SmartMotion Technologies, the maker of an innovative new office chair called SwingChair, was at a dead end trying to get traditional office equipment distribution to carry and sell its products. It had developed a small and steady internet business selling directly to consumers and the company wanted to know if it could successfully build its consumer business using offline media. They hired me to come up with a test plan. Because the company was short on cash, it had to be of a scale that was affordable and it had to work.
I recommended a remnant print strategy featuring a two-step advertising message, but a one-step close. The goal was to open up the lead funnel with hard-hitting direct response creative and get the maximum number of people to respond to an offer for a free brochure and video. Then, when people called, the sales person was to engage them in a needs based conversation and try to close them on the spot or arrange for a call back. Because of the price point, a pure two-step approach on the front end and the back end was not feasible. I wrote and designed the ads and the brochure as well as writing a comprehensive sales strategy and training the sales people on how to best close inquiries.
SmartMotion tested first in USA Today with success and then expanded to the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. The company found that it could sell chairs directly off the ad as well as building a prospect database it could mine successfully. While the ads were positioned for individuals, they also appealed to corporate buyers where multiple unit sales were possible. The company is slowly rolling out the print campaign using the margin from the print ads to fund inventory and additional ads. While still short of capital to fund a large expansion, the success of the print campaign is providing the company with growth and with a compelling story to prospective investors.