Our client is a global leader in designing and manufacturing children’s playground equipment. Specialists in inclusive play, they provide an end-to-end service, which also includes consultancy work to ensure play areas are designed around the needs of communities. They have now been voted one of Yorkshire’s Top 50 companies, and have an annual turnover of over £11 million.
What they needed
Our client has worked for numerous public sector organisations such as schools, nurseries, housing associations, local authorities and parish councils. Within these sectors, projects tend to be very high value, but can be in-frequent due to their nature and lengthy buying cycles. Because of the large initial expenditure for customers, and the irregular nature of projects, our client has mainly relied on referrals and were concerned about the processes involved in outbound marketing.
Currently, our client’s market is quite concentrated within local councils, local authorities and the primary schools sector, so they wanted to refrain from being over-exposed should there be any changes in the funding climate. They therefore wanted to maintain their position within these markets whilst also exploring new services, such as leasing and export, while also looking at targets within those sectors which were likely to provide more resilience to changes in funding.
Marketing hadn’t been very proactive, so as a business grown mainly from referrals, they therefore wanted to explore new marketing channels to increase revenues. To achieve these growth plans and expand their reach, they required external support, and therefore approached us to help develop and deliver an effective engagement model, and offer wrap-around support to aid their development.
What we did
We worked alongside our client on several engagement campaigns, focused on driving uptake of our clients offering within each different target sector. Schools are a primary market for our client and as we have extensive experience in the education market, we could help advise key areas within this to target and drive engagement. Schools tend to have a lengthy buying cycle and complex decision-making process and so are very time specific when it comes to spending budgets. With the budgetary year starting in April, it was important to encourage engagement before budgets had been allocated and so that installation could be commenced over the summer holidays.
Due to changing markets in the education sector and differing budgets based upon school status, we decided to focus primarily on SEN and independent schools, where higher funding is allocated per pupil, meaning they tend to have larger overall budgets available for this kind of offering. To be fully qualified, schools needed to have a relevant, upcoming project within the next six months and a budget of at least £10,000. A degree of profiling and segmentation of data was therefore required to ensure prospects reflected these specific criteria.
Our client was used to selling primarily to the end-user, but as they were finding this becoming a shrinking market, we needed to find new routes to market for our client to adopt. A secondary campaign therefore focused on engagement with landscape architects, who would likely be managing multiple projects and could mean potential repeat business. Early adoption was crucial for this sector to ensure they were involved from the design stage and could integrate our client’s products into their designs from the start. We worked with them to design an effective engagement method for this sector, using CPD events as part of a broader relationship building campaign. This provided educational sessions for architects, whilst also creating opportunities for our client to present their portfolio of products in front of an engaged, high-value audience.
Further campaigns concentrated on exploring new markets for our client and understanding requirements for new playground projects and refurbishments in areas which had not previously been heavily targeted. This included new playgrounds for older juniors targeting town councils and local authorities. Due to different demographics with an older audience, a feasibility study formed the initial part of the campaign, focused on providing evidence, appetite and feedback of the offering within each market. This then led on to a wider engagement campaign across international markets to assist in increasing additional revenue for our client.
What we achieved
Over the course of the initial campaign, closed business revenue from our opportunities generated were approximately 22 times the initial campaign investment, with one appointment closing with a value of £60k alone.
As a result of the campaign, we generated an average appointment conversion rate of 20% across campaigns. We were also able to progress 91.44% of decision makers spoken to through the sales cycle, meaning we could feed these prospects into a warm lead pipeline which our client could continue to nurture once the campaign had ended.
Following completion, we were able to provide our client with detailed feedback on how to target these sectors, as well as an up-to-date, rich database including key information such re-contact dates, to feed into their wider business pipeline.