Start-ups have been warned to prepare for an influx of customers if they choose to run a NAB-style aggressive marketing campaigns.
Jo Macdermott, founder and director of Next Marketing, says start-ups who succeed in their sales campaigns must be equipped to deal with a sudden wave of interest in their brand by considering short-term strategies such as outsourcing.
Macdermott’s comments come in light of recent claims by NAB that its controversial “Break up with your bank” campaign has led to a 20% increase in transaction accounts in addition to a 50% increase in credit card applications.
Speaking at a function on Wednesday, NAB chief executive Cameron Clyne said NAB customers are already seeing the benefits of banking with “the most competitive bank on standard variable rates”.
According to Clyne, the NAB campaign has also led to a 35% increase in mortgage enquiries, and a 45% in mortgage re-finance applications from the customers of other banks wanting to switch to NAB.
This compares with ANZ – the only bank not to launch a campaign in response to NAB’s “breakup” pledge – which has admitted many of its customers have switched to other banks after it dropped its mortgage exit fees.
As NAB deals with the sudden influx of customers, Macdermott says start-ups should be wary of going down the same path.
“This is very topical at the moment, particularly as group-buying sites such as Cudo and Daily Deals are seeing small businesses go from one extreme to the other – from no customers to too many customers,” Macdermott says.
“One of my clients is the owner and operator of a hairdressing salon. She did a Scoupon deal and went from having lots of availability to none in a matter of 48 hours.”
Macdermott suggested her client introduce some systems to cope with increased demand, namely short-term outsourcing.
“[My client] is the person who takes the bookings [in addition to managing the business] so I suggested she hire someone to answer the phone; a virtual assistant to take down people’s names and give them some background information on the different treatments available,” she says.
According to Macdermott, outsourcing is an ideal solution to a surge in demand because it provides the business owner with a “beginning and end point”.
“There are lots of different ways of coping with increased phone calls, website inquires, etc. Have two or three strategies that you can click into depending on scenario A, B or C,” she says.
Macdermott says if small businesses fail to introduce any strategies to cope with increased demand, they run the risk of having the opposite effect by losing customers rather than gaining them.
“Having too many customers is more detrimental to a small business than not enough. With too customers, you’re running on a treadmill. Treadmills are dangerous… You have to have the capacity there to act upon,” she says.