25 Mar Case Study: From a Changing Marketplace to Market Leader – Connecting With Your Customers
In 1993 Carthage Farm Supply opened its doors, offering feed, seed, and other necessities to local farmers in Carthage, NC. Over the years they’ve found quite a bit of success, and the business has prospered.
However, in recent years market consolidation within the farming industry has placed pressure on suppliers like Carthage. Fewer farms meant greater competition and a need to diversify into new markets. Suppliers like Carthage had to find new ways to connect with customers and spread the word about new products and services.
While they maintain a well-performing social media presence, Carthage felt it was important to build on this and create resources that would help them remain in front of their customers and make it easier for their clientele to do business with them. Not at all certain how to start, they enlisted the help of New Media Retailer.
Customer Engagement Requirements
Carthage knew they needed new tools to help them reach more customers and share updates about all the new product lines and services they were adding. As they put it, “We are a rural farm supply that is quickly changing into a multipurpose store. This transition is one that made it more obvious we needed to be more social and find a way to get ahead of other retailers in our same situation to stay competitive.”
It was clear they needed a website, but the business kept them plenty busy, and they knew that if they had one built they wouldn’t have the time to maintain it or add content, and feared this would limit its usefulness over time. Said Aaron Ayers, Sales and Marketing Director of Carthage Farm, “My biggest fear going into this process was that I would be stuck with more work and little return.”
Carthage’s owners were concerned that having a website wasn’t enough. Without a stream of new and useful content to help drive customer engagement, they were afraid the site wouldn’t fulfill their needs. Aaron put it best when he said, “We realize that today we must be quick, available and unforgettable.” They were handling “quick” by taking action, and they hoped the new website would make them “available,” but there didn’t know how they were going to pull off “unforgettable.”
New Media Retailer built Carthage a responsive, mobile-friendly, secure website that prominently featured the myriad of services the company offers. They made sure the site was intuitive, with a clean design that catered to busy farmers looking for quick answers.
They then assigned Carthage a dedicated specialist to maintain the site, actively reaching out on at least a monthly basis to learn what was new with the business to make certain the site got updated on a regular basis with new products and services and timely information.
New Media Retailer took customer engagement a step further by committing to writing two unique blog articles a month, aimed at sharing useful information across the breadth of Carthage’s services, including farming and gardening advice, animal and pet guidance, and more.
To round out the package New Media set up and agreed to manage Carthage’s Google My Business account, handled their local SEO for optimal search placement, and worked to provide rich analytics and reports on the website’s performance.
Carthage Farm Supply couldn’t have been happier with the process and with the final product. Aaron’s fears that he would be stuck doing more work than he could handle were laid to rest. “The hours I put in are nothing compared to the hours that New Media is putting in behind the scenes. I can only say that “helpful” is the best way to describe the work they have done.” He knows his Marketing Specialist, Briana, is dedicated to helping his business grow. As a self-proclaimed, non-computer savvy person, Ayers said he appreciates how understanding the New Media Retailer team is to making him feel comfortable and helping him through this.
Carthage’s customers now have a one-stop portal that connects them to the company and brings them useful insights into their industry. The website introduces customers in all of their market segments to services they may not have realized they could get from Carthage. It keeps them engaged with special offers and event alerts.
And the value-added services New Media provided have helped establish Carthage as a leader in the local farm supply market and the community as a whole. Their Google listing helps accumulate positive customer feedback, improving SEO and driving traffic to their website. And the accumulated analytics help determine the sorts of content that is most effective at driving engagement.
New Media Retailer Delivers for Carthage Farm
New Media managed to make “quick, available, and unforgettable” a reality. Carthage’s new website elevates them above their competition, providing a great resource for farmers, gardeners, homeowners, and the general public alike. It’s clear from talking to Carthage’s employees that New Media managed to fulfill their initial hopes far beyond their greatest expectations. As Aaron Ayers puts it, “It is really making a difference in the way we connect with customers. The messaging platform and blogs have also developed a reason for our customers to return to the site. Lastly, it comes down to being available to the customer in a much more convenient fashion which helps build on return visits.”
With the site in place, Carthage is seeing their business grow. Aaron is quick to point out that he was considering other companies when bidding out the job but had he realized then just how customer-focused New Media Retailer is he wouldn’t have had such a difficult time making a decision. “We had a tremendous amount of help with the setup process and Amanda [from New Media Retailer] did a wonderful job walking me through the whole process. I will say that the initial pitch should have been more descriptive of the customer service because it would have helped me decide much quicker!”
In the end, Carthage Farm Supply is extremely happy with their decision and would recommend New Media Retailer to other companies looking to connect with customers more effectively, and have help from a dedicated, customer-focused company. Aaron sums it nicely. “I am very pleased to see that Bri and others [from New Media] that I have spoken with are always willing to help me grow. They have many accounts to work with, but I feel as though I am the only one and they put complete dedication to helping me.”
For their part, New Media Retailer is quite pleased with how well the website has been received by both Carthage and their customers. It’s always exciting to work on a project where the positive results are so evident and immediate. They look forward to helping other customers like Carthage Farm Supply create better and more meaningful engagement with their customers.