Client: Dragonfly Training, Mary Chapman, Director Dragonfly Training
“Before we started working with Watertight Marketing we were very reactive — if you could even call it marketing. Accredited Consultant, Kara Stanford, gave us focus, and then suggested we start the Masterplan programme. It’s been a highly positive and profitable process.” Mary Chapman, Director, Dragonfly Training
Based in Penarth, South Wales, Dragonfly Training was established to offer teachers a more exciting alternative to the theory-based training so often found in schools. It was founded and run by former teacher Stephen Chapman in 1999. Now, the business operates in more than 50 countries, with over 250,000 teachers trained from more than 3,000 schools.
After sharing their marketing frustrations with a fellow business owner, Dragonfly Training were referred to Watertight Marketing Accredited Consultant Kara Stanford in February 2017. Kara’s immediate suggestion was that they stepped back from what Mary described as the ‘crazy rush of delivery’ and gain some badly needed clarity.
The challenge — and how Watertight Marketing helped
It wasn’t that Dragonfly Training hadn’t tried marketing, the problem lay in focusing on tactics rather than having a strategy. As such, time was invested in social media with the only noticeable difference being what it cost them each month.
At the same time the business was making the dangerous mistake of saying ‘yes’ too readily and falling into the ‘yo—yo marketing’ trap of constant delivery, and then frantically sending out brochures when things went quiet.
Kara ran a one day workshop with the three Directors that quickly identified a missed opportunity. The Dragonfly team were talking about the features of what they did (delivering training in schools) — rather than the actual benefits they brought their clients. Focusing on the benefits (which is what clients really want to hear about) helped Dragonfly Training identify where their real value lay — and who their ideal clients would be.
Kara’s help led to Dragonfly Training creating a new mission, vision and market segments based on solving their customers’ problems. It was the catalyst for transforming the business into one that they not only felt more confident about, but one that began to make more money.
The catalyst for change
As Mary describes, “We didn’t have a clear focus. We could be delivering training on the other side of the world, and the next minute on our doorstep. It was difficult to say ‘no’ as we didn’t have the clarity to make that decision. Meanwhile, we were spending money on marketing without any real purpose — or any real benefit. We were initially sceptical that an outside person could really help us but Kara’s workshop was the catalyst, that’s where it started to change.”
Mary adds, “Kara’s workshop helped us get to the heart of a new marketing strapline. We realised that our ideal client isn’t just a person who wants to tick a box and have their teachers trained, it’s somebody who wants their teachers to be inspired with new strategies and resources — and these were the people we wanted to work with. So, ‘Bringing flair and creativity to schools across the globe’ was born. When we are approached for new work we now ask ourselves is it profitable, are they right for us and would we like doing it?”
Kara’s other recommendation was that the business gain marketing knowledge built around a proven structure for building sustainable growth. No more random social media, it was time for a marketing investment designed to pay back. As a result, Mary stepped forward as the director responsible for marketing – and, on Kara’s recommendation, joined the Watertight Marketing Masterplan programme.
Identifying Dragonfly Training’s Marketing Leaks
As part of the Masterplan programme, Dragonfly Training reviewed their marketing against the Thirteen Touchpoint Leaks™. This is Watertight Marketing’s bottom—up analysis that identifies how businesses lose both customers and profit from their marketing activities — and creates a traffic light action plan of priorities, putting those that need immediate attention at the top of the list.
Related content: What are the Thirteen Touchpoint Leaks™
So, what leaks jumped out, and what did they do as a result? We’ll look at the top three in order of priority.
Leak #1 — Forgotten Customers
Leak #1 looks at your relationship with existing customers — the bedrock of any successful business. When you don’t stay in touch with customers, they are likely to forget about you. When it comes to buying again, or recommending to friends, your name may not come to mind.
A characteristic of ‘yo-yo’ marketing is that a business will typically focus on winning new clients when things go quiet. This is something that Dragonfly Training were doing, as Mary explains… “We were over focussed on getting new customers, but we already had these lovely keen customers who loved what we did — and we realised that we were waiting for them to contact us.”
The forgotten customer leak is one of the most crucial to any business, which is why it underpins the whole Watertight Marketing methodology. It simply makes no sense to spend money attracting new business. Your existing customers form the core of the business you already have — and will spend more, and tell others about you. In our experience, a fix for this leak needn’t be complex — or expensive.
Dragonfly Training have now put in place simple customer communications to address this, as Mary explains… “We’ve developed a thank you card. We send out chocolates at key times and for Christmas. We send flowers if someone has really shone at an event. Against this backdrop, we let them know about new courses, offering early discounts. It's not just digital, we now keep in touch via the phone better to build that personal contact.”
Leak #2 Poor On-boarding
Leak #2 recognises that there is a critical time period between when a person has bought something, and when they consider themselves a loyal customer. This is the Welcome Window, and is your chance to make a lasting impression.
Dragonfly Training recognised that they didn’t have a structured welcome approach to their new customers. Their geographically dispersed customer base also meant that personal contact would be a challenge.
Mary explains the solutions they are putting in place, with global customers in mind. “New customers join our mailing list, and we also want to create a Welcome Pack and a video series for what it’s like to be a customer with us. This will particularly help overseas clients but these aren’t quick fixes — we want to get them right.”
One easy to do tactic has already brought results. “We now give feedback on our training sessions back to the person who commissioned us. This means they get to see that their delegates have gained value from their training — and it’s in their words too. By saying this is what your staff thought of us — we’re also saying how good we are, which builds confidence.”
Leak #4 — No Gateway
Leak #4 addresses how easy it is for customers to buy from you — and the more you can do to give them a flavour of what it would be like as a customer, the better. This is often achieved by designing a service that helps buyers understand and visualise how they might work with you.
Mary recognised that they didn’t have a lot in place in order to help customers trial their service. She identified two assets that could come together to help address this. Their customer database, and the fact that they sometimes have spare capacity on their courses. It offered the means to create a ‘try before you buy’ experience that has been very inexpensive to run.
As Mary explains… “We’ll contact people in the area that a course is running if we know they’ve enquired before. We offer them a place to see us in action, this will often be low cost or free. We’ve also developed our resources and give these out at events and workshops.”
Mary and Dragonfly Training joined the Watertight Marketing Masterplan in April 2017. They are already able to reflect on much that has been achieved on the course, and with Kara’s additional input.
“Overall, there’s a greater confidence about what we offer and what we do. That communicates through in how we accept jobs or not. Certainly, in going for things like attending industry events etc, we now have a better idea of whether it would be a useful part of our marketing and worth our investment. We’ve got much better business out of events as a result. As far as sales are concerned, we are already more than 20% up on this time last year — and we haven't implemented all the learning yet.”
What about that ‘yo—yo’ marketing? “We do much less sending out of brochures but we are still reaching the right kind of clients more quickly and efficiently. This also means spending less money. We’ve ditched money wasting activities so our profits are better, we’re more canny and more businesslike.”
Mary feels the biggest benefit, certainly in terms of revenue, has been addressing the ‘Forgotten Customers’ leak as she explains… “We are much better at keeping ourselves in our customers' minds. Now we are regularly in touch and we’re more creative in how we do that. The focus on the Forgotten Customer leak made us realise that we have a big database and that’s a lot of people not to be in touch with on a regular basis. It’s made a big difference and repeat business has really increased.”
The future… and working with a Watertight Marketing Accredited Consultant
Reflecting on the Masterplan course and working with Kara, Mary sees benefits beyond the purely financial. Being better equipped for growth and more assured in their approach has freed up more time — so why not enjoy it?
“Just as importantl for us is achieving time outside of work so we’re not burnt out. We are putting in place much more efficient systems to enable this. We're streamlining everything so it can almost run itself. When you feel in control you approach it better and, although we are working just as hard we are working more efficiently and enjoying it more too.”
Their relationship with Kara Stanford has been instrumental in giving them the pause for thought that led to this new-found confidence and focus. Mary says, “Kara was the catalyst that set us on this journey and Masterplan has been invaluable in helping us keep to it. We feel confident that if we stick with the priorities she’s helped us to identify and also fix the leaks, then we will progress in the right direction. Watertight Marketing has really made us think, and Kara has been a joy to work with.”
© Watertight Marketing Ltd | This marketing case study was prepared by Watertight Marketing Accredited Consultant – Ben Wheeler.