With all this talk of failure, it’s important to celebrate What We Did Right so here’s the first installment.
- Learned to F.S.O.E.Q. (Figured Shit Out and Execute Quickly.)
With the digital transformation solidly underway, eCommerce and digital marketing are still the Wild West. Just because someone else did it right a week ago doesn’t mean that strategy will work again today. For instance, it used to be easy to capture customers’ email with a pop up box promising only Membership. In only a few months, customers caught on, realized the value of email currency and merchants responded in kind offering discounts galore. When we felt a market shift, we tested our assumptions, found a unique twist, pivoted and executed quickly. For example, we’d labored over OnePet for months, yet due to the delay (see Product Lessons Learned) the competitive landscape had changed. Pivot! We created a new value proposition, created a new brand and got a new site up in under a week – no code required!
- Established Expert Status.
After 20 years in marketing, I knew how to become a subject matter expert in no time. With some research, pet trades and a few conferences I understood the trends, customer mindset and how to get cozy with the influencers. I was part of the pack. (Get it, dog…pack?)
- Used Photography Well.
It’s no coincidence that you don’t see models – with or without fur – accessorized with poop bags. But with a little creativity and Photoshop, we made those little rolls – the bags, not the contents — look like a fashion must!We became makeshift art directors, arranging playful, colorful pictures of our bags (sans poop), edited them ourselves and selected the most provocative of the bunch. Many times our customers mentioned that our photos were what originally got their attention.
- Engaged With and Listened to Customers.
Once we had customers, our goal was to increase LTV, grow evangelism and enhance our brand value. We found that offering a treat instead of an extra roll of bags in the package raised our survey response rate to 60%. Thus, treats became a monthly standard and we put full bags of treats in the store.Adding a treat was simple for us and it changed the whole customer experience from a fun surprise to a monthly pooch party! We were selling entertainment after all. The only hitch was the first month when a customer called to ask what was in the package — he left it on the counter not realizing there was a treat inside and his dog ate the entire package. Woops!
- Hired and Fired Well.
I’ve trained and managed dozens of people during my career, but Jamie Yan and Carina Bohan are among the top 1%. Jamie joined first, based on a wing, a prayer, and a bad PowerPoint deck, and Carina joined later to help us pivot.They are both endlessly curious, committed team players about whom I could wax poetic for hours.