Tag Archives: product marketing

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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Love it or hate it, it’s reality

I’m not talking about those reality TV programmes we love to hate, but customer perception. Because, love it or hate it, what customers perceive is the reality they live by.

Why does a customer buy this product or service when another one is better suited. It’s to do with their perception. Sometimes they might not be aware of other choices, sometimes the benefits that other products/services can offer might not be communicated well enough, sometimes it’ll be habit, lethargy, comfort, or sometimes it’ll be just plain irrational.

As marketers, the last reason is the most frustrating to us, whereas the other reasons can be more easily addressed. Changing people’s perceptions of your product/service is an exciting challenge. Here are some ideas on how to go about it:

  • Talk to your staff and help them understand the journey you’re embarking on and why
  • Understand why prospective customers prefer someone else’s product/service over yours – that’ll guide you on what actions to take
  • If your product/service has benefit/s that are important to people buying competing products/services then you need to consider changing your communication to change perception
  • Trial ways to shake customers out of their lethargic buying habits of buying your competitor’s product e.g. offer samples, demonstrations, review the communication channels you’re using, bundle up with other more popular products to get more uptake, find and work with key influencers e.g. store people, reviewers, writers, specifiers, tradespeople, celebs (who could just be well known people in your area)
  • Lastly don’t put at risk your unique selling proposition, i.e. what makes your product different to your competitors – unless doing so is going to be a game changer.

Changing perceptions isn’t easy, and it can seem like swimming against the tide. That’s where your determination and passion for your product/service will be needed. Impart some of your passion for your product in ways that will change people’s reality.

Sometimes a legacy of poor performance, or superior performance from a competitor, will make the journey a long one. But be persistent and consistent to your objective of changing perception. It may take time but it will happen.

Go 2 Market principle: perceptions can be turned around. Work at it consciously and openly with your staff and others who can help.

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Who copied my idea?

I’ve already blogged about being a flexible thinker and starting to take a different perspective. Here’s another article that writes in general about the same topic (don’t be put off by ‘startup’ being in the title): Why You Should Embrace Opposing Views at Your Startup

The point is, whether it’s your sector or a different one, don’t dismiss ideas that deliver to customer need. In fact go looking for what your competitors and others are doing, and consider why and how they’re doing it. You may copy the idea (staying clear of intellectual property issues) or adapt. When it’s incorporated as part of your total offering no one is likely to know or care.

As an example, a useful business trend right now is to suggest other products or services that align with a purchase. They might either be complementary, or popular with other people that have bought the same product. This isn’t anything new, rather returning to good old personalised customer focus. Technology is the enabler for this now. For example, Air New Zealand sent me an email with some accommodation, rental car/campervan suggestions based on a booking I’ve made with them. They also included some non-sales information about our destination too. To me their approach is unobtrusive, easy and practical.

Fashion items including clothes, books and music all provide an opportunity for adding more benefit (and sales). But there’s many more businesses that could do the same surely, e.g energy companies selling energy efficient products; florists providing a service to manage all your special occasions; motor vehicle dealers arranging insurance; sports stores that suggest complementary items, to name a few. Think of it as: ‘what problem can I help solve for my customer?’

I’d suggest you want to understand what emotion is being stirred up in users when a different approach is being used and replicate the good stuff. Also ensure it’s aligned with your brand and customer needs.

Of course you have to try and find this stuff. Talking to your customers is always the best bet. Try to do it yourself, but otherwise engage with partners that are interested in your success. Customers will know what your competition are doing.

Go 2 Market principle:  don’t be precious. Adapt others ideas to help create your success.

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