Getting on our bikes – A local business marketing case study (pt 2)

In any marketing campaign, there is a tipping point. It’s a sort of bridge between the concepts, themes and ideas, and the practical application of the design in the real world.

I love that moment. It feels as if the ideas have suddenly coalesced into something real. It becomes something that has left the realm of thoughts and started to cast a shadow.

In the last article, we left the process just before that point. We were working with a local business that were providing an excellent service in the supply of high-end cycles and associated equipment. What became very clear during the initial discussion was that there was a very strong company ethos already in place. We had written this up as:

“Providing a genuine local bike shop experience, building great relationships, and leaving a lasting impression.”

This informed our strategy to ensure that the campaign we planned added value to an already excellent service. It was obvious that this was about reinforcing that relationship and creating inclusiveness. It was about building a community that would become part of the business.

As with many high street stores, price was not a factor. The customer who was driven by price would be likely to use the store for research and then search the internet for the lowest cost equivalent item. However, this was a shop that was offering something that the internet can never offer – Personal service, expertise and local follow-up in a community of buyers. An expensive bike is not a throwaway item, and the owners cherish their rides.

What we did was to develop a series of loyalty initiatives that would offer rewards for the buyer. Membership of a buyers’ programme would mean access to totally free and exclusive benefits such as, but not limited to:

  • Loyalty Scheme
  • Discounts
  • Maintenance plans
  • Bike Fitting
  • Early Bird Offers
  • Accessory packages that helped to offset the temptation to buy online by providing added value.

It was here that we began to apply the cross media technology approach that we utilise in some of our larger campaigns to the needs of a smaller, local, concern. The key word of personalisation came into play again, and we developed was a branded registration portal that allowed users to make an informed decision to sign up. Elements such as a 360-degree video tour, benefits of membership and so forth encouraged the visitor to sign up. Once this was done, everything from that point forward was a personalised journey for the visitor.

The process of signing in registered interest, and gathered the data that we needed to make sure the rest of the interaction with the visitors was about, not only adding value but making sure that everything was personal and relevant to each individual customer.

Where possible we made a point of displaying the member price on the equipment in store. By showing the price for members, we could physically demonstrate an immediate benefit to the buyer of joining the exclusive club. We then installed points in the store where a visitor could sign up via tablets. Accompanying this were flyers with loyalty cards included that again encouraged membership sign up in-store or at home.

All of this meant that we were capturing additional useful data as well. With every visit, every member provided information about not only buying and purchase preferences but other data we could use to enhance the service reach of the business. From this we could continue to create:

  • Personalised electronic marketing that promoted the key product areas such as:
    • Bike fit schemes that set up the bike perfectly for the user
    • Maintenance plans to extend the life of the bike
    • Accessories and special offers.
  • A quarterly newsletter that contained rewards and discounts based on the purchase history and the level of spend
  • Vouchers that helped to encourage spending in the shop during the quieter periods.
  • Welcome, anniversary and other landmark points of contact.

Physically, in the store, branding and point of sale materials reinforced the brand and produced a consistent experience for the customer.

All of this has now combined to not only create a very active community with hundreds of registered users but most importantly it has done exactly what we hoped. It has taken that existing ideal of providing a high value personalised service, and it has promoted it to the benefit of both the consumer and the business.