Category Archives: Strategy

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, www.rannochmeats.co.nz 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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Why it’s good to fail

Win early, and win often is the best option but if you are going to fail then … fail early. Rob Adams, author of ‘If you build it will they come’, and many others including startup guru, Steve Blank, advise businesses to get out there and learn. Don’t refine things to the nth degree then launch, the market may have passed you by, or indeed your product may not meet customer’s expectations.

Everyone likes to win: “winning isn’t everything it’s the only thing” is a saying that comes to mind. But sometimes failing is the best way to win; quite logical when you think about it. The learning’s from failure will help ensure the next output is more likely to succeed.

So use market validation as the critical first step. This may mean an initial ‘fail’ and return to the drawing board to develop another idea to be tested on the market. But it’s better to fail early, than later with a full on product launch!

That doesn’t mean that you should plan to fail, but rather the time involved in planning and getting product to market are minimised knowing that there will be further iterations. In summary, once the product is in the market, move aggressively to figure out what’s needed to further penetrate the market, and quickly bring the updated version to market. By developing and shipping a series of minimally featured products at a rapid pace, you will receive regular feedback to utilise in future iterations. This approach is far more efficient than a longer development cycle while your market is shifting.

Some other ways to structure this approach are:

  • Market validation should be performed by a cross functional team supporting the product but led by product management
  • Recruit design partners (including those with real world user input)
  • Allocate 60 days to the market validation before starting to build your product
  • 5-10% of development budget should be allocated to this pre production stage.

An approach like this will validate the opportunity. You can then develop a product that has the minimally acceptable features and the level of quality to meet market standards while getting to market asap.

Go 2 Market principle: getting it right first time isn’t critical, but getting it right is. Embrace failure as part of a method to generate success.

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Deeper and broader than a loyalty programme

The past two blogs have focused on rewards and loyalty. Loyalty being a very important outcome, and rewards one tool to help achieve that outcome. They’re both commonly associated with a ‘loyalty programme’. However, the term is more often a noun than it is a verb. Any business needs to be in the ‘doing’ mode when it comes to loyalty because customers are continually demonstrating their loyalty, or not.

So where’s the place for a ‘loyalty programme’. My last post talked about the use of rewards and loyalty, and the benefits of having a programme that was right for the business and the customer.

With the cloud and mobile technology there are some excellent options available for businesses of all sizes. NextBee and Fielo are two such programmes, and RewardJunkie one of the early adopters of iOS6’s Passbook, another. These loyalty programmes offer so much more flexibility and advantages for the business and customer than the more traditional programmes.

What’s needed though is a more holistic approach to rewards and loyalty. What’s needed is a ‘Customer programme’ – a programme driven by a strategy that focuses on the customer. A loyalty programme that uses rewards to enhance loyalty could be part of the Customer programme, but on its own it’s not broad or deep enough.

Here are some of the elements to consider including in your Customer programme:

  • A CRM system to register customers
  • Customer segmentation driven by the CRM, analytics and insight
  • Customer research to inform and monitor the programme
  • Customer experience programme with measures and monitoring
  • Communications strategy including media monitoring
  • Loyalty programme.

The elements listed above are interlinked and rely on the overall customer strategy being determined first. However, just like anything you don’t need to develop all these elements before you start your programme. You can add incrementally after establishing the strategy.

Go 2 Market principle: getting customer loyalty takes a lot of ‘doing’. Having a Loyalty programme can help with the doing if you pick the right one. But a multi faceted Customer programme is required to ensure lasting customer value.

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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 thefreedictionary.com 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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