Awards case study: How Schnabl's clever product launch led to 20% of interactions converting to purchase

Find out what it was about Really B2B's approach to a product launch that led to 1714 prospect engagements and sample requests, and 20% of interactions converting to purchase

Summary

Schnabl is a leading manufacturer of screwless fastening systems for electrical installation. Based in Austria, where it's a market leader in electrical fixings, it approached Really B2B to assist with its launch into the UK.

The launch focused on three main prospect types: electrical contractors/electricians, electrical consultants and wholesalers.

The campaign needed to convince electricians to switch to Schnabl fixing products from their existing suppliers; by doing this Schnabl would drive more requests for the products to UK wholesaler, making them much more likely to stock Schnabl products.

Talking to electricians in the right language – No brainer

After carrying out extensive persona research on the needs, challenges and drivers of the UK electrician as well as their channel and media consumption Really B2B translated an Austrian presence and website into something which resonated with the electrician in their 'No brainer' campaign.

Using a combination of on and offline channels, Really B2B created a campaign which didn’t just create awareness but was measurable in the form of sample requests and demos. Wholesalers who came on board were able to offer electricians discounts on their first orders so these could be tracked through to sale. Expected revenue from demo requests is set to reach £865k in year one.

About Schnabl

Schnabl is a leading producer of screwless fastening systems for electrical installation. Established for over 30 years, the Austrian based business is market leader in its home country.

Schnabl fastenings are a patented innovative and efficient solution - with their main benefit being that they can save electricians up to 60% of their labour time when compared to traditional screw-based solutions.

Strategy

Effectively launch into the UK
Schnabl had limited experience of the UK market and up until its new approach with Really B2B, had driven sales through an exclusive agreement with one mid-tier electrical wholesaler.

Sales volume was being driven through 'stumble upon' opportunities through the merchant rather than through demand created by Schnabl. The business wanted to create more controllable growth moving forward.

Having identified the UK as a key export market, Schnabl knew it needed to approach prospects in a way that resonated with them culturally as the existing Austrian presence would not be effective.

Fragmented decision-makers and influencers
Schnabl’s approach to the UK market had to be three-fold as the sales of its product depended on buy-in from three core prospect types.

1. End-user electricians
Segmented by individuals and electrical installation firms, these are the decision-makers who are buying the physical product.
2. Electrical consultants
These individuals specify the fixings used in key projects.
3. Wholesalers
The place where Schnabl products are ultimately purchased.

Schnabl understood that all three were key to the success of its UK launch, but that driving demand from the end-user would be most efficient in terms of initial sales and increased wholesaler buy-in.

Create buzz around the product
Schnabl fixings are a unique patented product that will make the lives of the electricians who use them easier in terms of time and money saving.

This was a great starting point for Really B2B to work from, however a great story is only great when people hear it. To drive the sales, Schnabl was looking for in the UK they needed to find a way to talk to as many prospects as possible as fast as possible to create buzz.

Drive electricians to merchants to enhance demand
Prior to engaging Really B2B, Schnabl had already focused its strategy on wholesaler take-up but this was proving slow as the wholesalers were not yet convinced that there was enough demand for Schnabl products for them to stock them. By driving end-user electricians into the wholesalers, Schnabl could create its own demand.

Objectives

Long-term objectives for the UK launch (three to five years):

  • To be delivering profit within the UK within the next three years
  • To be turning over more than Austria within the next five years.

Short-term objective for UK launch (year one):

  • To be actively selling to 3.5% of the UK market by the end of the first year.

Marketing objectives:

  • Connect directly with end-user electricians in the UK in a platform and language that resonates with them
  • Convince electricians that Schnabl solutions are the smart choice for their business in terms of fixings
  • To drive electricians to the wholesalers to purchase product, increasing sales and wholesaler take up
  • To do this in a measurable way in order to prove the approach is effective and working towards Schnabl achieving their year one objective.

Target audience

The approach was segmented as follows:

  • Higher value tier one prospects: Electrical contractors 20+ employees
  • Tier one prospects: UK Electricians/electrical contractors 1-19 employees
  • Tier one influencers: Electrical consultants
  • Tier two prospects: Wholesalers.

Media, channels and techniques

Personas
Using their persona methodology Really BB created UK-centric personas for each of the buyer/influencer types in order to create messaging for the campaign. Really B2B captured insight on the following:

  • Structure of a typical day
  • Business and personal challenges
  • Business and personal objectives
  • Supplier selection processes
  • Media consumption. 

The big idea
Using feedback from persona research, Really B2B worked with Schnabl to create a new proposition for the UK which easily translated the benefits of using Schnabl products in the UK electricians own language.

“No anchors, no screws, no tools, no effort, no brainer.”

Website

  • The website in place for Schnabl Austria did not fit well with the UK market. Much of the content was focused on the Schnabl business and the language used was very formal. In addition the look and feel was text heavy and not easily consumable on mobile, the device of choice for the electrician. The new website was segmented by decision-maker type for easy navigation.
  • An online widget was created which allowed prospects to see how much time they could save by using Schnabl.
  • The website became the central point of the campaign with the objective being to generate product sample requests from smaller electricians and product demos for the larger electricians and consultants. Samples and demos were despatched with vouchers offering discounts off first orders to be redeemed at key wholesalers.

Social media
Based on persona research Twitter and Facebook were selected as the right social platforms. A combination of product information, role-focused memes and installation guidance was used to strike right balance between business and personal in order to create an emotional connection.

Email
Segmented plain text and product-based emails were sent to encourage demo or sample requests.

Plain text email

  • Electrician (1-19 employees)
  • Electrician (20+ employees)
  • Consultant
  • Wholesaler.

Product-based email

  • Electrician (1-19 employees)
  • Electrician (20+ employees)
  • Consultant.

Events
Really B2B worked with Schnabl to map out all the national and regional contractor events to ensure they had a presence there. Schnabl ran live demos at a number of wholesalers which were promoted via social and through email. Samples were given out with trackable discount vouchers for closed loop campaign measurement.

Direct mail
To capture those prospects not responding to email, personalised direct mail was used to generate further demo/sample requests.

LinkedIn InMail activity (consultants and wholesalers)
LinkedIn InMail worked well for engaging with consultants to arrange demo appointments. Buyers at wholesalers were also targeted using LinkedIn InMail to inform them about the campaign Schnabl were running and to arrange meetings. Really B2B worked with the Schnabl sales team to enable best practice in terms of profiles and InMail copy to drive response.

Telemarketing
Telemarketing was used to engage wholesalers, consultants and higher value contractors to book demos.

Timescales

The campaign commenced in November 2015 and will run until November 2016.

Results

  • 1714 prospect engagements/sample requests
  • 131 completed face-to-face demos
  • 20% of interactions converting to purchase
  • £865k expected revenue based on year one value of new clients.

"Really B2B have made the UK launch of Schnabl solutions so much easier through their experience and understanding of the British contractor," Phil Anderson, NSM, Schnabl.

B2B Marketing Awards

This case study was submitted as part of the judging process for the B2B Marketing Awards 2016. It won Best product launch campaign and Best SME-targeted campaign: ‘No brainer’ for Schnabl by Really B2B.

See the winners

Schnabl Really B2B engagement product launch