Business turnaround leveraging digital marketing
The subject of this case study is a manufacturing business that had experienced steep, year-on-year decline over 4 years.
This decline was due first to aggressive infiltration of the market by offshore product, followed by a business decision to bypass it’s dealer network to counter the rise in competition. This decision was followed by severe contraction of costs in an effort to preserve profit margins as the market shrank.
At the time they responded to Gibsons’ offer of assistance the business was turning over $1.8m/yr; well down from its at-peak turnover of $5m/yr. During the preparation of the reinvigoration project, sales declined further to $1.4m, putting great emphasis on turnaround strategies and growth projections.
At its peak this business was turning over $5m per year.
Investment in market repositioning, brand and pipeline building was essential to arresting the decline and required a great deal of faith from our client. From such a low base including a hostile dealer market situation, turnaround would take time and investment well in advance of results.
This case study clearly illustrates the power of marketing when driven by astute business strategies and supported with a robust, integrated program.
TOTAL INVESTMENT IN TURNAROUND: $200K (Strategic Review and Marketing Campaign preparation costs: $150K. Other associated costs: $50K). Campaign preparation costs included: business strategy, customer research, market repositioning, rebrand, new website, high end photography (“premium” brand positioning), marketing collateral, campaign content, marketing project management.
TIME FROM INITIAL ENGAGEMENT TO SHOW TANGIBLE SALES IMPROVEMENT: 10-12 months.
DEPENDENCIES: Weekly tactical meetings, monthly strategy meetings, the right people in the right roles with the right skills, strong operations support and strong client support were essential. In this instance the client was very supportive. They approved a budget for 8 months’ work and stood back to allow us to do our work. This was absolutely pivotal to achieving the result.
ACHIEVABLE RESULT: If Marketing investment and other initiatives continue and are maintained: sales of $3.6m/yr (from $1.4m) in 3 years while maintaining 15% profit is very achievable and on track.
RECOMMENDED ONGOING MARKETING EXPENDITURE: Ideally, investment of 6% of revenue is strongly recommended as a percentage of GOAL turnover to achieve outstanding results. To sustain and extend these results this marketing expenditure is strongly recommended to continue. The results continue to speak for themselves.