Intelligent Mobile: “The Portmeirion app transforms your visit into an interactive treasure hunt”
An interview with the winner of two categories in the 2023 Engage B2B Awards
At the end of last year, we held our Engage B2B Awards, celebrating excellence and innovation in marketing engagement. Intelligent Mobile and Portmeirion stood out at the Awards Ceremony in December, earning not one but TWO trophies. More specifically, they received the Best Customer Engagement Initiative award as well as the Best Use of Marketing Technology award for their development of ‘The World’s Most Engaging Tour Guide App’.
CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE 2023 BEST CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE & BEST USE OF MARKETING TECHNOLOGY AWARDS! COULD YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE INTELLIGENT MOBILE AND SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR ENTRY?
At Intelligent Mobile, we’re a multi award-winning digital agency, based in London and Edinburgh, focusing on transformative digital experiences.
We specialise in custom App, AI and enterprise web solutions and are winners of notable industry accolades, including the Scottish Digital Agency of the Year and the UK App of the Year in 2019 and 2023.
We're delighted to be recognised with the 2023 Best Customer Engagement Initiative and Best Use of Marketing Technology awards for the Portmeirion app.
This innovative app leverages insights into visitor interests and preferred behavioural patterns to deliver personalised tours and interactive content. The app puts the customer at the heart of everything Portmeirion has to offer and is designed to be accessible to all.
We're particularly thrilled for our visionary client to be recognised for creating a new genre of tour guide and setting a new standard for interactive visitor experiences.
HOW DID THE PORTMEIRION APP COME ABOUT?
Portmeirion presented us with a unique challenge: to develop the "World's Most Engaging Tour Guide App" amidst a post-Brexit and Covid landscape where traditional tour guides were scarce. This was not just about replacing guides; it was about enhancing the visitor engagement and at a lower cost.
We embraced the challenge, forging a collaborative partnership with Portmeirion to weave technology into the very fabric of the village. The success of the project has been a testament to the power of a shared vision and teamwork. With content crafted by local experts and custodians of the village, it is a unique collaboration with a local community that is a source of civic pride and one that has attracted the attention of the national media.
WHAT FEATURES MAKE THE APP STAND OUT?
The App comes to life ‘on-site’ where the content and navigation options are unique to each user and their current location.
The Portmeirion app doesn't just tell you where to go; it transforms your visit into an interactive treasure hunt. You can:
- Become your own guide.
Slip into "Tour Guide Mode" and let GPS-triggered audio tours unfold as you explore. Bespoke maps, zoned to different areas, keep you on track while revealing hidden gems and fascinating stories.
- Dive into a world of discovery.
With over 50 points of interest and 2 hours of captivating audio covering 85 acres, "Explore Mode" lets you curate your own adventure and discover the village's rich history at your own pace.
- Unlock exclusive secrets.
As you step into designated areas, “geo fenced” content magically unlocks, offering deeper insights and hidden narratives whispered directly to your ears. It's like having a personal storyteller at your side, enriching your experience with every step.
The result? A resounding success, exceptional customer engagement (the average user views 24 points of interest and spends 30 minutes on the app per visit) and national media coverage.
HOW DOES YOUR TECHNOLOGY CATER TO PEOPLE OF ALL ABILITIES?
The Portmeirion app is designed to embrace inclusivity, aligned with the village's ESG goals.
- Multilingual Accessibility
Available in both English and Welsh, the app caters to a both a local and international audience, with 37% of downloads in Welsh.
- Empowering Exploration
Accessible routes within the village are prominently highlighted and have been accessed over 25,000 times.=
- User-Centred Design
Site visits, surveys, and an Experience Design (XD) approach focused on user needs and habits. This led to distilling the app's purpose into three key questions:
- What's around me now? (Engage and educate)
- What's next?
- How do I get there?
To address these questions, content for all aspects of the App had to be dynamic and adapt to the user’s location and context (both ‘on-site’ and ‘off-site’) ensuring a seamless and personalised experience for everyone.
FINALLY, WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN DURING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS APP?
So many lessons were learned. Developing the app became a labour of love and a lesson in immersive storytelling. It presented a unique challenge – replacing human guides and delivering a captivating exploration of the village's rich history, extensive terrain, and sometimes limited connectivity.
Here's what we learned through this transformative journey:
- Demystifying the Labyrinth
Replacing human guides demanded a deep understanding of visitor behaviour and the nuances of the space. Extended site visits, guided tours, and guest interactions helped us map not only the physical landscape but also how visitors navigated and engaged with the environment. This revealed invaluable insights that shaped the app's structure and content.
- Zoning in on Engagement
Mobile experiences thrive on seamless navigation and tailored content. By dividing the village into distinct zones, we ensured visitors received relevant information and engaging narratives seamlessly adapted to their location. This not only enhanced the user experience but also mitigated potential connectivity issues.
- Bridging the Human Gap
While technology can offer convenience and customisation, it rarely replaces the personal touch. To bridge this gap, we integrated interactive storytelling and location-triggered surprises, forging a sense of connection and discovery akin to an engaging human guide.
- Beyond Portmeirion: A Testament to Community Engagement
Our Portmeirion experience transcended the confines of a single app. It yielded valuable insights into crafting immersive digital experiences that resonate with users, regardless of location or context. We learned the power of meticulous research, strategic content delivery, and weaving engaging narratives into the very fabric of the digital space.
Most of all, this project has been a testament to the power of a shared vision, collaborative spirit, and community engagement. The Portmeirion app represents the place and its extraordinary people as a living story accessible through the lens of innovative technology, and Intelligent Mobile is proud to be a small part of that narrative.