Case Study 6

A playground surfacing company with a global presence had the majority of its business in the export market and wanted to grow its market share across New Zealand within the primary school market. The client did not have a good understanding of the New Zealand market and had acquired business on a reactionary basis only, meaning they relied solely on customers calling them.

The company wished to not only understand the New Zealand market but also understand the opportunities to grow market share. Once we got an understanding of the needs of the client, the task then shifted to developing the best methodology to collect these insights within the client’s budget. Using our director’s extensive knowledge of the New Zealand schools sector, we were able to cost-effectively design a representative sample across the segments that we knew could have an influence on decision making, e.g. geographic location, decile, school authority (state, state integrated).

In order to best capture these insights, we conducted depth telephone interviews with influencers and decision makers (e.g. principals, executive officers, trustees, property consultants) with the full range of primary schools across the country. Our goal was to understand how schools make decisions around playground surfaces and then how they choose their suppliers. We also asked questions to gain an in depth understanding of how our client could influence the buyer behaviour process to cost-effectively maximise revenue.

In particular we looked to understand:

  • Brand awareness of the client
  • Brand awareness of competitor brands
  • Brand perceptions of each brand mentioned (if any)
  • The buyer behaviour of how schools purchase playground surface products
  • Where buyers look to find playground surface products (channels to market)
  • The core criteria that buyers use to purchase playground surfacing
  • The appeal of the clients product offer to potential buyers and why it is either appealing or not appealing.

The insights collected allowed us to construct a strategic sales and marketing plan with the client to overcome the barriers that were preventing growth within the New Zealand market. As a result the client is in a rebranding exercise. Another insight was that the client’s biggest competitor was actively phoning around schools. As a result of this they have hired a telesales employee to actively phone potential clients as well as follow up leads that pre-existed in their pipeline.