Product tour and demo software – a look at Storyscale
- The use cases for product tours and demo software are varied and touch all customer-facing departments in the organization. Next up, Storyscale.
Storyscale is a newer platform, initially launching in April of 2021 as a content experience platform (think Hushly). It later pivoted to product tours and interactive demos because the company realized that people needed to see the product before they decided to purchase it.
Storyscale covers all the typical use cases for product tour software, including marketing, sales, customer success, and channel partners. From a marketing perspective, Storyscale supports both website and mobile tour experiences. Its mobile responsive delivery stands out as fully responsive.
When you build a product tour for mobile devices, you can open a tour, zoom in on the element you want to be focused on the screen and optimize the layout. There’s also over-the-top dynamic variable delivery - so you can personalize the product tour to the customer by replacing variables with specific customer information.
If you personalize a demo, you are personalizing an instance of that demo. You lock in that instance, so it never breaks, even when the source demo is updated later. Depending on your chosen settings, tours and demos can be shared privately or publicly.
Another feature that’s good for customers who don’t necessarily want to scrap the entire front end of their application (like Reprise and Demostack do) but still want to enable a more interactive experience is the looping feature that offers parallel choices.
Most product tours are static, and you can only move through the tour in one preset direction. Looping allows you to group functionality and provide multiple steps for the user to choose from on one screen. This feature speaks to sales particularly, but even marketing could take advantage of it.
Another use case is training - whether it’s customer onboarding or internal training. Other product tour vendors also offer this use case, although the implementation may differ. For example, for Storyscale, training tours/demos can include input validation, so users actually have to “use” the demo and interact with form fields instead of simply “nexting” their way out of the training.
One of the reasons that Storyscale hasn’t adopted the front-end scraping approach that other vendors have is that it doesn’t believe you should be trying to recreate the entire product for marketing or sales enablement. Instead, you need to focus on “your greatest hits” and show value, which doesn’t include showing the mundane tasks typically included in applications. Instead, it’s about focusing on 'aha!' moments and doing micro-learning or micro-selling, which means you show parts of the application that align with key functionality.
The power of product
Pendo and Mind the Product released a study of product professionals called The Power of Product in an Economic Downturn that looked at how inflation and the recession impacted budgets. One of the findings was that 54% of respondents said that PLG (product-led growth) is important or accelerating during the downturn.
One of the tactics popular in a PLG model is self-guided product tours, so it makes sense that the market for interactive product tours and demo market is surprisingly large, even considering how young it is. Demostack, Navattic, Walnut, and Saleo, are just some of the other vendors in this space, all with similar capabilities and unique differentiators. Although most of the current platforms support multiple use cases, each one likely excels in one or two more than the others.
There isn’t a specific category for product tour/demo software on G2. Instead, these products are part of the content experience platform category alongside vendors like Uberflip and ShowPad. That makes sense on one level, but on the other hand, I think it would be nice to see these vendors in their own category because it’s difficult to see what vendors are in the market (even a Google search doesn’t help). Grouping these vendors in with other content experience vendors (some of which also include product tour/demo capabilities) muddies the water and makes it difficult to perform a proper review.
Interactive product tours or demos is a growing market that will only get bigger as buyer enablement strategies continue to grow. It’s not software only for PLG companies; it’s an approach that can work for any company following any marketing or sales strategy.