Insights from industry

An Interactive Periodic Table

insights from industryJoel Aleixo Global Marketing ManagerGoodfellow

In this interview, Joel Aleixo, Global Marketing Manager from Goodfellow talks to AZoM about the benefits of an interactive periodic table.

To begin, can you tell us about the new fun and interactive periodic table app ‘Mr. Material’ (including what its target audience is and the success of the launch so far)?

The Mr. Material app tests players’ knowledge of the periodic table as they work their way through the levels of the game. Speed is of the essence; the faster players answer each question, the higher the score. The object of the game is to have fun, learn about the elements, and reach as many levels as possible to rank on the leader board. The app was launched in 2019, in time for the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the periodic table. There has been almost 1,000 downloads and we are expecting to add more in the near future.

The Mr. Material app is suitable for individual play or team competition in a variety of settings including classrooms and trade show booths. It can be downloaded free on both Google Play and the App Store.

How important is it to have interactive STEM resources like this for the community to use?

As a leading company in the industry, one of Goodfellow’s most important missions is to always have the knowledge and be able to share that information. We want to have information and technology available in order to engage and attract the new generation of scientists, engineers, designers, etc. This is the main objective of the app, while at the same time, encouraging users to have fun and be competitive.

What was the main driving force behind the development of this app?

Mr. Material has been around since the beginning of 2018 when we started developing the name and mascot. At the same time, the game and app ideas started to be shared within our marketing agencies in the USA and UK, and we developed the first draft of the game. The main objective was always interacting with people from different age groups and backgrounds.

How important is it that the periodic table is viewed/considered as a source of innovation, and how do you think the Mr. Material app contributes towards this?

The periodic table is a very important tool for everyone that works with materials. The new materials introduced/discovered a few years ago and the different updates on material data shows how relevant and innovative the 150-year-old table can be. The Mr Material app will stimulate learning of the periodic table in a fun way.

At Goodfellow, you also have the ‘Materials Hub’ website. What is the aim of this site, and what are some of its key features?

The Materials Hub website is a free online materials library. The aim is to allow everyone that works with materials to access data regarding different aspects of all materials. This enables users to look for inspiration on the use of new materials, or to confirm technical information for the performance of special materials. Users may also use the website to browse and learn about materials they may not be aware of. We also have a material spotlight where we showcase different applications of old and new materials. There are cases of some very inspiring new talent that takes the utilization of materials to a very different level.

With over 300 technical materials featured on the hub, have you seen any particularly strong interests by industrial designers towards certain categories and/or materials?

With concerns increasing on sustainability and the need for new and environmentally friendly materials, I would say that our green production materials have seen significant interest, and have been the biggest success. We have also seen some increase in precious metals and the new Nanomaterials.

How do you hope to see the growth of this hub over the upcoming years, and how do you plan on keeping it both innovative and relevant?

At Goodfellow, we have over 70,000 materials available, and we want the Hub to grow to adequately represent this. Contributions from different entities and general traffic on the website is growing, and we would like to keep the Materials Hub platform innovative by introducing new features and technology. This will make it not only a place to look at materials but also see availability in the market, costs, etc.

One of the features of the hub is ‘Designer Spotlight’. Are there any showcases that you would like to highlight/mention?

During the last 3 years of working on the project, I was lucky to meet some of the artists that have now been featured on the Designer Spotlight. It’s not easy to choose one or two from that great group of people, however, I would say that Manuela Kagerbauer was the first artist who used our materials (that we are aware of), and she showed us how normal materials can become pieces of art. Via Manuela, we also got introduced to Transition Group, a group of artists who work with unique materials. Some of them have now been featured on the website. All the artists we have worked with are incredibly talented, like Jordan Keaney who transformed Ceramic foam into everyday objects such as tables, candle holders, and lamps; and Kieran Devlin, who used recycled CDs and DVDs to create new objects such as record players, knives, and tiles.

Do you have educational resources for the global market? If so, what are these and how can they help researchers at an international level?

All our educational resources are shared across our different platforms. Goodfellow produces digital and printed educational material in the form of catalogs, brochures, and leaflets. We use the biggest digital platforms to share knowledge, translating our content into several languages, (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese). By sharing information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, we hope to reach the widest audience. Further to this, we also translate and share with regional social media platforms such as WeChat (China), Naver Blog (South Korea), Facebook JP (Japan), Xing (Germany), and Viadeo (France).

What’s next for Goodfellow – what are some of your upcoming projects?

At Goodfellow, we are always looking for new projects. We will be doing some major updates on our Website (goodfellow.com and goodfellowusa.com), and we are looking at the usage of new technology such as virtual reality and AI on our different platforms. We are also looking to expand the range of materials we offer (especially New and Nano materials).

Can you tell us a bit about experimenting with different marketing techniques?

Goodfellow has always been on the edge of innovation, not only with materials but also with marketing initiatives and ideas. From the first website back in 1994 when “The Web” was still a new thing, to the Microsoft mix reality experience in 2017.

We use social media platforms not usually used in B2B. The main strategy is the usage of B2B and B2C techniques using the base of inbound marketing. We believe that people will buy from us easily if they trust our knowledge and use and share our information/platforms. We also like to give back to the community and sponsor several teams (BTCC, FST Lisboa, BEEAS and a Local Netball team) and charities for different causes.

Since I joined Goodfellow over five years ago, I have always been allowed to try different approaches and marketing techniques by my director and the board.

At Goodfellow, you have a lot going on – how are you able to achieve all of this?

The only way for me or anyone in my position to do what we have done is with a TEAM, and we have a great team. Although the direct team is very small with just three of us in the office, we are supported by a worldwide team of agencies that not only localize our ideas to the different markets but also look at the trends. We have monthly calls to collaborate and this enables us to identify possible opportunities and be ahead of our competitors.

About Joel Aleixo

In 2015, Joel began his career with Goodfellow and after 5 years, became the Global Marketing Manager. A role which gives the perfect balance between three of his passions - business, marketing, and travel.

Brand management, marketing strategy and international travel are just some aspects of the job. The role is so varied and brings great pride in the creations from the team  - from the websites, animations, competitions, future podcasts and more.

Leading the marketing team, Joel has put a lot of time into developing face-to-face marketing, such as exhibitions, conferences, and trade shows. Pushing into otherwise unexplored areas, he has managed to make business connections worldwide. This has opened up many other marketing opportunities. Most notably, Goodfellow’s sponsorship of several projects to fight and protect from Covid-19.

Aside from marketing and industry, one of the most enjoyable journeys during his time at Goodfellow has been the creative use of some of materials. The Company has worked with a number of artists who have created amazing pieces of art using our raw materials.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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