How a brand-to-local marketing strategy amplified The Grasshopper Company’s growth

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30-second abstract:

  • Grasshopper wanted a central option to handle their on-line model and lead technology strategy with a whole lot of native dealerships, all of whom function independently
  • They created a program for sellers utilizing a platform that powered Grasshopper-branded native web sites
  • The program included driving focused visitors to the native websites to generate leads
  • In the primary 12 months of implementing this system, Grasshopper achieved a 500% enhance in leads
  • Currently, about 50% of their almost 1000 dealerships take part in this system

Headquartered in Moundridge, Kansas, The Grasshopper Company is a family-owned enterprise that manufactures industrial and large-acreage mowing tools which they distribute to a world buyer base by way of almost 1000 unbiased sellers situated all through the US. Dealers are small retailers that promote a number of manufacturers, not completely Grasshopper. With roughly 60 million in income in 2020, Grasshopper has about 300 workers and a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Moundridge.

I spoke with Michael Simmon, Grasshopper’s head of Marketing Communications, to debate how the company workplace works with their nationwide community of sellers to coordinate marketing efforts and generate leads for native dealerships.

Simmon’s crew focuses on marketing strategy and growth for the complete Grasshopper model, working with company companions and distributors to execute digital advert placement, strategy, and model positioning. His crew spearheaded the implementation of PowerChord, a platform that permits Grasshopper to handle a whole lot of collaborating unbiased dealerships from a single, centralized location.

Achieving model consistency throughout native sellers

Four years in the past, Grasshopper confronted the problem of standardizing their model messaging throughout the various unbiased dealerships that bought their merchandise to end-users. Since sellers are small companies that promote merchandise from a number of suppliers, there was added complexity in making certain that Grasshopper’s model info was constant, updated, and accessible on-line.

Historically, when a potential buyer reached out on to the company workplace, Grasshopper would ship an info packet to the prospect and direct them to follow-up at a native dealership. This turned more and more troublesome to handle as clients started in search of out product info on-line.

“The way consumers we’re finding information about our products was transitioning. It was becoming more digital and self-directed. Where once they contacted us directly and we could send a product information packet and direct the end-user to the dealer, now they were researching the product on their own. They would then contact the dealer directly to get a quote or schedule a time to visit the store for a demo.”

Says Simmon

Aside from a supplier locator on the company web site, Grasshopper didn’t have a standardized method for this self-driven course of that was initiated by the end-user. One key problem that Grasshopper confronted when aligning their model was that the dealerships, as small companies, had various ranges of web connectivity. Some dealerships didn’t have web sites in any respect whereas others solely had solely a fundamental web site with none details about Grasshopper’s merchandise.

At first, Simmon’s crew tried to standardize Grasshopper’s on-line presence with a number of dealerships on their very own by creating supplier templates and linking them to their supplier locator. They did some promoting to advertise unbiased dealerships, nevertheless it was haphazard and generated few leads for particular person shops.

“We got exposure, but we didn’t get the engagement we were looking for,”

says Simmon.

“Our customers are in the interior of the country in rural areas and we were buying impressions in dense population areas that weren’t reaching the target. We recognized that we needed a better way to engage the dealers in reaching customers in the rural areas where they were located.”

A nationwide method to native lead technology

Simmon’s crew realized that Grasshopper’s digital marketing efforts could be higher leveraged by aligning their branding and lead technology efforts on the native dealership stage. They repurposed their current digital marketing funds to buy and onboard PowerChord, a platform that aligns their community of unbiased dealerships with the model’s nationwide messaging.

After an preliminary ROI evaluation, Grasshopper opted to spend money on the platform with the objective of getting 50 collaborating dealerships in the course of the first 12 months. They in the end obtained about 350 to take part.

The onboarding course of concerned going to the sellers, explaining the brand new know-how and method, and clarifying why this was one thing they’d wish to take part in and what worth Grasshopper could be offering. The program contains a Grasshopper-branded web site for collaborating dealerships in addition to a native focused marketing marketing campaign managed by PowerChord with paid adverts positioned on the supplier’s behalf. Ads seem on varied digital channels like Google and Facebook.

“We made it very cost-effective for the dealerships,”

says Simmon.

“The initial investment was less than $100/month. What we’d been doing in the past wasn’t working, so the big risk with trying something new was that it might not work either. But it was also a risk worth taking because we understood that we needed to try something different.”

Grasshopper builds a dealership marketing program

Participating dealerships can create a standalone Grasshopper-branded web site utilizing templates that Grasshopper offers. Dealerships even have the choice to embed Grasshopper content material into an current web site. In both case, Grasshopper maintains the flexibility to manage model messaging from one central location. Each supplier web site accommodates Grasshopper’s full product catalog and options promotional provides on the nationwide stage.

If Grasshopper desires to provoke a new promotion, replace an current product, add a new product, or retire a product, they will achieve this in a single place with out worrying about contacting particular person sellers. Grasshopper provides the knowledge on the company stage and it will get populated to the community of native supplier web sites.

This stage of brand name alignment permits Grasshopper to combination all of the leads that are available from collaborating sellers. When a buyer fills out a lead kind on one of many native websites, it’s distributed to the suitable supplier who then features fast entry to that buyer’s info.

“Everything is managed from one central location, but each dealer has their own local site that they can customize. They can put in their own ‘about us’ copy, use photography that features their staff, and make the site their own. But the product content and the promotional content is all controlled at the national level.”

Says Simmon

A 50% supplier participation price (and rising)

Simmon notes that about 500 sellers, or 50% of Grasshopper’s supplier community, is at present collaborating of their program. Within the primary 12 months of curating the brand-to-local journey with PowerChord, Grasshopper elevated leads by 500% and on-line lead-generated gross sales by 80%.

At a value of about $100/month to the dealership, Grasshopper provides its sellers a bundled package deal that features the branded web site and paid media which drives visitors and results in the native retailer’s website. This solves the issue of working with sellers at totally different ranges of web connectivity as a result of it permits Grasshopper to handle the digital marketing and lead technology duties on the nationwide stage.

Here are another success metrics that Simmon was in a position to share:

  • In the primary 12 months after implementing the platform, collaborating sellers noticed a 15X enhance in every day leads respectively
  • As of March 2021, collaborating sellers obtain a mean of 25 leads per thirty days per supplier which quantities to over 25,000 leads per thirty days for all collaborating sellers
  • A collaborating supplier is 200X extra prone to seize a lead from a supplier locator kind versus a nonparticipating supplier

“This is our primary method of delivering leads online. We still do trade shows and state fairs and get good quality leads out of those events, but when it comes to online tactics, this is how we’re sending leads to dealers.”

Says Simmon

Grasshopper lately introduced their lead analytics instrument that gives each manufacturers and their affiliated native sellers the information to trace and take actionable insights primarily based on the development of leads by means of manufacturers and/or sellers’ gross sales funnel. The new instrument helps sellers perceive the place leads are coming from on their websites, outlines how leads development over time and reveals the place leads drive from geographically.

Simmon notes that they’ve additionally begun incentivizing dealerships who take part in this system by offering a bonus to high-volume sellers.

“If a dealer sells a certain number of units, the program becomes half price to them or it becomes free of charge to acknowledge that they’re doing great work for us,”

says Simmon

“Looking back, I think if we had done anything different out of the gate, we would have done that sooner.”



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