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Customer understanding

The Client

Steeldeck Rentals provides temporary staging and seating for use at events and exhibitions.  Their customers range from schools and councils to fashion houses and major theatrical events.  Steeldeck will design and install a fully bespoke seating and staging setup or, if you wish, you can simply collect the decks from their warehouse in Bermondsey and assemble it yourself.

2010 was a phenomenal year for them, with turnover increasing by 80% and profitability by even more. The issue was that they didn’t know exactly what the reasons were for these results.  SME Needs was asked to complete a Customer Understanding and Marketing Performance analysis.

Their Needs

Key points identified included:

  • No individual customer contributed more than 5.7% of turnover or profits
  • No industry sector contributed more than 15.7% of turnover or profit
  • Customer loyalty may be an issue as only 33% of customers had used them in more than one year
  • Only a small amount of time was spent monitoring how prospects found out about Steeldeck’s services so tracking marketing performance is extremely difficult
  • Their use of Google Adwords was generating significant levels of website traffic but some budget was being wasted on search terms that perform very well in natural searches.

What does this all mean?

  1. What this all means is that Steeldeck is well protected from individual customer migration and from vertical sector issues.  The loss of any individual customer will not be significantly detrimental and a sector crash, such as the recent financial services problems, whilst a little painful, would not be catastrophic.
  2. Customer loyalty needs to be reviewed and customer research has been recommended.  This may be simply that there hasn’t been a requirement or something more serious that needs to be investigated further
  3. The tracking of where sales opportunities come from is vital in order to understand the performance of your marketing activity.  If you don’t know which marketing campaigns are performing, how can you make the right investments?


A very happy customer who now knows exactly what marketing activity is delivering their sales opportunities

What the client said

“ A really insightful and incredibly useful analysis of our customer base finished off with some very useful pointers towards the future. ”

Richard Howey-Nunn,
MD, Steeldeck 


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