We instigated, executed and delivered 15% – 28% growth through the development of strong sales processes and strategies, the motivation of sales teams and setting realistic incremental goals. Our Tale of Three Cities program changed the buying conversation from “How much is it” to “How much do I need to order so I can come on your event?”
It all started when Unilever approached Incremental Marketing with a difficult ask – to have a breakthrough year. They wanted to achieve double digit growth in a market that was only growing by 2%.
This was no easy task, but the goal was clear. They wanted to achieve substantial increase in sales and market share, without sacrificing margin.
In order for us to achieve this, we had to unite all sales teams and change the price conversation to result in growth. In fact, we were so successful in year one, Unilever now share the program with other non-competing iconic brands.
How we did it
Achieving this sort of growth wasn’t going to be easy!
The first step was analyzing our clients’ customer base. Despite being non-competing in terms of products being sold, our clients were still selling to the same customers. Once we knew who we were targeting, we developed the incentives to motivate the teams.
We created a money-can’t-buy travel itinerary to three of the world’s most exotic destinations and created truly unique, chance-of-a-life time experiences within them. We selected Hong Kong, Paris and Monte Carlo.
To add further value, and because we knew we were talking to successful independent business owners, we also developed and ran an international business forum that focused on arming our client’s customers with knowledge to drive efficiencies in their business.
We structured the program into three tiers. As customers progressed towards their sales goals, they were invited to participate in the next destination.
Having strategic alliances between the participating companies meant that all costs were shared equally by the partners. In addition, all the variable costs associated with the travel program were fully covered by the incremental profit generated from each customer. This is known as Incremental Marketing’s Self-Funding Model.
Earning your ticket on the flight
To help the customer earn their spot in the program, we gave them the ability to achieve a combination of targets, rather than one unrealistic target from just one of the suppliers.
We built a campaign identity and communicated the program through a bespoke website, video content and email. However, to kick off, we created a launch kit which gave our client’s sales team something truly exciting to present to their customers. The launch kit consisted of a gift, a video and brochure which communicated a customised target for each of their customers.
Each customer had their own login to the campaign website, which empowered them to monitor their progress and set their own path towards the destination tier of their choice.
It also allowed them to project their results and calculate the purchases they would need to make in order to reach their targets.
The website was supported by a regular email campaign which included statements on performance and event related content. Our open rates on these emails were in excess of 50%. When compared to the industry average of 5%, these results show that our audiences were highly engaged and excited by the program.
The website also allowed our client’s sales team to view their customer’s performance. Each of our clients and their representatives at all levels, had their own unique login and could search and run reports for customers within their management.
This access to up-to-date information and progress helped them change their sales conversations with customers from ‘What’s your price?’ to ‘How much do I need to order so I can come on your event?’
We managed all of the sales data provided by each of our three clients on a fortnightly basis. This data was imported into the website and allowed us to produce other sales tools which were vital to driving the results:
Traffic Light Reports – Easily identifies which customers need focus based on performance using a traffic light colour coding system.
‘What if’ calculator – Determines what a customer would need to purchase to achieve a target based on results to date, time elapsed and time remaining.
‘Step Up Analysis’ – Details by SKU what the customer would need to purchase to achieve a target, based on what they purchased in the corresponding period last year.
28% of our client’s customers achieved their target and attended the trip.
67% of our client’s customers that attended, had also achieved their targets in the previous year.
Flying on a jet plane
Our client’s customers had worked hard throughout the year to achieve some significant sales targets in order to attend the event. It was then our job to ensure that they were rewarded with a memorable, once in a lifetime experience that left them wanting more.
This required meticulous planning in the lead up to the event and flawless end to end execution on the event.
Some of the special touches we included:
Prior to the event:
- Leather overnight travel bag which housed an itinerary booklet, name tag and flight itineraries.
- Access to our own internal travel agent to book and plan post event travel extensions.
On the event:
- A team of 9 event crew accompanied the 243 delegates which included a paramedic.
- All delegates were met at all domestic airports in Australia before flying out.
- A photographer captured images of the experiences and overnight published a daily newsletter which was delivered to delegate’s hotel rooms the morning after.
- Email campaign to all delegates which contained a highlight video of the event, link to an online photo gallery and copies of presentations from the International Foodservice Distribution Forum.
Watch the adventures here:
We achieved what we had set out to do! We increased sales growth by:
67% of our client’s customers that attended, had achieved in the previous year.
12 customers common to all 3 suppliers have achieved all 4 of the sales incentives offered since 2011.
The program has been so successful that the world’s largest dairy exporter, Fonterra has just joined the alliance for the upcoming program, ‘Aloha Canada’.
Just a short note to thank you and your team for the excellent execution of the Tale of Three Cities incentive trip. The events, the locations and the food were well chosen and the feedback from the delegates was all positive.
National Sales Manager
Unilever Food Solutions
Just wanted to thank you both again for a fantastic few days in Hong Kong.
It was more than a junket trip (although I did I have a great time). The trip really highlighted to me how big this initiative is, how valued it is by the distributors and was a great opportunity to network with the guys. It was great to get feedback from the distributors on how they would like Fonterra to work with them to achieve their goals for next year which I can now share with my team. I leave really inspired about the opportunity and really motivated to drive the Fonterra team.
Congratulations guys on the first class execution of this event. Runs like clockwork and everyone I spoke to commented on the great job that you and your assembled team in Hong Kong did.
National Sales Manager – Foodservice
Note: Fonterra was invited as our guest on Tale of Three Cities and now has come on board as our 4th partner upon their return.
We had an amaaaaaaazing time overseas. You guys are incredible.
I was wondering if you could send me through a list of all delegates that attended the trip. We met so many new faces and would love to touch base with some of them again. Even though I told Tony that Turkey is going to be very hard to top I must admit he got pretty darn close with this trip. 🙂
Thanks for an amazing experience.
Just a quick note to say thank you for organising such a wonderful trip that Carol and I have just been on. It was our first time and certainly very lucky to be on this one going all the way to Monte Carlo.
Your team was very professional and amazing at what they do. Tom’s bus was indeed the best! We hope to be able to attend another one in the near future.
I would like to say a big Thank You to you and your team for a well organised trip. We thoroughly enjoyed it and was memorable. Our extended days went without a hitch the vouchers and transfers also went well. Once again thank you very much.
General Manager – Food Service