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How we increased sales from £1.31m to £1,68m in a year
ZooLab is a UK-wide company that delivers animal handling experiences and lifelong learning in a range of settings – from schools to care homes and corporate events. Blue Kite was called in to help to formulate the offering more clearly, and to provide marketing direction through a clear marketing strategy.
Blue Kite analysed the email campaigns (targeting and content) and the promotional materials being produced by the company. Blue Kite also looked at the depth of understanding with regard to the core needs of the target market of customers, who included teachers, care home managers and commercial managers from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.
As part of this, it became clear that a fuller understanding of the behaviour, needs and motivations of customers was required. In an educational context, these experiences and outcomes (Es & Os) needed to be precisely defined against areas of the curriculum throughout the different curriculum authorities of the UK. All workshop experiences were redefined in terms of customer expectations across the curriculum. Corporate and care sector customers were similarly engaged in terms of their outcomes, and the company’s positioning (as another ‘animal handling company’) was subtly changed to differentiate it from its competitors and to reflect the reality of what it does as ‘The UK’s No.1 animal handling experience and lifelong learning company’.
Digging deeper into the CRM system and sales figures, analysis of the sales process and lead handling process revealed a lack of consistency and delays in lead conversion. This was addressed through improved monitoring across all three sales teams (inbound, outbound and the on-the-road sales teams).
All sales teams became more effective in connecting with the motivations of their customers. Campaigns too became more effective in terms of lead generation and conversion. Across the piece, sales went up from £1.318,000 to £1,682,000. This was a 27.6% increase in sales over a 12-month period and added up to £364,000 of additional sales income. All months showed improvements in sales.
How we helped increase private clients to be 50% of MTM’s business, and established new business to business relationships
MTM Defence Lawyers
Criminal law specialists MTM Defence Lawyers were looking to sharpen their marketing activity. They wanted to be seen initially as the first port of call for anyone charged with a criminal offence in Falkirk district, develop their relationships with referring firms from across Scotland and beyond, and get more enquiries from private clients.
As part of this, Blue Kite worked across a number of areas, refreshing the brand look to be more modern and ‘approachable’. A website was created that was more focused on client experience, a strength of the firm, and reflected more closely where people were coming from in terms of their immediate need.
In parallel with that, marketing messages and collateral were developed in support of a series of events and face-to-face meetings involving other referral and potential referral firms to generate ongoing new private client business. A PR programme was also developed to showcase the firm’s pre-eminence in commenting on top legal issues in national media and in legal publications.
Finally, Blue Kite wrote submissions for the two industry bibles for the legal profession – the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. These submissions are used as the basis of independent research into a legal firm, its results and its customer satisfaction levels as rated by clients and professional peers. Rankings are awarded based on the strength of these KPIs; they are important and measurable sources of direct referrals.
MTM’s private clients now represent some 50% of the firm’s business, and the firm has established new offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of its expansion across Central Scotland. MTM received top rankings in each publication – as a Band 1 firm in Chambers & Partners and a Top Tier firm in the Legal 500 – and continues to maintain these rankings. The firm has clients from across the UK, Ireland and the USA who require MTM’s expertise in Scottish courts.
“Chris has managed the marketing for my law firm for several years. His work has included placing articles in the press, writing applications for industry awards, managing social media channels and writing copy for the website. Chris is a valued resource for my firm and I am very happy to recommend him for his expertise in marketing.”
Neil Hay, Solicitor-Advocate
How we generated tens of thousands of pounds worth of editorial coverage
Sabre Safety Case Study
Sabre Safety are world leaders in dealing with irrespirable atmospheres and in delivering hydrogen sulfide (H2S) safety services in the Oil & Gas sector. They provide equipment and expertise to ensure a safe working environment, including: breathing air systems and gas detection systems, for sale or for rental with associated technical support, comprehensive design and engineering services, technical training, consultancy and contingency planning.
The senior management team recognised the need to raise the company’s profile in order to maintain its industry-leading position and re-affirm their clients’ decision to work with Sabre long-term. Sigma were engaged to build a sustained media campaign for Sabre across the UK and overseas markets.
An intensive international media campaign was implemented with particular emphasis on using strong client case studies. A blend of feature article placements in relevant Oil & Gas trade press, industry award submissions, internal communications, event support and advertising campaigns was implemented for the client.
High-profile feature placements were achieved in key trade press in all target geographical markets (generating tens of thousands of pounds worth of editorial coverage). This served to underpin the company’s global expansion, and formed part of the company’s marketing collateral and support for sales teams. Sabre also received positive verbal feedback from clients at meetings and on projects, as well as further recommendations and referrals based on the media activity.
“Chris and Ryan have done a fantastic job. They have become an integral part of Sabre’s team and have helped us to promote ourselves and get ourselves out there. They have been really good at looking in and seeing successes in the company. Often companies themselves look internally and can become quite insular.
Blue Kite have been able to project outwards the passion that is held within the company. People can see this pride and passion in Sabre: Blue Kite have really succeeded in getting our message across.”
Jenny Cameron, CEO, Sabre Safety Ltd
How high-profile coverage helped to position Nova as the leading tidal energy company in Scotland
Nova Innovation are European leaders in tidal energy. They needed to explain the commercial advantages of their model, which is based on starting small, proving the technology and developing it from there; this makes it low-risk from an investor’s point of view.
Another key differentiator for Nova lies in the fact that its market is larger than the bigger players because its turbines can be deployed in far more places, including less tidally energetic zones. In terms of cost, a Nova turbine cost to market is a tenth of that of a larger tidal device. The Nova model manages and mitigates engineering and financial risk effectively. The company needed to communicate this to a range of audiences – from technical to community, government and investors. We were called in to make this happen.
A UK- and European-wide media campaign was devised to build on Nova’s initial successes. It was the first company to develop a grid-connected and fully operational tidal array of 110 kW (Nova M-100)underwater turbines supplying energy (off Bluemull Sound in Shetland).
We worked to publicise this and then bring the company to the fore by differentiating its engineering and economic model from those of its competitors (who were larger and had bigger media and marketing budgets). A series of news stories and feature article placements in national press, consumer and engineering media was used in conjunction with a social media programme that connected Nova to more of the news outputs of its partners and potential partners and funders across the UK and the EU.
High-profile coverage of world-leading technology and connections across social media helped to position Nova as the leading tidal energy company in Scotland and culminated in it securing the leadership of a major new European tidal energy project. The Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal (EnFAIT) project is a 5-year and €20.2 million flagship initiative for the EU and marine energy (and all associated technologies), and aims to increase the commercial viability of tidal power as well as creating a major European industrial manufacturing export sector with a supply chain based firmly in Europe.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your PR support to Nova over the last couple of years, which has been very helpful in raising the profile of the company.”
David Mack-Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Nova Innovation
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