Customers are shaping SplashMaps
I saw an expert 2 years ago. Since then customers have been shaping SplashMaps more and more.
The man from the DIT
He was arranged by the Department for International Trade and was there to audit our business for digital marketing. The man from the DIT was visibly unimpressed. We weren’t capturing enough information and, as a map business in particular, he was dumbfounded that we were not more data driven.
Now-a-days I’d say we’re 50% data driven (ed: nice stat!). There’s an important part of shaping the business that’s still gut instinct and serendipity (data never got maps into the cosmetic industry for example), but increasingly data driven approaches seem to work.
Capturing data and Exploiting it
As an example, we capture customer feedback in a survey timed to go out shortly after an on-line customer’s SplashMap has been delivered. But how does this determine what we do? Here’s a quick couple of examples from a bit of data crunching and a few of the consequences and outcomes in case you want to try the same:
It’s a Gift
1) Our products are serious outdoor products, offering siginifican physical benefits over the alternatives. BUT, we found that 46% of our customers were buying SplashMaps as gifts. So what did we do?
We decided to look more like a gift company. We formed alliances with other gift companies, put a stand at two major gift shows (Autumn Fair and Top Drawer) and gained additional retailers that cater for gift buyers – gift shops, Hotel/ Spas, farm shops, visitor and garden centres.
We changed our photos, increased our range of personalised maps (now 4 formats instead of 1) and added new propositions… all to become the BEST practical, versatile and unique map gifts that money can buy.
What walkers read… and how they search
2) We found that 80% of our on-line customers are walkers, and that 61% found SplashMaps through magazines and on-line search.
So we dug deeper into the data and found the most popular walking magazines in the eyes of customers that rate SplashMaps the highest. This has shaped our advertising spend this year leading to some lovely “spikes” on publishing dates.
We’ve invested in creating a great following and unsurpassable Search Engine Optimisation. Your test: try searching on any desctiption that suggests a map will last more than 5 minutes. Who’s on page 1?
I strongly rate the support from the DIT and how they’ve invested their time in helping us. The questionnaires take time to design properly, but after you’ve gained some expert advice, they don’t have to cost a lot to run. Simply set it up free (no one wants to answer more than 10 questions anyway and the first 100 responses can be captured free) and leave it to run. Pay again for a month’s access to analyse your results. £30!
Time to shape again?
Every business is dynamic and there’s a lot going on in the markets. So it makes sense to stay on-top of the data as it changes. The great thing about our mail chimp is learning from the people at the extremes. Those that bought into the idea of your product but ended up hating you because you let them down some how. Now we score 48 on the net promoters score (range is -100 to +100 and industry standard is 40) so we are talking about a tiny fragment of our customer base. However, consistently the issues were on missing important deadlines. Loved the product, hated the service. So we are handing delivery to the professionals. As well as taking on an industrial strength fulfilment house we’ve launched an Amazon shop where fixed area maps are always on hand for super rapid delivery. Let’s see how well it works this season!