What started as a means to streamline a company’s business development process with an interactive tool has now become its core business.
Five-year-old New York City-based Outgrow.co was always fielding questions from potential customers about pricing for its web and app development services, so it decided to create an interactive online tool to make it simple for a potential client to discover quickly if they are serious about becoming a paying customer.
In the last year, however, this has become Outgrow.co’s focus, said co-founder Pratham Mittal. “It’s hard to build interactive content today. You need designers.” And this equates to high costs and a great deal of time that many businesses don’t have.
The company’s platform enables organizations of any size to build different types of interactive online content such as calculators and quizzes, which are not only apt to go viral, but also help to glean useful customer information, said Mittal. “It empowers businesses to create lead generation tools that work better than boring normal landing pages.”
He cited media companies such as the Los Angeles Times, the Economist and Buzzfeed as being successful at using quizzes that go viral. The latter’s recently fun “aura colour calculator” garnered four million shares on Facebook, noted Mittal. “These companies usually have developers on their team who can build these calculators.” This is where interactive content can really help SMEs who may not have in-house staff or the budget to hire an outside resource.
One of the reasons these calculators and quizzes are successful and more appealing than a survey is that they can answer important questions for the customer, who then becomes more willing to give information to the company, said Mittal. The quizzes can be as simple as asking people what colour of paint they would prefer for their house or whether they are prepared for winter. “They help the customer,” he said. “They add value to the customer.”
Outgrow.co was started five years ago, working with companies in fashion and hospitality help them with mobile apps and web sites. Mittal said it was always fielding questions about how much it would cost to build the products. “Let’s just create a calculator to answer these questions” became the solution, he said. “It completely changed our business.”
The platform for other companies to quickly build interactive quizzes and calculators was built just over a year ago as means to create anything that’s interactive. It’s cloud-based, so users can reference code from Outgrow.co or embed it in their own site.
It also continues to evolve, said Mittal. Future development includes the ability to create checklists, which are more actionable than paragraphs of content. “They’re very up and coming.”
Outgrow.co is looking to support more interactive infographics as well, so that one part might be responsive if clicked on, said Mittal. However, “we don’t want to go too wide; we want to go deep.” That means it will focus on more templates and functionality for quizzes and calculators going forward, and provide the ability to handle more complex financial formulas, for example.
Mittal said Outgrow.co is serving any company that does lead generation online, so it’s not industry specific, and it also has uses within an organization as a performance appraisal or employee survey tool. “Surveys ask pretty one-sided questions but don’t give anything in return.” He said HR departments could use it to better understand how employees are using their time, for example. “People want to know how they are using their time. This creates a dialogue.”