A forty-year-old privately owned Northwest consumer packaged goods business in the outdoor recreation space was based on a traditional wholesale model, but that model had been deteriorating for 15 years. Ownership was slow to react and embrace the changing landscape until a leadership transfer that moved day-to-day business operations and strategy from father to son. The new leadership’s first priority was appointing a new COO to usher in a digital transformation establishing a new omni-channel sales strategy connecting directly with consumers.
The new COO, now a NextLevel partner, first instigated an analysis of the customer base to find out where customers were engaging with the brands, where they shopped for the company’s products and what their purchasing journey was. After gaining a general understanding of their customers, the NextLevel partner implemented a new channel strategy that was heavily influenced by the philosophy of Lean Enterprise, structuring the organization and resources around value streams (otherwise known as channels) to optimize and maximize customer value. In this process, the company created direct-to-consumer (DTC), Amazon/Online, Outdoor and Mass retail value streams assigning marketing, sales and product development resources to drive value in these channels. The company also maintained brand marketing teams to deliver core brand communications, generate brand assets and develop our digital ecosystem.
Once the organization structure was established, the NextLevel partner spearheaded the implementation of a robust digital strategy to connect directly with customers. The focus was on reinventing the DTC business and reprioritizing the marketing resources towards a digital first mentality. This required investing in a new DTC platform and re-evaluating the marketing technology tools being utilized. SalesForce was the chosen partner to automate communications, journey map the customer’s online journey and create the CRM foundation. Accelerating the digital transformation required marketing strategies and activities focused on building and growing the company’s online brand communities. At the center of this strategy was content, which fed into social channels, email communication, each of the brands’ blogs and drive funnel filling activities to support DTC sales efforts. With a foundation established, the company layered in paid search, SEO enhancements and targeted CLV programs to fuel growth.
- Service metrics improved from 65 percent (fill rate x on-time rate) to greater than 90 percent
- The DTC channel grew from $1 million to $9 million in topline sales within three years
- Core DTC metrics: site traffic, conversion and average order value increased two-fold
- Amazon value stream grew from $5 million to $11 million in topline sales within three years
- Brand social engagement went from non-existing to each brand having a social ecosystem
- The two largest brands had over 100 thousand followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube
- The largest brand in the portfolio had over 1.5 million blog page views/year