Category Archives: Sales

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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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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How to play better than the big boys, and for less

I can’t think of a business that doesn’t want to retain their existing customers and also get new ones, maybe Jetstar. But for the other 99.99% of businesses looking after existing customers and acquiring new customers is the goal.

There are lots of angles to achieving this goal, starting with the four ‘P’s’ of Marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Then of course there is ‘People’, which is every bit as important as the other four.  But even when you have got all these covered there are ways to enhance them.

There are now rewards/loyalty programmes that will ‘enhance’ your ability to retain and acquire new customers. These programmes use cloud based functionality so all businesses can have the chance to implement a rewards/loyalty programme very effectively and also very efficiently.

Two tools that I’m familiar with are: NextBee and Fielo. They both offer solutions that allow business to run and manage their own branded programme. But don’t think the traditional loyalty programme used by larger national brands, these solutions are the new way.

They are very cost effective:

  • One of the two solutions has zero upfront costs for their out of the box solution
  • The monthly costs are either on a cents per active user rate or a fixed rate
  • They allow use of your customer’s social media for referrals
  • You only pay for the rewards redeemed.

They are autonomous:

  • They have your brand, and only your brand
  • You manage them as you wish – options include focusing on new products, referrals, encouraging different customer behaviours, rewarding for tenure
  • You are not confined to running promotions when another party says you should.

They are scalable:

  • Start off small with a select group of customers or staff
  • Develop any number of rewards campaigns in your own time.

As a previous participant in one of the traditional loyalty programmes I’ve been blown away with the functionality these cloud based tools offer. Others have been impressed to, users include: Virgin, Taco Bell, Westfield, Unicef, Adobe to name a few. New Zealand clients are now starting to roll in too.

Go 2 Market principle: consumers all love being recognised and rewarded. Until now this was very difficult and expensive for most businesses. But now there are options that offer benefits over and above the traditional less flexible and more expensive programmes. Fielo or NextBee offer a cost effective, independently branded and managed rewards and loyalty programme. Time to play?

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Why not, everyone’s doing it

Seems to me that everyone is doing it, brand extensions, that is. Caterpillar footwear, Jeep clothing, Amazon tablets, State Insurance roadside assistance, Vogel’s cereal, Air New Zealand taxis.

So can your brand also be extended to products or services that aren’t its reason for being?

In my last blog I talked about focus on your target market. So this topic seems a natural followon, or extension if you like.

There are lots of good examples where consumers will buy an additional product from a brand they trust. Your brand’s credibility and also the perceived link between product extensions are all important. Summed up by this article on what are the limits of your brand’s relationship with its target consumer, and what will your consumer allow you to do.

The power of the brand can be impressive. Even for older brands e.g Pan Am, an airline brand of yesteryear, is today selling travel merchandise.

However, don’t underestimate the challenge with jumping into a brand extension. Firstly, has the rationale for the brand extension been thought through, and does it support the strategic direction. Second, you need a viable product or service that adds value to consumers you’re focused on. Then you need to ensure it doesn’t detract from your current brand equity either by its introduction or by you losing focus on your main activity.

There are a number of brands that haven’t been extended e.g Toyota. They arguably had consumer permission to sell up market cars but didn’t have the credibility so it developed the Lexus brand. What about Coca Cola? It sells a vast variety of drinks, but very few have the Coke brand name. So brand extensions are not always the answer, and indeed need to be very carefully considered and managed.

Final thoughts from the CE of Starbucks, Howard Schultz: “consumer-based business is changing so significantly that you just can’t embrace the status quo”. They are really trying to push the envelope according to Starbucks Coffee Marketing.

Go 2 Market principle: understand well your brand equity, customer perceptions of a brand extension, and how to deliver an extension that strengthens your brand.

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Can’t do without one of these

A while ago I was asked by a friend to help her develop a pricing model for a product she was importing. My friend knew how valuable a cost to retail spreadsheet could be, so I happily obliged. If you’re an importer or selling locally feel free to access the spreadsheet and make your own cost/profit/markup/retail scenarios.

A spreadsheet like this allows you to create multiple scenarios depending on what you enter as the costs and/or the retail price. For example, you can change the assumptions to get the cost you need based on the desired retail to make the revenue (price x quantity) you’ll need to open/stay in business.

Use the spreadsheet to see the impact on profit:

  • for new products
  • of changing supply chain costs (either proactively or reactively)
  • of different exchange rates
  • of changing the wholesale price e.g special pricing.

It’s also good to cross reference the spreadsheet with the actual average margin you’re making to see if the actual costs are in line with budget. And of course it’ll be useful should GST change again.

Most times your costs won’t change too much unless you’re dealing in different currencies. If you are dealing in foreign exchange it pays to use a conservative rate. By doing so your product should be viable even if the exchange rate drops.

The spreadsheet will also allow you to plan the pricing, revenue and margin over a product’s lifecycle. The introductory pricing will probably start higher, then for the next tranche of buyers some added value may be required, and then a lower price as it reaches maturity or even a run out price. By planning your pricing ahead of time the resulting product profitability at the end of the lifecycle won’t be a nasty surprise.

Go 2 Market principle: product profitability needs to be managed. A cost to retail spreadsheet is a must.

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