Tag 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, 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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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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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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The five letter F word

It’s not a swear word but it’s something to swear by. The five letter F word that I’m referring to is ‘Focus’. Get it, keep it, preach it!

Your business can have the best product or service but without focus it will struggle. We live in a world where everyone has an opinion, where there are more media options that ever before, and seemingly less time. So there’s a constant need to focus on focusing on your target market.

Don’t get distracted by the glitz and glamour, or the price, or how easy something is. If it doesn’t effectively and efficiently deliver to your target market, give it the six letter F word, ‘Forget’.

Here are a couple of practical examples of focus:

• Kitomba, sell software to the salon and spa market. A cool CRM product that among other things also benchmarks staff performance. Talking to the head of Kitomba, I was impressed with his focus on taking this product to other countries. Some might take the opportunity to reskin the product and sell it into other service industries involving regular repeat business

• The arborist in our area sponsors the local school gala. Not a big thing and in many respects it’s quite logical. The gala day is a huge event for the community where not only those involved in the school but others come along to mix, mingle and support the school. So the arborist’s support is well noticed by locals who use his services.

Some products/services have a more defined target market so are easier to maintain customer focus e.g Tinkture (tattoo aftercare product). Whereas others are quite broad e.g. credit cards, utilities, financial services.

Even for those that have a broader customer base there is still the benefit of focusing. Focus on your loyal customers to understand what they like about you. Focus on your not so loyal customers to learn what could be improved. Focus again on certain demographics such as age, gender, income, and also regions, products, channel success.

Prioritise so that you focus on what’s important for your customers. If you don’t someone else will.

Go 2 Market principle: Focus requires that you focus on your target market. Focus on that first, then on delivering what’s going to make a difference.

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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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