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+114%

Lead conversion rate

+275%

Consumer engagement

-300%

Booking process time

Gingerbread Folk wanted to free-up resources by automating their events without losing their human touch.

 

Objectives

  • Free up resources
  • Improve customer engagement
  • Automate events stream
  • Expand database and lead nurturing

 

Challenges

Gingerbread Folk started baking over 20 years ago when co-owners Karen Sharman and Dominic Mason left their corporate jobs to pursue their passion. Recognised for their ethical business practices and environmental initiatives, Gingerbread Folk offer a selection of traditional, chocolate and gluten-free cookies, gingerbread houses and other goodies. As a small business, Karen single-handedly runs all marketing and sales.

Over the years, she’s worked hard to build Gingerbread Folk’s three revenue streams: wholesale through gourmet supermarkets and retailers, eCommerce through their online store, and their bespoke gingerbread house events. These events account for a large portion of the business’ revenue. Every year around Christmas, people of all ages gather at schools, churches and halls for gingerbread house making nights, supplied by Gingerbread Folk. Every event consumed a considerable amount of Karen’s time: from liaising with organisers to ensure their final orders were submitted by the cut-off dates in time to shipping their orders. It left Karen little time to focus on the rest of the business.

“It was very labour intensive. We have about 300 to 400 relationships with individual group organisers. And that’s quite exhausting. I enjoy building those relationships, but it’s wasn’t sustainable” said Karen. She approached solutions consultant, BluprintX, for recommendations on how to automate Gingerbread Folk’s marketing to help execute campaigns, nurture leads and improve channel management. She was surprised when BluprintX’s proposal also suggested automating the events-business by implementing Marketo.

 

Solution

Automate events and improve lead nurturing

Since introducing Marketo with BluprintX’s expertise, Gingerbread Folk were able to develop programs for each business stream. Most significantly, they’ve introduced operational emails to automate a substantial portion of the events stream, added lead nurturing, introduced campaign attribution and integrated the customer database. 

Benefits

More time, increased productivity, better results

For events, the program starts by nurturing leads to guide them through account creation. Once an event is booked, they move into a separate nurturing program that coaches them through the various milestones for organising their event. Throughout this period, triggered operational emails gather necessary information, helping the Gingerbread Folk team manage order fulfilment seamlessly.

“Previously, we had a spreadsheet where we would enter everything manually. Now it’s automated, and we can put our energies to where they’re better spent: seeking out new leads, rather than acting as a data input machine,” Karen explained. 

It’s in this niche part of the business where you see the magic of Marketo,” said Mina  Saleeb, Marketing Automation Technologist at BluprintX. “Karen is extremely passionate about her relationships with customers, so it was important to strike the right balance between automation and not sounding mechanical. “

Marketo also helps convert new customers. “Together with Mina, and the team at BluprintX, we’ve built amazing programs that have allowed us to not only upscale our ability to nurture our existing customers, but to tap into new audiences as well, and successfully nurture these leads and convert them to a booking,” Karen said.

Aside from keeping the events stream ticking along, Marketo helps Gingerbread Folk measure channel effectiveness for their online shop. Previously, the business relied on anecdotal views to decide where to spend their advertising dollar. Now they’re able to analyse campaigns to help understand what channels deliver the most revenue to eCommerce.

Gingerbread Folk now focuses more on driving business for wholesale and eCommerce, such as introducing lead scoring and measuring campaign efforts. To future-proof the company, Karen is looking at introducing webinars through Marketo to replace in-person events, as well as expanding their B2C stream.

“By far, the events were taking a lot of energy. Saving time there allows us to reinvest that energy into the online shop, which will become an area that will certainly flourish this year as people move to online shopping,” Karen concluded.

 

Results 

With Marketo, Gingerbread Folk have savoured a considerable increase in productivity while significantly improving results. Their lead conversion rate has jumped by 114%, while automating the events has reduced booking times by over 300%, giving Karen more resources and energy to promote the business’ other revenue streams. With BluprintX’s expertise, customers enjoy an improved experience, with a 275% improvement in consumer engagement.