Category Archives: Customer

Five fold increase in web traffic?

ImageEveryone loves a success story, but getting a five fold increase in unique visitors is quite dreamy. Here’s the story of Julian, his cattle and how Go 2 Market turned up the heat.

Go 2 Market started working with Julian Downs of Rannoch Meats in early February 2013 to help better understand the prospects for growing their farm direct beef sales. Julian, an IT professional during the week, and his wife raise Red Devon cattle in Greytown property in their spare time.

Rannoch Meats had been selling direct to the public for a few years and wanted to crank up sales. With little spare time on their hands they needed someone to come in and quickly assess and provide options around channels, recommend changes to current marketing and generate sales.

Go 2 Market quickly engaged with the hospitality sector to understand their requirements, the competition and the opportunities for a local food producer to get attention.

When introduced to the idea, Wellington restaurants liked having local beef on the menu especially if it came from a lesser known heard of bred of cattle. By calling in to speak with the chef at Ti Kouka Go 2 Market was able to have Rannoch Meats Red Devon beef feature in the restaurant’s dish for the prestigious Wellington on a Plate competition. Calls to other restaurants were also positively received and soon there was interest a plenty for Julian to followup.

The outcome was much the same for direct sales to home buyers. Go 2 Market spread the word and it didn’t take long for people to understand the value proposition of buying beef direct from the farm. Part of this awareness raising took place as a result of a survey. Go 2 Market surveyed past, current and prospective customers. The results were very informative and were turned into actions including communicating the main information customers wanted, more promotion, and changes to delivery.

Social media also played a part in awareness raising including reaching out to bloggers in the food community. As a result Rannoch Meats was promoted in a number of food related blog posts.

The outcome of all the calls, emails, social media and conversations, was an exponential increase in awareness of Rannoch Meats. Over the five week period of Go 2 Market’s engagement Rannoch Meats website had more than five times the number of unique visitors it had for the same period in 2012. Every day the traffic was higher relative to the same period the previous year.

Pleasingly, there were also 23% more page visits and 9% more time spent on the site. The bounce rate also dropped by 30% as proportionately more people reached the site they wanted, Best of all, increases in all metrics over the same period last year continue to be at very high levels even after the engagement with Go 2 Market.

Julian has the final word on the engagement “Objectives have been achieved and I am one very happy customer of Go 2 Market.”

Thanks Julian, bon appétit!

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If first impressions count, then what are you telling your customers?

Have there ever been more options for pricing than there are today: one day deal sites, online pricing, freemium, optimised pricing, auction sites are just a few of the possibilities for setting a price, and an impression. So if first impressions count, then what are you telling your customers?

But of the four P’s of marketing, price usually receives far less thought than the other three. Not only does the price of your product or service say so much about what you are offering but it’s so important to your business’s survival.

If you have a new brand getting the price right is often very difficult. And while there is some room and time to fine tune things the longer the price remains unchanged the harder it will be to adjust customer’s perceptions.

Your business may suit being involved in an auction site where people bid for seasonal products e.g. Buystand. Alternatively you may have a more perishable product in which case there’s a real benefit in selling each days ‘stock’ for the best overall profit you can. That’s where price optimisation can help. One company who work in this area are Pricetech.  Their tagline appeals to me and gives you an indication of what to expect: revenue management and profit optimisation.

One thing’s for sure is that there will always be people willing to pay for the best, or even just willing to pay the most. This applies to houses, equally as it does for hotels, services, food, electronics … you name it. So depending on your product I’d always suggest seeing if you can get the highest price in the market. If your market share ambitions, brand, and the other elements of your marketing mix allow could you have a sustainable business by pricing as the most expensive? If not what’s involved to get there and how feasible is it?

But actually, you don’t have to have the highest price to get people wanting your brand. The point is that matching your price with the rest of your marketing mix will ensure satisfied customers even if customers pay very little for what they buy from you.

What about giving your product away? In the software game it’s called ‘Freemium’. One of the best articles about Freemium why and how comes from Techcrunch. On a similar vein I share thoughts in an earlier blog about Goupon type offers.

Go 2 Market principle: create the right impression with your customers by ensuring your price matches the rest of your marketing mix. You’ll create a positive impression with your customers and your bottom line.

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Airlines do it best, but you too can increase profits

Fries with your burger? Internet with your room? What are the add on sales you can make to enhance your customer’s experience?

Did you know that airlines worldwide will net US$36 billion in fees and upsells? That’s a lot of money! Their growth area is targeting the most lucrative customers with new products. Who are your most lucrative customers? And what are your add on sales?

Airlines seem to be flying highest (pardon the pun) with added sales. They are always searching for new opportunities to make more money. For example, paid apps are mostly not as successful yet major budget airline, Ryan Air’s £3 booking app is top of the iTunes chart!

So how can you go about gaining add on sales? I’d suggest you start by breaking down your product/service offer into as many pieces as you can. I’d encourage you to also have one or two comparisons from other industries to help you see what’s possible. For example, when booking airline travel who would have thought there could be so many choices and add ons. Certainly ten years ago there wasn’t!

Now think about the differentials you can offer, and charge for:

  • different opening hours for select customers
  • a unique product, or a standard product
  • special delivery
  • higher level of service
  • different payment methods and terms
  • complimentary products or services
  • faster service
  • additional service e.g. personalised, pickup or in home service
  • automated repeat order at a set date
  • early order discount, or higher cost for last stock item.

There are many options to differentiate your product or service, and therefore opportunities to increase demand for your offer. The outcome will appeal to different customers with offers that better match their needs e.g. travellers with or without bags, or travellers who like/dislike airline food, or taller travellers wanting more leg room. Here’s another example, where an e-reader service is letting readers pay per page!

By breaking down your offer you can then isolate pricing and also costs. As a result you should be more likely to make each cost pay for itself, and be able to renegotiate better prices from your suppliers. But at a minimum you’ll have a better understanding of which are the most important elements of your customer offer and where you make the most money.

Go 2 Market principle: what all business operators should want is a way to satisfy customer needs. By breaking down your offer into multiple parts you can differentiate your offer and better satisfy their needs plus your own to make a healthy return.

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One thing your customers and staff both want

There are not many things your customers and staff both want, but young or old, product or service, everyone wants to have ‘fun’!

Of course the natural question is what’s meant by ‘fun’. Well fun can involve: winning, solving problems, exploring, chilling out, teamwork, recognition, triumphing, collecting, surprise, imagination, sharing, role playing, customisation.

But what does enabling people to have fun have to do with business? By enabling fun you can create an emotional content with the experience and get people engaged. When people are engaged they are more likely to move towards your objective.

Here’s a practical example. The progress bar on LinkedIn was introduced to get more people to complete their profile. By people completing their profile they are more committed to the site, it makes it easier for others to get good results, and it creates more data for LinkedIn to target users. Completing profiles went up by a very impressive 20% when LinkedIn created a very simple Profile Completeness bar. It’s not what most of us would call fun or gamelike, but it has enough to engage people to get them to do more. Specifically the completed to date (feedback), the recommendation for what’s next (progression) and your next level (completion).

The fun does not need to completely enthral people or have them regard it as the most thrilling thing in their life, it can be far simpler.

While fun is broader than just having a laugh or making something whiz bang, to be successful fun needs to be designed into the process. Further, fun can be challenging and there are many kinds of fun.

For example having customers provide responses to other customers’ questions is now not uncommon. Many organisations have created a gamelike forum where those responding do the work that would normally be done by the organisation. But in these cases the knowledgeable customers share because they regard it as ‘fun’.

I’m talking about ‘Gamification’ of course. Fun is the core element of Gamification. The term is relatively new today and often regarded as a distinct discipline. However, just as Artificial Intelligence was a term that previously had its own focus but is now part of the business mainstream, Gamification’s integration is already happening. It’s starting to become an integral part of everyday software.

So what does Gamification mean for business? As always know your customers, or staff if it’s an internal focus. Know your objectives, and introduce elements of fun into what you want customers or staff to do to achieve your objectives.

Go 2 Market principle: no one doesn’t want to have fun. Fun can mean a lot of different things, so think broadly. And by enabling fun you can make a huge difference to the fun your bottomline will have.

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Which is it: rewards, loyalty, or re-alty?

I got some comments about my last blog on two leading rewards/loyalty programmes (NextBee and Fielo) and driving loyalty through rewards. Plus concerns of customers being loyal to the programme rather than the brand. All worth discussing.

Coincidently when truncating the two terms, rewards and loyalty, the word ‘re-alty’ is created. Quite aptly I believe. Turning to the trusty the meaning of ‘realty’ is: “belongings, property, holding – something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone”.

These words speak to me about ‘customer loyalty’ (intangible possession), ‘rewards’ (belongings), and ‘perception’ (owned by someone). The kind of words that resonate with rewards and loyalty.

But coming back to the point. Rewards provide an opportunity to enhance loyalty. For example, rewarding someone for being a customer for 5 or x years is a nice thing to do and is generally appreciated by the customer making them more loyal.

Also offering customers a reward (or incentive) to change their behaviour e.g. go to online billing, may increase their loyalty to the brand. Friend get friend offers (referral) using rewards will work if there is customer loyalty; as you don’t recommend something you don’t rate to a friend.

So in my opinion rewards and loyalty work hand in hand. However, some rewards such as a reward for not leaving (typical in the electricity sector) doesn’t recognise loyalty but is more blackmail.

Further I believe that there are different levels of loyalty, for example:

  • Despite rewarding a customer, a bad customer experience or competing offer may make them ignore their level of loyalty and change brands
  • Some people are more loyal to the programme than the brand.

With the right programme, you can manage rewards to maximise the benefits and limit the downsides of a loyalty programme.  My previous and next blog will cover more about the best options for rewards/loyalty.

Being part of an umbrella rewards/loyalty programme makes your brand part of the programme and the drive for rewards can be more important than your brand. Being part of a programme rather than having your own also has an impact on the perception about rewards. Progressive Brand’s One Card and New World’s Fly Buys are a good example of perception about ownership and brand.

Go 2 Market principle: as always, customer perception (their ‘realty’) is the important thing. Use rewards within the right programme, manage the rewards to drive loyalty and create something that works for you and your customer. That should be your reality.

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