Russells Curtains & Blinds
Russells Curtains & Blinds is a real kiwi success story. Originally a fabric merchant, they are now one of New Zealand’s largest manufacturers of custom-made curtains and blinds. We have partnered with them for several years and in that time, we’ve refreshed and further evolved their brand, built two websites, managed multiple sales campaigns and monthly social media, filmed TVCs, and overhauled their marketing channel mix.
The results speak for themselves: from 2017-2019 there’s been a 143% increase in website sessions and a 113% increase in consultation bookings through the website. That equates to a year-on-year increase in sales of 11% followed by a 25% increase in 2018. We’ve also significantly increased the average lead value. Check back for more stats as Russells continues to grow with us.
Crafted with care
The journey to who Russells are today began with a visit to their factory in Nelson for a workshop and strategy session. We could see they had plenty to talk about, but like many brands, had fallen into the trap of leading with a price-driven message. We quickly identified that the brand needed to be repositioned as having a superior product and service experience.
To rebrand them we created an evolution of the logo, which had links back to Russells’ origins. For authenticity and a nod to the craftsmanship that goes into Russells’ products, the logo was stitched onto fabric and photographed. The positioning line of ‘Curtain and Blind Specialists’ has been added as well as a suite of messaging to communicate Russells’ key points of difference, centring around personalised service, solution-focused expertise, craft, care and being Kiwi-made.
"Plato is more like our business partner than our creative agency. They are deeply ingrained in our business at a strategic level. Success is a shared responsibility, so they have eyes on our sales pipeline, and they make marketing adjustments as needed to hit lead targets. In the background they’ve also helped us set up admin processes and monitoring tools that help nurture leads to conversion. Quite simply, we wouldn’t be the business we are today without Plato. Trusting them was the best decision we could ever have made." Bill Liddell, Owner of Russells Curtains & Blinds
Making a new home online
When we first introduced Russells into the digital world, a space they had not been before, we used the same marketing spend as had been used previously on mail drops. We began by investing a substantial portion of the total budget into intent-driven Google search advertising in specific locations to gain instant visibility and generate leads. This ran alongside a robust SEO strategy, social media marketing, content/inbound marketing and TV advertising.
Within the first seven months, leads doubled, growing another 18% in the following year. As of 2020, we are on track to see an approximate increase of 30%. In the 12 month period between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019, they achieved an increase of online leads by another 9%.
We have also seen significant increases in Russells’ social media following and engagement, as well as growing their communications database.
Ongoing, Google search advertising keeps upping brand awareness and remarketing is used to keep Russells top of mind with those who have visited the site but not booked a consultation yet. SEO and social media is part of our long-term digital strategy with activity mapped out and content created to educate, inform and inspire.
Russells may have a big factory but they have no storefront so their website must fulfil this purpose. That’s why we’ve built it to be functional, super informative resource that engages and convinces customers to make an enquiry.
Content that wins customers
Think of inbound marketing as an approach to digital marketing that ties all online activities together into one cohesive gameplan. At its core is a simple idea; use relevant and helpful content to attract potential customers to your website, then provide ongoing value-add content that aligns with each stage of their journey to becoming a customer.
What makes inbound marketing so effective is its connection of a bunch of different digital marketing tactics (such as content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, email marketing and more), with everything working in harmony to attract and convert leads into customers. Also, because it’s focused on aligning marketing with sales, it provides the ability to close the loop on measuring effectiveness.
For Russells we have implemented a strategy that includes crafting key pieces of downloadable content supported by a follow up campaign to nurture potential leads at various stages along their journey to becoming a customer. Within the first month of launch, we had an 50% increase in consultation bookings (leads); within the first year we had a 41% increase in traffic and 22% in leads.