Why it matters that grandma's shopping online

Part 3 of The HurryCane Story; From Napkin to the No. 1 Selling Cane in America

Grandma’s shopping online. So what. 

Well…first of all, way to go for keeping up with technology, Gram! Secondly, if she and other seniors are using the Internet to buy products, are they still using the phone to buy merchandise from infomercials??

This this is the scenario we found ourselves pondering (and answering!) during HurryCane’s introduction to the market. Let me give you the rundown: Marketing Architects launched a brand new, full-scale direct response marketing campaign for HurryCane—a one-of-a-kind standing cane—back in 2011.

Relying on nearly two decade’s worth of DR knowledge about what historically worked for DRTV ads, we used an easy-to-remember 800 phone number as the primary response option and then set up a non-transactional landing page for the product to begin building a web presence.

After the initial tests, we found that a significant amount of consumers were actually going to the website and then using the phone to place orders. We were flabbergasted. Not only did the results fall out of the line from the typical response behavior we’d seen in the past, it was intriguing because HurryCane is a DME product—a product used mostly by senior audiences whom had traditionally responded heavily via phone.  

So we refocused our marketing strategy, ASAP. We quickly built out a transactional HurryCane site, and adjusted the TV spots to include a brand URL in the CTA, promo codes and then a quick mention of the 800 number at the very end. Converting to a dual CTA resulted in a 100 percent CPO improvement! 

We knew this was a big discovery. And we knew that this was an indication of a bigger shift happening with American consumers. If aging demographics—Baby Boomers and Seniors who were once thought of as less web-savvy—are using the internet to make purchases, what does that mean about the future effectiveness of traditional media channels?

That’s what spurred us to begin focusing first and foremost on the web and branching out from there. And it’s paid off for HurryCane, considering 80 percent of sales from media campaigns are web-attributed vs. 20 percent call response. With more than 1.3 million canes sold in 36 months, HurryCane is now the No. 1 selling cane in America!

Since our HurryCane discovery, we’ve concentrated on these proven guidelines to ensure we are using the right channels to engage our target audiences:


Rethink How Consumers Will Convert

In the past, marketers might not have used a certain CTA because they didn’t think their target demographics would respond. This is what happened with HurryCane. We wouldn’t have discovered that providing an 800 number was NOT the best option to offer consumers had we not tested.

The same goes with Stuffies (a unique stuffed animals with seven top-secret pockets), another product we market. After we launched HurryCane, we’ve not only refocused the Stuffies’ marketing strategy to drive directly to the website but we’ve actually removed the phone number altogether from TV ads. Why? Unqualified leads—AKA kids—were the majority of the phone calls. 

This might be fairly obvious, but it needs to be reiterated: Everyone is in the digital world, now. This is why marketers should…


Focus on Web Conversion First

This seems like a “duh” moment. But, like I stated above, a lot of marketers still use channels that have proven to work with certain demographics in the past. They also use response channels (like phone) that are more siloed, simply because they’re “easier” to attribute and have high conversion rates, especially compared to web conversions.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you receive 100 calls, and 25 percent of callers convert (or 25 sales are made). With the web, you could get 700 web visits with a 10 percent conversion (or 70 sales). That’s three times more that phone conversions, even though it’s at a lower rate.

By driving consumers to the web, you are not only providing a response channel that costs less to you, a lower conversion rate is usually only needed to match the phone conversion numbers.


Choose the Right Channel to Spotlight Your Product

Finally, you should put some time into choosing the right channel to appropriately showcase your product or service. This will depend on how demonstrative it is. Do you have a product that needs to be shown and demonstrated or can you just describe it? Does your audience need to research to learn more about the product or is it very straightforward?

HurryCane benefited from a platform that could be used to visually demonstrate what is does, so we chose TV, ultimately driving consumers to the web. We also used video and content strategies on the web because it gave us space to tell the HurryCane story. But, say, if your product is a service like insurance and student loans, you could leverage radio right out of the gate.

So, now that you know grandma is shopping online, it’s time to figure how your own target demographic is now consuming media…you might be surprised! Let Marketing Architects help you learn what channels to use to connect your product or service to the right people. We have more than 20 years of performance marketing experience in every industry. Give us a call today!


Read more in our series about how Marketing Architects created the No. 1 selling walking cane in America:

Part 1 – How to Name a No. 1 Brand

Part 2 – How to Test Your Way to the Top

Part 4 – 7 Ways to Tell Your Product's Ready to Scale

Part 5 – Amazon: A Business Owner's Friend of Foe? 

Part 6 – Considering Scaling into Retail? 8 Ways to Do It Right 

Part 7 – Entreprenuers: How to Say Goodbye to Your Product