Increased margins, independent growth and less reliance on third party aggregators
I have enjoyed working with the Online Asset Partner team and their level of commitment to achieve above average results is very evident. It is an excellent partnership and it is refreshing to work with a company that really listen to your needs and value your input. They have kept me in the loop and explained the reasoning behind every strategy used, it is a good balance where they listen, advise and implement. One of the key surprises for me is how quickly they got traction for us, we expected a much longer lead time for Google AdWords and it was an unexpected bonus to get such strong growth early. Our SEO strategy has also achieved early results for us and in the first two months after the research phase we had a 35% month on month growth for web traffic while maintaining our key stats for time on site and conversion. This growth has continued and we have been able to take control of our sales, margins and price points that in previous years had been at the mercy of some of our agents and aggregators. Last year we discounted heavily and invested in a number of promotions and preferential rates for our agents, because we have confidence in the Online Asset Partner team we changed our strategy this year focusing on direct relationships with the end user. This has resulted in better margins and we have been able to stick with our normal price points. The more sales we get early in the piece the easier it is to keep the price up, in the long term our aim is to keep our vans full through the year which is the key to being really profitable. The confidence we have in our revenue growth and margins have allowed us to invest heavily into our fleet of vans. The level of contact your team have with us is really appreciated, I can’t think of any other company we deal with that is so well organised with their customer support. To say I am happy is an understatement” - Mary Hamilton – Wilderness
The pilot commenced after a two month research and strategy phase. The research and analysis included evaluation of local and international markets, website review and online competitor analysis. The first major reporting milestone was November 2012 at which time all of the client expectations had been met. The pilot will continue until completion in April 2013 when a full analysis of results and data will take place
In 2011 New Zealand enjoyed increased tourism numbers which was attributed in part to the hosting of a successful Rugby World Cup. Bookings for campervan operators were at an all-time high. After the boom of the World Cup, 2012 has been described as a depressed market with forecasts indicating a 30 – 40% decrease in bookings for the industry. Early in 2012 Wilderness took their destiny into their own hands and engaged Online Asset partners to help them to increase their bookings and revenue. Although many of their competitors have experienced a reduction in bookings, Wilderness has grown their business dramatically. Key successes of the initiatives have been the decreased reliance on third party agents and aggregators which have given the Wilderness management team sales independence and stronger control of their price points and margins. Increased bookings, stronger margins and less discounting has resulted in a multiplying factor that has created a million dollar growth for the 2012 season
Our client Wilderness Motorhomes is an emerging powerhouse in the motorhome rental industry in New Zealand. After solid growth in 2011 the management team at Wilderness were determined to continue their online growth momentum. Early in 2012 discussions started with the Online Asset Partner team and ‘return on investment’ goals were agreed to for a nine month pilot programme for Google AdWords and an on-going SEO strategy. The partnership has gone from strength to strength with reliable month on month growth. The sales and marketing initiatives have decreased the reliance on third party agents and aggregators. The resulting independence and control over the sales process have resulted has meant less discounting, higher price points and better margins. A combination of factors; including strong growth, increased conversions and higher average sale price have resulted in an extraordinary result for our client. In the words of Mary Hamilton from Wilderness “To say we are happy is an understatement”
A two month research programme was undertaken to determine the best way to maximise bookings for the International and Australasian markets. The extensive research phase identified 21 countries that we forecasted to achieve a positive result for our client. The research and analysis indicated that the strongest inbound opportunities were the target markets of Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. We suggested a dual strategy of Google AdWords and SEO as the best option to test and validate the research and analysis phase. Google AdWords enabled us to gain immediate benefit for our client by picking up ‘low hanging fruit’ and unprotected opportunities. Small pilots were carried out to test the 2nd tier countries to identify any ‘gold nuggets’ that would produce immediate bookings and highlight potential for longer term opportunities. As the AdWords campaign matures we are able to split test and refine the programme to gain maximum benefits from each market. The SEO strategy ensures ‘future proofing’ of the Wilderness business. The SEO plan includes brand protection and focused targeting of industry keywords and phrases with high commercial intent. It is an aggressive SEO strategy that will ensure even stronger growth for the 2013/2014 season. Supporting the marketing initiatives are a number of conversion strategies which will increase the quality and conversion of the leads for the business as well as margins and profits.
Online Asset Partners are working closely with the Wilderness management team to see what is possible for 2013/2014. The focus is to keep growing the direct relationship between the consumer and the Wilderness website to increase margins and profitability in the business. Decreasing reliance on marketing agents and aggregators will bring control and certainty to future growth. We enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Wilderness team and we look forward to working together to grow the business in 2013 and beyond.