A leading specialty retail chain wanted to grow sales in a highly profitable product category. Despite a significant investment in product training, store personnel were not engaging with customers unless they specifically asked for product information. Consequently, sales remained flat.
After mystery shopping a number of stores in various cities, it was clear that store personnel were overlooking clear buying signals from customers. However, once they began interacting with customers, they spoke knowledgeably and convincingly about the products, successfully resulting in sales.
A campaign centering around a single, customer-engaging question was created and supported with in-store buttons, promotional signage, and direct mail that called attention to the product category, encouraging customers to ask about 1) new and updated product features; 2) free product check-ups for existing product owners and attractively priced “tune-up” kits to renew warn parts; and 3) upcoming store promotions to maximize savings.
Store personnel were informed of the mystery shopping findings and overlooked buying signals and retrained. Mystery shopping continued throughout the year to measure progress and instant, on-the-spot cash rewards were issued when employees initiated a dialog with customers, asked open-ended questions, and presented product and service options to prospective buyers. Category sales grew by 24% in under 12 months.
A single product manufacturer was expanding into a 2nd category with a newly acquired product. The category had been plagued with past reliability issues and hence, service professionals were reluctant to risk their reputation with customers on an unproven product.
A launch strategy was developed and the product introduced with great fanfare at a national trade show via a live marketing presentation in a newly created trade booth. The booth design garnered a Best Island Exhibit Award by Exhibitor Magazine and the company was recognized at exit polls as having the highest recall among show attendees.
An extensive marketing communications and lead-generation campaign targeting trade and consumer customers emphasized the company’s trusted reputation with its original product. The pairing of the two for bundled savings helped stimulate sales and confidence in the acquired product. The manufacturer attained the number one market position in 24 months.
A professional service provider with excess capacity wanted to grow new pool construction and was considering the hiring of an additional full-time sales person. To achieve the needed sales growth to support the hire, a top-to-bottom “marketing reality check” was conducted to assess everything from lead generation, lead processing, sales presentations, closing ratios, customer and prospect follow-up communications, sales tools and internal processes.
Customer interviews were conducted, materials assessed and sales presentations recorded and transcribed to identify strengths and opportunities for improvements. Customer testimonials were gathered, new sales tools created ranging from free reports, company brochures, videos, and a professionally crafted sales presentation to distinguish the client’s capabilities from competing firms. A formal lead inquiry and follow-up system was implemented, metrics captured and benchmarks established, resulting in a 50% sales increase in under 12 months.
New technology offering energy savings of up to 90% over traditional equipment was introduced at nearly 3 times the cost of current products. This pioneering technology required extensive education in an industry that was slow to embrace change.
After testing the technology and substantiating the electrical savings, utility companies were anxious to promote the use of such products with consumer rebates. The manufacturer joined efforts with several key utilities in providing joint educational seminars to trade professionals while communicating utility rebate information to consumers.
Collateral materials were created to promote dealer education training sessions at trade shows, distributor branch locations and utility offices. Educational videos, white papers, seminars, articles and case studies were also assembled to further educate the trade on the new technology and its hefty energy savings.
A consumer PR initiative focused on the product’s eco-friendly, money-saving performance, generating TV pick-ups in major metro markets. Targeted digital media interspersed with direct mail combined with trade marketing efforts resulted in the company’s most successful product launch in its 50-year history.