Last year Brilliant Digital built a fantastic new website with an integrated shopping cart for Water Filters Australia. But when it came to digital marketing, co-founder Craig Hannam felt there was so much more his business could be doing to increase sales and revenue. That’s where Brilliant Digital’s expertise came in, and a year on, sales from WFA’s website have doubled. We chatted with Craig about his digital marketing journey.
“Before we met Brilliant Digital, we didn’t have any social media. And we had a simple website with lots of products in a bit of a jumble, with no clear message – we didn’t know what it could do, or what it should do – we didn’t have a strategy.
It did not convey clearly who we were or what we could do.
We hadn’t given much thought to some of the other avenues we could go down. But we knew we had to do something as we felt we were back in the dark ages.”
Director Robert Davidson had by chance read an article about Deb Croucher and Brilliant Digital in Peninsular Living magazine.
“That gave us food for thought. We were aware of Facebook and Instagram but didn’t have a good understanding of how digital marketing could work for us. So we teed up a meeting with Deb and that’s how the journey started.”
Craig and the team worked with Brilliant Digital to define a strategy and rebuild their website. They clarified their message, streamlined their products and integrated a powerful new shopping cart to enhance the customer experience.
“Apart from getting an immediate feel of being comfortable with the people we were talking to, it was Brilliant Digital’s approach that gave us confidence. They spent a lot of time understanding our business and principles, getting a feel for who we are and how we operate.
We were going through a lot of change at the time. We were becoming masters of our own destiny by creating our own product range instead of being a distributor of another company’s products. So we’d made some major decisions about how we wanted to move forward and the markets we wanted to concentrate on.”
With a striking and powerful new website and a thorough understanding of the business, it was time to focus on the digital marketing strategy.
“Because our focus was on the end user of our products, we felt we needed to harness digital marketing. But Brilliant Digital didn’t rush into explaining the benefits of digital marketing to us until they knew our business. Once they had a good understanding, we discussed all the different avenues.
The confusing part for me at the start was that I didn’t understand all the ways you could market the product through digital channels. It’s taken a fair time for me to understand what’s worked and what hasn’t worked and the reasons why. But we have a great partnership with Brilliant Digital – they explain to us what’s working and what’s not and give us an understanding of where we need to invest our time and money.”
“Our business has changed a lot in 12 months. Back at the beginning, there was a fair amount of time invested to make those changes – products and packaging, a new look, who we are and who we market to. Brilliant Digital brought all that together with support from us. There was the financial investment to get it all set up, to build the new website and shopping cart, to write the blogs… But that load was shared among our staff members, so it wasn’t overbearing.
The challenge for me came after it had been set up. My background is in accounting and finance so I’m a numbers man, as the guys at Brilliant Digital know! So for me, it was important to understand where we were getting a return on investment.
The wonderful thing about digital marketing is the ability to analyse the different sectors of your strategy to determine whether it’s worth the investment. If you run an ad in the local paper you can’t tell whether you’re getting an ROI. It was good to be able to understand where we were getting a return on the revenue we were putting in.”
“In business these days there’s a lot of outsourcing. We’ve recently outsourced our warehousing, our servicing and warranty work. And that’s as a result of having a long hard look at how we operate. We have then selected partners that have the expertise to provide the service we want.
You can’t afford to have your own marketing division. But with Brilliant Digital we had respect for the group and got a feeling that they knew what they were talking about; that they provided to us what they said they would provide; that they carried out what they said they would carry out. And then they reported back to us on it.
I find it to be a great partnership to the point where it’s like having an arm of your business to call on whenever you need to. You can get things done a lot more quickly, including changes on the website.
A wonderful thing about dealing with Brilliant Digital is that they are open to the fact that if something isn’t working, we won’t put money into it. That’s one of the benefits of working with a company that understands your business and is not in it to make a quick buck. It works well.”
“We get a lot of new customers on our website. The sales from the website have doubled from where they were when we first started to today. That increase is rewarding; it’s great to see. We’d like that to double again.
The organic traffic is what we’re focusing on now because it works to generate an increased awareness of what and who we are. We’ve seen significant gains in this area and we’re very happy with how that’s progressing. We’re 70% up on organic traffic since we started, and the number of new visitors to the site is up by 60%.
We’re doing some other things in terms of offers to our customers over the next six months. We’re making changes to our IT platform, so we will communicate some of these initiatives with Brilliant Digital’s help. And those initiatives will hopefully see further increase in the revenue that we generate.
Ideally, we’d like to convert as many customers as possible to the website for purchase requirements. At the moment we run our own call centre and stay in contact with a large customer database. If we can do that digitally there are cost savings for us and the customer. From a revenue point of view, we’re heading in the right direction and I think we can continue to do better.
The monthly newsletters have shown to be of significant benefit in terms of sales. You can look at the graphs and see the spike in sales when that goes out. And that’s a wonderful way for us to communicate with our customers on a regular basis. So the newsletters and the blogs together are driving the organic traffic and it’s all going well.”
“The blogs are an integral part of how we display our business to the community. The stories have many different angles for who and how they assist. For existing customers, finding out about our products, their benefits and how to use them works well.
For a person who doesn’t know anything about us and goes onto our website, there’s a significant amount of information there to assist them. That helps them to understand the benefits. And there are videos of how things are installed and replaced. The website itself is an enormous tool for us to use.
When people call us, we can refer them to the website – having all the information there makes it easier for our staff. I think the blogs that are more lifestyle related add to the whole equation. The blog side of Brilliant Digital, the storytelling, is second to none.”
“My view would be that most, if not all, businesses should consider digital marketing. We knew nothing about Facebook marketing or blogs or how a story can integrate with the product. We just knew we had to do something. But until we sat down and spent the time and effort to understand it, we couldn’t form a view. You can only form a view when you talk to someone who has a deep understanding of it and can explain it to you in layman’s terms.
It’s important to understand the different terminology used in digital marketing. You hear it used a lot but have no idea what it means. You have to make the time get a grasp of what it is and how it works, and areas that you can target… and also you have to understand the cost…
I don’t believe the cost is that expensive when you look at the return you get.
And the beautiful thing about digital marketing is that it’s measurable. You’re able to easily determine whether the money you’re spending is worth the cost incurred. When I compare what we have on our website with other businesses, we’re streets ahead.”
We are in this business for the long haul... and that's how we view our relationships with our clients. We build a website as a solid foundation, then we partner with them to grow their digital footprint. And our results speak for themselves.
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