U.K. Developer of Tracking Devices Saves $10,000 on Video Production with GoAnimate
Peter Thompson heads Custodia Systems, a company in Milton Keynes, U.K., that creates devices to locate stolen vehicles. That’s a simple enough business to understand. Most consumers would express familiarity with the concept. But Thompson’s company has a product with a key point of differentiation. Most vehicle tracking companies use GPS signals; Thompson’s AppelloGEO device uses radio signals. Unlike GPS, these radio signals can penetrate into garages, shipping containers or other covered areas to locate stolen vehicles. His company maintains its own team of investigators—comprised mostly of former police officers—who round up the missing cars, trucks, boats and other vehicles, along with the thieves who took them.
The Challenge: Explaining product differences
The AppelloGEO service is unique, and for Thompson it presents a unique issue. “Every sale for us involves education,” he says. “Half my time at sales meetings is spent telling people why they shouldn’t buy what they want to buy (GPS systems). People think using AppelloGEO is like using smartphone tracking, but thieves can bypass GPS. My biggest hurdle is explaining why our system works where others fail. It’s very difficult to explain in writing without turning off the audience.”
The Solution: A money-saving GoAnimate explainer video
A marketing company recommended video to Thompson as a more engaging way to explain the differences between his product and other devices. The cost of a professionally produced animation or live video, however, would have been $2,000 for each 30 seconds, Thompson notes. “That would be a significant investment for our small business. We wanted to produce two videos, and that would total $10,000 in animation costs without our having any concept of how well it would work.”
Moreover, Thompson felt the biggest cost would be the knowledge-transfer time he would need to spend in detailing for the production house the information and messages he wanted to convey. No one knew his business better than Thompson himself, so he sought out tools he could use to go straight to the salient points in a sales video.
The marketing company advised Thompson that he was making a mistake in trying to create a video himself, but Thompson wanted to try it. He started looking for solutions online and came across GoAnimate as a recommended resource in an article that reviewed a variety of software-based animation services.
“I looked through at least five sites, and GoAnimate seemed to have the right mix of cost, ease of use and technicality vs. result,” Thompson reports. “I needed something that gave me a high-quality final product but didn’t require lots of technical skills or time.”
To test GoAnimate, Thompson produced a short animation video about his family, completing it in just 15 minutes. He was so pleased with the result that he started producing a two-and-a-half-minute AppelloGEO video with GoAnimate one evening and was completed in less than six hours.
“It came straight out of my head and into GoAnimate,” Thompson says, “without my even having a plan. I did it all in one night and came back later to make just a few changes in timing.”
Thompson’s experience with GoAnimate confirmed that he chose the right animation platform. Each of the others lacked a critical feature. “One didn’t have the ability to do voiceovers and was too basic,” he says. “Another didn’t have the right models for a business video and was aimed at home animations. A third was too technical and would have required two weeks for me to get my head around it. I wanted it to look like a professional product, and GoAnimate had voiceover, good business models and was not overly technical. With GoAnimate, I could pay a fixed fee and walk away with the rights to the video. GoAnimate was the only platform that would let me do all this.”
In creating his video, Thompson was especially pleased with the ability to import his own backgrounds, imagery and props, combining live video with animation. “There was nothing I couldn’t do with it,” he says. He also found GoAnimate to be very fast. “I could do this thing that I’d been told was terribly complex in one evening,” he says. “I didn’t think it would be as easy as it was. Even the marketing company admitted the production was good.”
The Results: At least $10,000 in savings per video
Because he could use GoAnimate for a small subscription fee, Thompson reports that, at the least, he instantly saved $10,000 compared with going to a production house.
“We’ve had quite a lot of sales from our video,” Thompson says. “One view alone could sell hundreds of tracking devices for corporate vehicles.”
Thompson now has produced a second video with GoAnimate to explain the services of canDO GPS, a vehicle and fleet tracking device from Custodia Systems. He says he has all sorts of sales and educational pieces he’d like to do with GoAnimate. He has even used GoAnimate as an animated introduction and frame for live videos that he has shot previously to bring a consistent look to his brand on YouTube.
Thompson also has customized graphics and words in animated videos targeted to specific prospects, and he has even lifted an animated character from his GoAnimate video to use in his print ads and website.
“There’s no chance of my stopping my GoAnimate subscription anytime soon,” Thompson declares. “I know if there’s something I want to do in two minutes, I can do it with GoAnimate.”