of literally hundreds of new products that could be combined in hundreds of thousands of different ways required a tremendous amount of effort for the Lloyd’s Register Energy team to completely wrap their arms around and maintain.

The potential of this vast offering was severely handicapped by its sheer mass. Sales professionals in the organization’s 180 offices around the globe were siloed within their own specialty areas. Though sitting on a potential gold mine, they were unaware of--and frankly daunted by--the vastness of the offering. Potential customers weren’t making the connection between their needs and the potential of the company’s huge offering. And, being a global firm, of course this was all being done in several different languages. Suffice it to say that people on both sides of the sales relationship were frustrated. The Lloyd’s Register Energy team needed to communicate a broad set of products and distribute consistent information to its business development community.

Objectives & ChallengesVery forward-thinking and marketing-savvy, the Lloyd’s Register Energy team set out to create a flexible tool that could serve the product offering in any given situation, without imposing their own internal structure or view of products on the customer. Instead, the tool should facilitate the way a customer searches, enable exploration of the possibilities, and become a resource to potential customers. Additionally, Lloyd’s Register Energy wanted to enhance their engagement in trade shows, improve lead collection, create a paperless booth, and provide collateral that was consistent and accessible. Finally, the long-term solution needed to be mobile, scalable and manageable.

SolutionWhat had been a big problem became a huge opportunity with the development of the Lloyd’s Register Energy “Ion” by HexaGroup. Ion represented a strategic project that demanded high creativity and an intuitive user experience, paired with technical implementation that made the entire experience seamless to the user.

Ion is built on the HexaGroup “Chameleon” platform, a paperless information delivery solution. Like it’s namesake, it is highly flexible: As the Lloyd’s Register Energy Ion, Chameleon easily morphs into a trade show installation on an 80” touchscreen, a sales presenter tool and library on a tablet interface, or a lobby kiosk on 42” touchscreens. It’s even available on a mobile device, allowing salespeople to make a presentation in the back of a cab. Designed for easy expansion, additional environments beyond downstream and upstream can be shown and customized for specific situations, allowing Ion to serve as a useful presentation tool for other divisions of the company.

Ion is part CMS, part data library, part interactive touchscreen, part presentation engine. And the Chameleon solution easily changes shape to accommodate the multiple languages, delivery methods, and platform limitations of any given deployment. Multi-market, multi-lingual, multi-audience, and multi-platform, Ion is multi-talented.

An Enticing, Captivating InterfaceThe interface for the Lloyd’s Register Energy installation is one of two gorgeous 3D animation pieces, either an onshore oil and gas installation or an offshore collection of oil and gas assets. Each of the assets in the images pulses, inviting the user to engage with the interactive display. The use of images as the navigation quickly and creatively connects users--regardless of language--to the massive catalog of information.

When touched, the display zooms dramatically into the asset and opens a dialog box describing what Lloyd’s Register’s offering is for that asset, followed by a bullet list of company offerings which are then linked to data sheets, videos, animations, HTML content, images and virtually any type of digital asset Lloyd’s Register Energy can offer clients.

The Energy Service Database is an explorable drag-and-drop library of information through which users can immediately collect pertinent information and deliver it to their own email inboxes. It’s accessible from any screen. With only the input of an email address, users explore the database by alphabetic listing, asset type, or service line. They then simply drag the information into the cart and send it to their inbox.

Visitors explore details of all of Lloyd’s Register Energy services for each of the assets depicted in the display: lifting equipment, production platforms, drillships, LNG terminals, drilling rigs, blowout preventers (BOP), pipelines, etc.

AnalyticsEvery interaction is tracked and measured by HubSpot, which provides complete analytics of all user interactions. Information entered by the user is immediately input into the two CRMs used by Lloyd’s Register Energy, Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.

ImplementationThe first installation of Ion took place at the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, then the Offshore Europe Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland. It next appeared at Offshore Brazil, the Australian Oil and Gas conference, OTC Asia, and back to Houston for OTC 2014. Unlike other trade show installations, the visitors to Lloyd’s Register Energy’s booth had information sheets waiting for them in their inbox, not thrown together in a plastic bag and ultimately dumped and forgotten when visitors finally got back to their offices.

The Power of InformationAs a trade show asset, Ion collects visitor information either by the user keying it in, photography of their badge, or by scanning their trade show badge. The application then tracks each user’s interaction. This provides vital information to Lloyd’s Register Energy about how their customers think: It shows the user’s search path, revealing how customers may be thinking about their asset issues, and how users make connections between assets and the products and services related to them. Easily generated HubSpot reports are rich in user information, delivering important insights into what potential customers are looking for and what they’re not looking for. The Lloyd’s Register Energy data library is overflowing with information; HubSpot reports provide guidance to the marketing team about what materials they need to produce more of and what materials can simply be discarded. In addition to tracking all user steps, the analytics reveal coming trends in the business that may not ordinarily be perceived early in their cycle, giving Lloyd’s Register Energy a potential jump on its competition.

ResultsBy developing the Ion interactive portal, Lloyd’s Register Energy has offered potential customers the ultimate gateway into all of the company’s collateral. Visitors are able to discover what the company is all about and service line managers are able to configure data, communicate about their product lines, capture contact information, and deliver collateral to their clients and colleagues with full confidence they are sharing the latest and most up-to-date material available. Integration with HubSpot and the company’s CRM systems allows Lloyd’s Register Energy to track all activity and what customers do with the information they receive. As a lead generation tool, Ion generated nearly 3,000 leads at recent oil and gas conferences and is becoming the platform for business development worldwide. Ion has been proven to draw trade show booth traffic, is engaging, self-navigating and leads to productive conversations.

Addressing the objective of consistent, accessible collateral, Lloyd’s Register Energy now centrally controls all marketing materials, has eliminated versioning worries, and pushes materials digitally to interested customers.

Ion also received a Gold Award of Excellence in the 2013 Communicators Awards and was recognized by the American Marketing Association as innovative mobile technology in B2B marketing.