Challenge/Issue: A new entrant into the market was posing a competitive threat to our client. Our client felt they had a superior product and wanted to nip this potential threat in the bud prior to their gaining any kind of foothold in the market. They wanted to get a better understanding of the appeal of this new product and how to market against this competitor to protect their market share.
Approach: We conducted multiple focus groups in multiple cities nationwide, primarily with competitor customers. A number of different lines of questioning were used during the groups. Some of these included general perceptions of both our client and its competitor as well as specific questions on the sales and support experience. Print ads and other marketing materials were shown in order to gauge receptivity to messaging. The materials were tweaked from city to city based on feedback and then retested.
Results: Results from the focus groups were put to use right away in a sales training video to improve how the teams were selling against the competition. Our client was able to identify its competitor’s weaknesses and leverage its own strengths against them. Ad and direct mail campaigns were developed based on focus group feedback and results. The campaigns were quite effective over the next six months. Lapsed customers came back; new customers were signed and the competitive threat was essentially squelched in all major markets.