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The Taxi Shop: growing a business in a cut-throat market

The Taxi Shop

Specialist taxi dealer The Taxi Shop grew turnover from a £3 million to £8.5 million in three years with BuzzedUp’s support.

The taxi market has seen huge disruption from Uber and other app players; and there are many legislative changes each year. It’s a market where buyers do a lot of research with price being a major comparison point. So how do you grow a business in such a sharp market?

Challenging an agency to drive sales

With vehicles costing between £20,000 and £40,000 buying a new private hire minicab or hackney vehicle is a serious business. Such big-ticket purchases mean a highly competitive market. Yet, even in such a cut-throat business, good margins can still be made for companies that establish a strong market position. Our challenge was to prove this with increased sales. 

The Taxi Shop already had a loyal customer base thanks to great customer service from the founding directors. But the management team had their hands full and, to take the business to the next level, a sales team was formed and specialist marketing advice sought.

Rob Breuilly, The Taxi Shop founder:

“We were doing well but knew we could be bigger and better. Initially I was looking for social media support and had a chat with Mick at BuzzedUp. Our relationship has grown over the last years and Mick now handles all our marketing.”

The winning mix of tactics

UK's number ONE taxi supplierBuzzedUp focused on building deep credibility for the brand via a number of channels. The aim was to win trust in a wider market by highlighting The Taxi Shop’s excellent vehicles, fast delivery times and high levels of customer service.

Get leads with Facebook ads

The first weeks and months of any marketing engagement can be challenging and the pressure was certainly on. Mick Dickinson of BuzzedUp:

“Our client demanded immediate results! We used Facebook advertising to generate qualified enquiries and to build clean data. We set a mix of traffic and lead generation objectives which meant we were able to make the phone ring and enrich the database at the same time.”

Use marketing automation

BuzzedUp brought clarity to communications planning and structured a lot of legacy data spread across several systems. Mick Dickinson:

“We consolidated it onto the MessageFocus platform, a system I know inside out after managing customer email communications for a Japanese car brand for some years. Other rapid email development included devising several marketing automation programs, such as a Welcome program and a Re-engagement program for taxi drivers and fleet owners with lapsed interest.”

Valuable content via email on a regular schedule

The Taxi Shop’s regular email comms became more relevant and timely thanks to a segmentation project. For example, messages are tailored by product interest, age of vehicle and are localised from time to time.

Build community and gather data via competitions

“We designed a number of special promotions, sweepstakes and other prizewinning competitions to maintain some excitement and also capture new or better data. The referral program between taxi drivers is also working well.”

Brand messages via trade magazines

BuzzedUp reviewed the trade magazines in the sector and put in place a fruitful partnership with the main private hire magazine. The magazine runs brand and product ads and hence is open to editorial contributions.

Social media and the taxi trade

A brand new Facebook page has grown to just under 4,000 likes. Paid campaigns—on surprisingly modest budgets—tend towards commercial messages. But a lot of effort goes into community posts with taxi news, humour and helpful advice high on the agenda.

“We generate a lot of graphic and animated content, often showcasing taxi drivers and their new cabs, reviews and testimonials. Our video output is growing and will take a bigger focus over the next year.”

Does a joined up marketing approach work?

Rob Breuilly (The Taxi Shop):

“We could immediately see the impact BuzzedUp was having on the business. It was brilliant to see named leads—contact details together with product interest—coming into the office on a daily basis from Facebook.

“Email used to be a headache for us but now it’s all taken care of. On the reports we can clearly see who’s interested in our vehicles. And I can directly monitor how email drives people to landing pages. I can see what I’m getting for my money. I can now focus on customer care knowing that we have a good marketing partner alongside.

“Mick at BuzzedUp works closely with the sales guys and, because they have grown to trust him, they will help him. We maximise all positive customer feedback now. Our ads look great too.

“After about a year working with BuzzedUp we asked them to redesign our website and have been delighted with the results. The new site is true to a brand that we did not want to change; most important we saw a big leap in enquiries from the site.”

The Taxi Shop’s brand refresh was down to the superb Lizzie Everard. AdWords are handled by excellent Manchester PPC agency Hot Click.

If you’d like support marketing your business to generate sales please contact Mick Dickinson

You’ll find lots more useful tips on email marketing here.