Digital Revenue Acquisition Unit - Innovate or Evaporate
2019 Winner

Digital Revenue Acquisition Unit - Innovate or Evaporate

Stuff Media NZ

Auckland, New Zealand

Category Innovations and Profit Centers

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Over the past year, Stuff’s digital growth has slowed whilst print has continued its decline. To thrive Stuff Auckland needed to innovate to create a sustainable revenue model whereby digital revenue growth offsets print decline. We accepted managing decline is no longer an option.

A root and branch review quickly identified three main challenges:

  • The integrated digital/print sales teams were ineffective due to their dual focus (60% of time spent generating 10% of total revenue in digital).
  • Our digital product set was unremarkable, delivering top of sale funnel stranger to visitor solutions via mass impressions in a print “Reach Format”, similar to our traditional media competitors.
  • Across the team processes and systems were wildly inconsistent resulting in poor prospecting activities.

A thorough redesign of our product offerings and sales process were undertaken to improve effectiveness and systemise our approach to customer acquisition. The company embraced these challenges and created a digital only sales unit of five seconded FTE’s.

Product Redesign: 

We developed an “Each Culture” by designing digital products that lead the market with:

  • Personalisation through “Stranger to Promoter” Total Sales Funnel Solutions
  • Precision through Cost per Click Pay for Result Campaigns
  • Transactions/Sales through Popshop e-Commerce Solutions
  • Transparency through Real Time Campaign Management

Sales Process Redesign: 

A new end to end sale funnel solution was designed that emphasised sales reps maximising time in front of high propensity to buy prospects including:

  • Automated digital lead qualifying, and specialist appointment setting teams chasing prospects active in digital advertising through other mediums.
  • Designed new digital products that customers actually need rather than products based on print mass impression reach format. The sales bundles provided complete “stranger to promoter” client Sales Funnel Solutions.
  • Systemisation of all sales funnel processes and handing off of all non-core customer facing processes to third party sales support providers, including offshore resource.
  • Real time campaign management leading to successful campaigns being built on immediately and less successful campaigns being modified just as quick.

Results for this campaign

The business acquisition unit armed with the newly designed "Total Sales Funnel Solution" products and a simplified sales process that focussed on each stage of the buying cycle was a significant game changing strategy for the Stuff business. This product set has become our competitive advantage and helped us to own the entire sales funnel rather than part of it. Over the four month period this campaign secured market-share way beyond our expectations, including:  

  • 220 new to Stuff customers with many 3, 6 and 12 month campaigns
  • Total New Revenue to Stuff (Sept 2018-Nov 2018): NZ$1.05M with a 65% profit margin
  • Doubling the average products sold per campaign  from 1.2 to 2.4
  • Average Order Value increased from $1,200 to $5,000  
  • Increased Auckland Digital Revenue as a % of Total Revenue (Print & Digital) from 18% to over 40%

For the first time in Stuff’s history, Auckland’s digital revenue generated by this campaign offset our print decline to deliver an overall year on year growth (Sept 2018-Nov 2018). As such this methodology has become the new sales model for the Auckland business.  

What did we learn:

  • With the right approach the future looks promising. 
  • Opportunity cost is real, with the right people focus on right things will deliver significant success
  • Design digital products that solve more than “stranger to visitor” top of funnel traffic problems
  • A dedicated digital team with a simplified product offering and systemised sales process is far more efficient and effective
  • There remains a long tail of print centric SME’s that don’t fully understand or trust digital, these prospects required a fixed tenancy "bridging product" that can be easily viewed and could be purchased on a daily rate similar to print




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