“What do I tell the boss?” Rodney from marketing asked his team. It was us who convinced him of thin market. But this quarter has given us nothing.”

Rodney’s was chief of marketing for LRS Australia, a guest paging system in Melbourne. LRS created ingenious, light-weight, Coaster-flashing_AU-MDunobtrusive pagers able to be used by any service-based business. The products sold themselves – Imagine, for instance, a medical clinic issuing pagers by courier when you made an appointment over the phone. Waiting times for the ever-late doctors could be kept to an absolute minimum. If you had, say, a 2pm appointment you could be given updates throughout the day as to how late your GP was running. When you arrive for your appointment you simply return the pager and see your doctor.

Having a good product was one thing, getting the message out there another. It was Rodney’s job to advise management on the most potentially lucrative markets. And they thought they had? Rodney had his team use Google Analytics to determine the industries that most frequented the LRS website. Restaurant owners, it turned out, took up the largest proportion of visits to the website. Rodney had duly informed the board of this and recommended they tailor their advertising and outbound marketing to restaurants.

The result had been a catastrophe.

Rodney had a meeting in few minutes with the board. He needed to give them something. “Any ideas?” he trailed off. “Anyone?”

uxuiJacinta put her hand up. “I – er – I asked Userlicious to run a check of our website.” She looked around nervously. “Userlicious are a data consultancy firm. They managed to tease out the conversion rate from the visitor rate.”

Everyone was looking at her.

“We were looking at the wrong thing. Instead of looking at the largest sector from which our web visitors come we should have been looking at the largest sector from where our web buyers come. Restaurateurs, on average, look but don’t buy.” She produced a report. “Userlicious itemized our website’s visitor rate, where they come from, how long they stay, the most popular pages they browse, even the products they spend the most time analysing.” She paused. “and they compared this with the buyers: Which segment of society is most likely to buy; which segment is most likely to be a repeat customer; which products they’re looking for.”

Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. Making a mistake is one thing; making an expensive mistake another. Being able to understand and rectify it quite another from the other two.


About The Author