In 2008, 10 friends working in the flooring industry banded together to establish Flooring Xtra. They were dissatisfied with the brand offering available to Kiwi consumers and believed a community-based organisation could do better than the corporations.
Ten weeks after the brand launched, new stores were popping up all over the country. The group of friends were overwhelmed by flooring retailers contacting them, eager to be part of the Flooring Xtra story.
Based on a co-operative model, each store is owned and operated by a local with experience in the flooring industry. As shareholders in Flooring Xtra, store owners benefit from the group’s buying power, marketing resources and a considerable pool of knowledge provided by their peers. The formula proved so successful that the brand was rolled out throughout Australia in 2010.
With more than 60 stores in New Zealand, Flooring Xtra is the biggest flooring retailer in the country and is now focused on being the best.
Flooring Xtra engaged Ark Advance eight or nine years ago, around the time it was upgrading its basic landing-page website. The goal was to be more easily found in Google searches at a time when consumers were searching for ‘carpet’ and most of Flooring Xtra’s competitors had that word in their name.
Flooring Xtra Marketing Manager Skye Turner says Ark Advance initially focused on ensuring the website contained the right key words to be found in online searches, and connected the business with Google Analytics so they could track and report on website traffic.
Despite being happy with the results, Flooring Xtra stopped using Ark Advance when another marketing company approached them with an offer that was too good to refuse.
“The other organisation promised the world and we increased our marketing budget tenfold, but the results were exactly the same,” Skye says. “So, we went back to Chris at Ark Advance and said ‘whatever you’re doing, it’s magic’.”
Working with Ark Advance
Chris continues to set up Flooring Xtra’s Ad Words campaigns, banner advertising and other digital marketing opportunities as they become available. He established the company’s presence on Pinterest when few other New Zealand advertisers were using the platform, and provides useful contacts for marketing needs such as review integration and videography.
“Ark Advance are really easy to deal with, their reporting is clear and detailed, and they’re very responsive when we make requests,” Skye says.
“Now we do really well organically and always come up on the first page of Google searches. The focus now is on measure and quote conversions, inviting website visitors to fill in a form with the goal of leading them to the sales desk.”
To that end, Chris has suggested adding more call-to-action buttons at strategic points on the website.
Skye and two members of her marketing team completed Ark Advance’s Google Analytics and Ad Words training, dramatically improving their understanding of marketing data and how to run reports so they can use that data effectively.
“Every month we report on the data we extract, and when we saw a change in mobile traffic, we worked with our website developers to make the site more mobile friendly.”
Ark Advance’s monthly analyses of website traffic and online advertising provide information that’s relevant for the board’s budgeting decisions, and for the store owners to judge the effectiveness of the marketing strategy.
Ark Advance have been looking after Flooring Xtra’s social media advertising for about 18 months, and this is an area where Skye sees considerable potential for enhancing the brand.
“We’re also looking at adding other categories to our website’s e-commerce offering and beyond that, our focus is on improving traffic and delivering quality leads into the sales funnel.”