The solution was microlearning, taking small bits of information that could be conveyed in two to three minutes, in conjunction with traditional training, he said.
To keep dealers engaged, Toyo turned to gamification — taking common attributes of gaming, such as leaderboards and earning points, to keep trainees coming back, added Wendy Nicolle, senior manager of product marketing and dealer support.
Toyo's more traditional training programs are fun, but they're in-depth and take a time commitment, she said. Now, dealers can whip out their phones and play for three minutes and learn or relearn about Toyo.
Toyo releases a new game every week. Games include the popular Tread Trivia, a timed quiz game with different point values and rubber burning sounds. Another involves bouncing a tire to different platforms (while avoiding broken platforms) and then answering a question once a specific area is reached. Toyo plans to release new game types every year, McDonald said.
Toyo can change the game's questions instantly, allowing the games to be updated as soon as a new product launches. Games also can be customized by region, such as a game about winter tires targeting the Northeast region, or games designed for a specific retail store, he said.
T3 — accessed through Toyo's dealer portal — allows users to collect badges and accumulate points across the different games. The more players play and earn badges, the more points they earn, which keeps them coming back to the app.
Players are ranked on a leader board that resets quarterly. The top players each quarter win prizes, including a PlayStation 5, with an annual top player reward planned.
The leader board has become quite competitive, Nicolle said, with some "super users" playing hours each week and battling each other for that top spot.
"The thing about gaming is that it's addicting. If you're a gamer, you get addicted. And you want to be on top of that leaderboard."
McDonald said adding the leader- board is what keeps users coming back again and again.
On the back end, Toyo collects robust data, which in turn helps improve training, Nicolle said. "Analytics will help us understand ... where dealers need more help and what they already understand," she said.
The program has been a success so far with about 1,200 players on the leaderboard, she said.
T3 continues a tradition of innovation for Toyo, as its the first in the industry to offer this kind of gamification for learning, McDonald said.
"It's recognizing the way that people want to learn today and absorb information, and not only that, but retain it as well."