Category Archives: Value proposition

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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Making a good idea great

After some first hand experience, including a 54 hour startup weekend, I’m now clearer than ever about what it takes to make a good idea great. I suspect you all know the answer. It’s in marketing textbooks, talked about all the time, and should be part of what we do, but so often don’t. I’m talking about the need to validate your idea with your target market.

As marketers we should be delivering a product or service that responds to what the customer wants. Too often the idea comes from ‘the top’, is what ‘group think’ suggests, or is the ‘flavour of the day’.

Where’s the customer in any of this? More often than not the customer is represented by …. (fill in your own words based on your experience). Too often it’s too easy to rush the product/service, offer, or just as often only hear what we want to hear. How many times have you seen research interpreted to suit the outcome desired by the client/product champion?

The mobile space is a case in point. There seems to be lots of companies feeling the need to develop a mobile app. Smartphones are a growing market for sure. But you would have to be sure that your target customer is part of the 18% of mobile users whose phone is a smartphone. Even if so, is the app you’d like to produce something they want, and are willing to pay for, or even if free, use?

Research indicates that most popular mobile destinations are news and information, weather reports, social networking, search and maps. Does your idea fit into one of these categories? If not then consumer testing is even more critical.

Confirming the risk of developing an app is this article that might help with your broader online strategy: Some very quotable comments from the article and discussion include: “Building your own app is not the only way to reach your consumers”, “No one wants to download an ad”, “Build ‘em and they will come”.

So back to testing against your target market. There’s some off the shelf research that’s a good starting point e.g. the latest TNS Digital Life Study, but your customers are your customers. So validate your idea with them. If you have a broad range of customers then target your research into the segment/s that matter most.

Go 2 Market principle: what will make a good idea great is customer demand. So who better to ask about meeting that demand than the customer!

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Get your value proposition sorted

For a long time customer apathy was the electricity retailer’s friend.

Some retailers were not getting the customer backlash they deserved by charging a sizeable premium relative to others for a service that was largely the same. It’s been interesting to see the reaction by retailers and customers to the ‘What’s my number’ campaign driven by the Electricity Authority and Consumer.

I understand the early success of the campaign exceeded expectations by three or four times. Now after four months things have slowed a lot but still there have been around 400,000 calculations made on the web site. That’s pretty phenomenal and there are more opportunities to make a difference too.

But the really cool thing is the response to the campaign from electricity retailers. Defensively Contact increased their prompt payment discount for internet payers by 10%, dropping an estimated additional $200 profit a year for each customer that was already on this plan. That’s a big hit to the bottom line, but then they had to do something as they were losing customers big time.

From a marketing perspective the reaction of Powershop and Mercury was smart. They chose to take advantage of the ‘What’s my number’ campaign by driving traffic looking for the Electricity Authority and Consumer site to their retail sites. Both retailers used key words to create great search results compared with the ‘What’s my number’ site. Powershop used ‘What’s your number’ and Mercury ‘Name my number’!

Powershop’s and Mercury’s pages showed a comparison tool and I’m sure that many people thought this was the site being promoted by the Electricity Authority and Consumer.

Would it have worked for Trustpower and Contact who are at the higher end of the pricing? Probably not, but for those with lower prices such as Powershop and Mercury they stood a good chance of getting customers who compared prices.

The reaction of the electricity retailers and switching by many thousands of customers indicates that the Electricity Authority and Consumer ‘What’s my number’ campaign has been a success. But what’s next? What about:

• More PR around those that have switched
• Crowd sourcing – get associations/industry bodies to leverage their membership bases to tender for the best price
• Target certain regions where there is a majority retailer with a much higher price compared to others and campaign at a more regional level
• Email customers once a year and especially when there has been an increase in prices suggesting they check their plans again.

Go 2 Market principle: first get your value proposition sorted. Then make it work hard even by taking advantage of others campaigns, or be prepared to be taken advantage of.

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