As a business coach and marketing consultant, I’ve worked with a diverse range of clients over the past few years, and some stand out particularly well for me for not only the success they have enjoyed but sometimes because the very nature of their businesses were so interesting too. Here’s a brief summary of the clients I’ve worked with. (All are available for contact on request.)
My author clients are not listed here, but testimonials and case studies for these are available on request. Most authors like to have their privacy respected so it’s not appropriate to write case studies about them.
Software Development Company
Established in 2000, the team of 12 developers were seeking help with marketing their products on a global basis, and at that time were enjoying rapid growth due to the popularity of their very niched product. We started with a total strategy session reviewing everything they had done up to then, which included marketing, sales structure, and target markets. Objectives were set, and I started working with the CEO to bring about multiple changes in the company over a period of three years.
We created a hierachial structure to accommodate the growing team which by early 2015 was nearing 50 people, including 5 directors all working in specific areas of the company, and a global sales and support team of 9. I introduced the use of Meeting Rhythms to ensure communication was strong at all levels, Top Grading Recruitment processes, and Values based decision making and branding. In 2014 I introduced a global sales manager to assist in the growth of the sales area, taking the account managers from 2 to 7. I then created a marketing team of 4 people including a designer/videographer, and introduced the use of Evernote to enable high level management of more than 20 annual trade shows around the world from head office. I oversaw the design and updates of all online and offline marketing and branding, and by the end of my contract in April 2015, the company was well percieved in the marketplace as being a leader in their industry.
Seeking new options for advertising feeling that their old style wasn’t working. We did an extensive marketing strategy session and continued to work with the for the implementation of our recommendations.
The changes: An updated and fully functional website, social media suite, and the use of google adwords that generated 3x as many customers attending their sale weekend in October as those from other more traditional sources of advertising (we know because we tested and measured this). They are continuing to use a combination of both online and traditional media, but with the introduction of a jingle for their radio ads, and their newspaper and magazine promotions being more consistent, everything is working considerably better all round.
Software Development (Medical Industry)
Having been in business for 23 years, the company was tired and in need of a total review as the owner was considering being in a better position to sell it within the next year or so. Their product is a market leader in the Australasian market place but the company still being run as it had been since the start despite it having grown by more than 600% and being based in both Sydney and Hamilton.
The Changes: A flat hierachy was changed to having heads of departments, with regular meetings rhythm established throughout the company. This drastically altered the communication flow at all levels and ensured that the culture of improved communication became a sustainable thing. The semi-regular newsletters were being sent by ad-hoc email so were moved to using Mailchimp and the databases all tidied up to ensure the external communciation levels were significantly increased. Customer and Staff surveys indicated issued with service and communication which once identified were then quickly able to be improved on.
The company also had an updated website and the owner started regular blogging to ensure their clients understand more about what the company did, and invited more frequent interaction. Finally the use of webinars as a means of demonstration of new product features was introduced with spectacular results. Turnover increased in 2012 by more than 300% on the previous year.
This company sold their product range including own-formula feeds direct to farmers and was the ‘new kid on the block’ against bigger and better established competition. They had a key objective and that was to increase turnover for the year and establish a second outlet in another town.
The changes: We reviewed all their advertising and narrowed down a tighter range of rural publications to promote their specials through as that was working well but needed refining and measuring. We also focused on promotiong their website heavily as they were strong in online sales potential. By the end of the high season in 2012, their sales were up across the board in all areas, and their profitability well past the mark they were aiming for. The new store had opened in May with excellent success. One of the key things we also worked on was ensuring they measured everything so that they’d know without doubt where they were profitable and what was sucking up resources they needed. This change in focus for them meant that they were able to see clearly the lack of need to continue with a second store in favour of improving their online sales opportunities with increased investment in this area now planned for 2013. A bonus outcome was their being highly commended in a national business award in October 2012 – this was a great moral booster for the entire team.
Gym and Fitness Centre
They wanted to free up the owner to be better able to focus on opening a second gym, and to increase the memberships. This was a boutique specialist gym catering to body builders and serious gym goers, with no classes and extra events, and had been open for less than one year.
The changes: We encouraged a more direct marketing approach with the employment of a full time sales person who literally door-knocked the many businesses in the area, and mailbox drops in the local suburbs. Additional advertising was done in the two school newsletters nearby which supported the mail box drops. The visual signage for the gym was also enhanced in stead of spending money on advertising in papers or on radio. This was far more successful due to the likelihood that gyms attract people within a fairly tight radius rather than from out of area. The results, a second gym was opened in October and both are continuing to do very well.
This was a two branch pharmacy group looking to increase to a multi-branch company over the coming five years. They had done no advertising at all for the past few years, and relied on their buying group to provide all marketing. They also wanted to promote their specialist clinical health and pharmacy help programmes.
The Changes: We started with conducting a two week survey of all customers in each branch to confirm assumptions on such things as age range and geography of the customer base, willingness to be communicated with either online or by mail, and frequency and level of spending. We then created a new name for their group with a templated newsletter being sent every 6 weeks to their local suburbs, each with helpful information and friendly seasonal updates by the pharmacists for each branch. The next steps are to host in-store information evenings for seasonal updates and advice – such as back to school, first aid kits, managing health in the winter months etc.
This is working very well and increasing the profile of the individual branches for each area.
This company was a franchised store and the owner reluctant to only rely on all the marketing done by the franchisor. After spending a lot of money on traditional newspaper and radio advertising, she was frustrated that ‘nothing seemed to be working’ well enough to cover the costs of the adveritising in the first place.
The Changes: We started by focusing on the existing loyalty programme, which consisted of 55 cards in a box with current customers information. A nifty idea (which I’m not going to share here cos its THAT good) was sent to all those people with an invitation to bring a friend in to the store. This worked so well that by the end of the month, after spending zero dollars on any other form or advertising, the store had increased its customer loyalty progamme members to well over 120, and within three months it was sitting at over 200. Plus the turnover trebled in that first month, and continued to climb for the rest of the year. There were lots of things we did, like changing the signage in-store, and ensuring customers knew what was happening and when they could expect the best opportunities to see and buy new stock.
I later repeated that same formula with similar success with another fashion store (different market).
Plumbing retail and trade company
This company had been operating for nearly 20 years, but it’s marketing was stale and uninspired; the owner thinking it was time to shake things up and make his job easier as he contemplated selling within the next 5 years. He had a busy trade store as well as showroom for consumer sales – both doing well but with lots of potential to do more.
The Changes: We started with reviewing the responsibilities for targets for each division, and where pricing and margins could be adjusted up or down for the best results overall. Their discount system for certain trade clients was less than straightforward so we adjusted this to make it easier to follow. We also focused on improving cashflow by working on a better system of trade debts, and improving trading terms for new clients.
Then we set about training the department managers and their respective staff to improve overall customer service, communication via newsletters, and reviewed all advertising and where/how it was spent. Including a new website and facebook page, the company embraced the changes to it’s advertising, and with the new customer service strategy for the staff sales, communication and teamwork within the departments, and cashflow improved.
Other industry types I’ve worked with
Details are available on request
- Real Estate Agents
- Debt Collection Agency
- Agricultural Products (Leading brand tractors and bikes)
- Accountancy firm
- Skincare products company (Equine)
- Trades – construction/electrical/plumbing
- Training providers