TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015: Slingshot conducts a facelift with utility

The challenge

Broadband is an innovative and competitive space, and yet the industry still relies predominantly on phone-based sales. This approach is costly, and it has become increasingly disconnected from a
consumer base that now expects businesses to facilitate an online alternative. 

By 2014, Slingshot understood that it needed to update its website to bring it in line with the changing demands of potential customers. However, in the ISP space, this isn’t as easy as paying a designer to write a few lines of code.

Signing up for broadband is incredibly complex, because it needs to match users’ current address with the services available in the area to determine if a sale can even be made. To put this into perspective, there are more than 1.6 million household records in New Zealand, of which only around 90 percent are accurate. 

Further complicating the build was the fact that the new site would have to be mobile friendly in order to accommodate the high number of Kiwis that now shop online.

The response

From the outset, Slingshot wanted to create not only the best performing website in the category but one that would boost conversion rates by more than 800 percent and drive a more personalised
online experience for the user. 

To achieve these lofty targets, Slingshot put the customer at the centre of the project and focused on making the sign-up process as simple and user-friendly as possible.

Multi-page webforms asking for a raft of information were thrown out. Mobile sign-up was added in. And the number of clicks required to finalise the subscription process was significantly reduced. 

Slingshot’s new philosophy became: “Don’t move our work onto the customer”. And this was clearly evident in the new website. Customers were simply required to select the plan they wanted and then enter their names and addresses. After this, the Slingshot team would take over and call the customer if it was required. 

However, simply launching the website wasn’t enough to drive new sales. In New Zealand, the broadband market is nearly saturated and most households only have one provider. 12-month contracts are the default, and the other players in the market have massive marketing budgets and bundled deals to make customers stickier. 

So, to overcome this, Slingshot launched an above-the-line campaign focusing on its friendly, award-winning Kiwi service, and demonstrating to customers how easy it was to switch. 

And after the website launch in July 2014, Slingshot didn’t just leave it to collect digital dust in cyberspace. The marketing team closely tracked customer behaviour on the site, and optimised the interface to ensure that the sales conversion rates were as high as possible.

The results

The strategy paid off and was directly responsible for a massive improvement in online sales. Today, a massive proportion of total Slingshot sales come directly from the website, and mobile traffic has also increased significantly, now accounting for 20 percent of total web visits and leading to a major increase in mobile sales. And because everything is streamlined, the cost of completing a sale has been reduced significantly, resulting in operational savings across the business. 

If anything, Slingshot’s efforts in this case clearly illustrate what a difference a website revamp can make when the customer is put at the centre of the design process.






Judge’s comment:

“A disruptive digital strategy that was uniquely innovative.”

Marketing partners:

Gladeye, Mr Smith


Countdown (myCountdown – Making Shopping easy with relevant communications); Farmers (Breast Cancer Month); Fletcher Windows & Door Systems (Launch campaign); Fonterra Brands x 3 (Fruju Tropical Snow’s Comeback, Kapiti Ice Cream, Anchor Milk); Foodstuffs (New World club card); Griffin’s Food (Huntley & Palmers flatbread launch); Health Promotion Agency (Rheumatic Fever Prevention Campaign 2014); IAG (Map the country); iSite Media (Panels to People); MINI/BMW (MINI Goodbye Pork Pie – Scene Remake); Mitre 10 (Mitre 10 Garden Club); Refresh Renovations (Refresh Renovations); Thrifty Car Rental (AA Thrifty ‘The Price You See Is The Price You Pay’ Campaign); and Trustpower ($49 Unlimited Data Broadband Campaign).

  • To read about all the other winners, visit the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards topic page here
  • This story originally appeared in the September/October issue of NZ Marketing magazine.

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