Dominic Byrne DIgital Marketer of the year finalist 2013

I am honoured to be on the short list for the IAB Australia‘s ‘Digital Marketer of the Year’ award, especially amongst such high calibre company.

The IAB Australia Awards seek to recognise digital creativity that works, with results that raise standards across the online industry,  for agencies and clients that have shown bravery and had success with their online campaigns.

To my advantage the IAB introduced a new category this year that seeks to identify the Digital Marketer of the Year. As with the other awards, the criteria call for someone who has shown bravery in their digital marketing endeavours through their vision, use of channels, technologies and platforms. A Digital Marketer who has delivered tangible results for their company or brand through the use of Digital Marketing.

One of my colleagues, Daniel Wright, was kind enough to enter me into this category, and to my honest surprise, I was recently  notified of making the final six , who consist of:

I have linked the above names through to their respective interviews on the Marketing Magazine website.

I am happy to share Daniel’s entry.

1. The Issue

Tyreright is a challenger brand in the retail tyre space that was launched in 2011. As a new entrant to the space, with limited budget, Tyreright took the decision to reinvent the nature of tyre retailing in Australia by aggressively launching a comprehensive digital strategy in 2012.

The tyre retail industry in Australia is a notoriously technologically-averse sector and it has long operated on business models that are decades old, with the dominant players seeing little to no reason for adapting to new consumer technologies.

Tyreright saw an opportunity to capitalise on this technological lag and to leverage the power of digital in order to improve efficiencies and to meet consumers in their natural environments, be that in person, on the phone, at the computer, on the couch with a tablet or using their phone.

There are unique challenges within the tyre industry that push it outside of traditional models of ecommerce and mcommerce, forcing innovative solutions and creative problem solving. The most significant of these is the issue of the product. A set of tyres is not a product that can be readily shipped and forgotten. The customer needs to be able to get their new tyres fitted to their vehicle.

The second great challenge is in the purchasing lifecycle and consumer disinterest in the product. The average consumer only needs to purchase tyres every 3.2 years and has very little incentive to retain complex product knowledge between purchases. However, tyres are a complex and highly-engineered product and can be a confusing purchase choice.

The third great challenge is that most tyre replacement purchases happen under duress, with over 90% of purchases made in order to pass a vehicle roadworthy test while renewing registration. Consumers who are short on time, needing to make a complex choice and who may not have budgeted for the purchase are stressed and need support.

In order to meet these, and other, challenges Tyreright has taken a long-term approach to the ongoing evolution of its digital products and campaigns.

2. The Solution

Starting with a commitment to constantly question assumptions and challenge ideas, Tyreright evaluates every decision against the simple question “How will this make our customers’ lives easier?”

Tyreright was able to take hold of the first-mover advantage in the tyre retail space in Australia, giving it a tangible competitive edge in launching a challenger brand in an aggressive market.

The cornerstone of Tyreright’s digital strategy is the website tyreright.com.au, the first national tyre ecommerce site in Australia. The site is designed to be usable and to account for different levels of product knowledge and interest.

There are structured search functions for searching by tyre size, and a custom guided search which helps users to find their tyre size based on their vehicle’s original specifications.

Tyres are complex products with a great deal of product research and development going into them. This level of complexity can often be a barrier for consumers, so at Tyreright we developed a range of product characteristics that provide a performance matrix. The characteristics used are Handling; Wet Conditions; Comfort; Durability and Eco/Fuel Saver.

Product characteristics are rated out of 10 consistently across the range so that a user can effectively compare the differences between tyres of multiple brands and price points that suit their vehicle and driving style.

Tyreright also provides live chat support on the site, allowing users to access professional customer service representatives without leaving the page. This works well with Tyreright’s social media presence, which is built around the principle of active listening.

While publishing a mix of lighthearted and informative content is part of Tyreright’s social presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, we also make a concerted effort to actively seek out users who may be in a moment of need and assist them. We have achieved social sales as a result of this process, although the primary goal has been to earn a place as a legitimate member in a broader community.

A great example of this effort being effective was the young mother of two who experienced a tyre failure while driving towards Sydney on the F3. She tweeted that she was stuck with a crying infant and a fidgeting toddler. Our social team spotted her tweet and replied with an offer for help. They coordinated with our local store for one of our staff to come out and pick her and her kids up while arranging the replacement of her tyre.

Tyreright has also recognised a great opportunity for mobile engagement, and produced Australia’s only mobile-specific tyre retail site, utilising responsive design to adapt to screen sizes and optimised for touch interaction and input. The site is focused around core mobile actions, enabling tyre purchasing and directing users quickly to their nearest store with minimum page weight and an emphasis on fast load times.

Tyreright is also making a big push on the active use of customer interaction to modify the user experience and serve more relevant and targeted content to them as they progress through the site. Tyreright.com.au is built on the Sitecore CMS, a comprehensive, open .NET platform which contains within it a powerful personalisation engine. This gives Tyreright the ability to segment and profile users as they engage with the site in order to cross-promote content and offers that are more suited to their interests and needs.

This ties in with Tyreright’s localisation strategy. With over 70 fully branded Tyreright stores Australia-wide and more being added regularly, it’s important to the brand strategy to build lasting ties in the communities our stores are part of. Each store has a dedicated section of the website, with the option to expand to a microsite with additional pages highlighting specific news and events, community sponsorships and additional details related to their specific service offerings. This approach is replicated across social media with centralised support for locally managed Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

Tyreright is also running a comprehensive content strategy built around total lifecycle communications with our customers. We’re adding a variety of content to our blog at the rate of 1.8 articles per day, across a range of interest areas from motorsport to maintenance and safety information all the way through to the perfect roadtrip playlist. We’re producing in-house video that is shared across our YouTube and social channels, while also featured on our blog and are beginning to solicit user-generated content to build on the levels of engagement we’re already seeing.

Tyreright’s undertaking a lifecycle engagement campaign built around highly targeted and relevant content that combines with a User-Generated Content strategy. The content strategy is foundational to Tyreright’s SEO but is also highly relevant to our SEM and Display campaigns which allow us to deliver users to suitable landing pages that are optimised for their interests and that position Tyreright as a thought leader in the industry.

Tyreright’s commitment to digital is ongoing and based on the belief that great digital projects are never truly finished, but continue to grow and evolve alongside their customers and make use of new technologies as they become available. To this end Tyreright has adopted an internal motto that “We are more than just a tyre company that uses technology, we are a technology company that specialises in supplying and fitting tyres.”

3. The Results

Over the first 12 months of operation Tyreright.com.au experienced consistent month-on-month growth across all key metrics. Traffic, sales, units sold, total revenue and net profit grew in excess of expectations. Average sale metrics are 3.2 tyres per sale and $520 per sale. The number of monthly transactions has increased by over 150% with an average growth of just over 16% month-on-month.

Store referrals from Live Chat are approximately 200 per month and the site averages around 45,000 unique visits per month. This is continuing to grow steadily, all without a major media campaign, as a result of cost-effective pull marketing with strategic decision making driven by actual data.

SEO performance on the site has been exceptional, going from launching a brand new domain to ranking first on over 70 keywords at present with over 470 first page results (outstripping our major competitors by a significant margin). These results are reflective of our comprehensive content marketing strategy, targeting customers at all points in the purchase lifecycle and providing them with useful and relevant content that’s appropriate to their needs at that point.

Offering expert Live Chat saw an immediate 100% increase in sales conversions and has increased store referrals by approximately 400%. Our mobile site is the first (and currently the only) one of its kind in Australia. Since being launched the growth in direct calls to stores and walk-in traffic has grown, and we began receiving mobile transactions within the first week of launch.

There’s no question that Tyreright’s fresh focus on consumer outcomes has disrupted the tyre industry in Australia and so it’s turned out that we’re not just opening stores, we’re opening up a new market.

4. The key outcomes that contributed value to the organisation

Innovation in technology has set Tyreright apart as an industry leader in tyre retailing. Our commitment to putting our customer’s first at every part of their purchasing journey, coupled with an understanding that their brand experience needs to be seamless, not only across devices but also transitioning into the offline store experience is literally an Australian first and has disrupted the tyre retail industry in Australia.

Since launching the site, several major tyre brands have actively sought to have their product featured in Tyreright’s range, as they recognise the power and potential of a customer-focused system.

The mobile site has resulted in immediate increases in online and in-store traffic, which has generated tangible results for individual store owners, allowing them to clearly recognise the benefit of a centralised digital strategy.

The development of customised search processes and a deliberate emphasis on simple and clear information that empowers our customers to make an informed choice that they can have confidence in has established a baseline of brand equity and given Tyreright a reputation as an honest and open company.

Repeat business continues to grow as individuals purchase for their second family vehicle, spouse/partner and in small businesses across moderately sized fleets. Customer loyalty is apparent, and customer reviews are excellent.

Over 40% of our online sales come at a time of day when a traditional store would be closed (i.e. in the evenings or on weekends), meaning that we’re capturing customers in a time and setting that suits them, easing pressure on stores to have to extend hours, hire additional staff or otherwise manage the needs of modern consumers.

Tyreright maintains an ongoing commitment to innovation in the tyre industry and in the broader Australian retail market. Our commitment to customer outcomes and user empowerment sees our vision for the industry growing alongside our customers and their technology. We believe that conversion can only be meaningful if it is based on trust and deep engagement, therefore localisation and personalisation are core focus areas. We test all our customer touchpoints and pool resources according to performance and ROI.

However, underlying all channels, platforms and tactics, an unrelenting commitment to exceptional customer service is the key to making sure that even across bricks and clicks, the core of what Tyreright does is consistent. This has been the greatest organisational outcome, our guarantee that you’ll get the Right advice, Right Service and be empowered to make the Right choice every time at Tyreright.

So I am very proud to have the above documented about the success my team has had with Tyreright. I do emphasise I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of the above without my colleagues, Daniel Wright, Ben Curnow and Jack Jensen.

I assume they know the winner already, fingers crossed, good luck to my competition and I look forward to the awards night.

The entries were scored on:

  • Bravery – 30%
  • Innovation – 25% 
  • Impact (on market and brand) – 25%
  • At the jury’s discretion – 20%

Important Details

  • Entries will open Tuesday 30th April 2013 and will close Thursday 23rd May 2013. 
  • This category is part of the 2013 IAB Awards; the winner will be announced at the Awards presentation on 11 July 2013 at the Star Event Centre
  • Nominees must be currently employed in a Marketing role with an Australian-based company and their digital marketing endeavours been carried out outline on Australian-based websites
  • This nomination form is an editable PDF. Fully completed forms should be emailed to Justine@rizer.com.au
  • Nominations must be submitted electronically
  • Judging will be conducted by a panel of senior executives drawn from the digital industry. 
  • Jurors will not vote on a nominee if they have a direct interest or conflict. The decision of the jury will be final. 
  • Finalists will be announced in early June
  • IAB Australia reserves the right to disqualify a nominee if misleading information is provided. 
  • There is no cost involved in nominating or being nominated for this Award
  • Any queries should be direct to Justine@rizer.com.au or (02) 9698 8988
Dominic Byrne

hello@digitoroconsulting.com