Startup scoops up Australia's doggy doo problem with social media smarts

Marketing leader for Australian startup, Oh Crap, shares how social media and search management are helping grow brand awareness and sales

A homegrown company focused on scooping up Australia’s dog poop problem has seen sales and brand reach exponentially increase off the back of improving its social media management approach.

Oh Crap was founded in Victoria, Australia four years ago with the aim of delivering more sustainable options for dealing with dog poop. Incredibly, 1.2 tonnes of waste is produced by Australia’s 3 million dogs each day, translating into 4 per cent of landfill when picked up in non-recyclable plastic bags.

Having gone through a number of materials, the group in the last 18 months settled on marketing cornstarch-based products. These biodegrade within three months and therefore are a much more environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional plastic bag.

While the initial focus has been on serving customers in its local area, the group is already seeing interest from consumers as far afield as Canada and France.  

Having kicked things off with a website and PayPal purchasing capabilities, the group worked to build awareness through local dog shows, talking to friends and gaining word-of-mouth. A year ago, it upped the ante on social, building out both its organic as well as paid content approach with an emphasis on Facebook and Instagram.

“Facebook is where social change and ideas get shared in more detail, which is why we put the emphasis here,” Oh Crap marketer, Henry Reith, told CMO.

Alongside social, Oh Crap has been investing in select and targeted paid search, focusing on environmental and sustainability terms in order to tap into consumers searching specifically for niche biodegradable and sustainable dog poop solutions.

“We have found another great channel with a few thousand now a month switching that way – if people are searching for it and want it, we’re there to help,” Reith said.

From the first day, the group has also been running Facebook ads. Reith noted how far the platform capabilities have come since then. “Over the last 18 months, as the platform became much more targeted, we have seen solid results. You really can be a lazy marketer,” Reith commented.

“The platform figures out a lot of the audiences for you and taken a lot of guesswork out in terms of paid advertising.”

But it was clear having becoming sophisticated in social and digital marketing was key to scaling engagement. Having worked with Digivizer across both his own businesses as well as in his marketing career, and now looking for a way to better tune into social sentiment and lift engagement, Reith opted to adopt Digivizer’s SaaS management platform.

As part of this increased emphasis on social as well as its growing brand presence, Oh Crap has also recruited a dedicated social media manager.

“We’ve grown enough now to have enough people talking about us on social media, that we can’t see what’s going on all the time,” Reith said. “Also, we brought on a social media person in September… from that point, and although I’m the marketer, I wasn’t in control of everything. We needed a better way to check if the money being spent is worth it.

Example of Oh Crap's Instagram content
Example of Oh Crap's Instagram content


“It’s also valuable to see how much engagement we’re getting and what’s working versus what’s not.”  

The Digivizer tool allows the Oh Crap team to understand how the media budget is performing in real time across social platforms, data that’s then used to direct marketing budget to campaigns and creative driving the most impact. An example is tracking hashtags for ‘share and win’ competitions, allowing staff to break down who shares the hashtag, every month, in order to allocate prizes and better market its products.

The results

Within the first six weeks, the company saw engagement across both Facebook and Instagram increase by 25 per cent, with impressions on Facebook doubling over the past 12 months. Since October, Instagram followers have tripled.

“Part of being able to grow our performance has come from being able to see which parts of our program work,” Reith said. “It’s great to see all our numbers in one place inside the Digivizer platform, without having to struggle with each social and search channel’s own analytics.”

Importantly, the technology is also helping track sales to social. Oh Crap has saved 3 million bags from landfill to date, helping just over 10,000 Aussie dog owners to embrace compostable dog poop bags.

Reith noted sophistication around social media has become increasingly vital as the brand steps out of its local market. It now chalks up over 350,000 impressions per week.

“The social conversation can get completely out of hand and you need to jump in to clarify the truth, which has happened to us on one occasion,” he said. In one instance, Oh Crap experienced this around a branded photograph featuring a dog with a baby. The subject matter proved contentious and negative commentary via the hashtag was immediate.

“That post got a lot of very negative comments which surprised us slightly,” he explained. “It shows there are a lot more people invested in what we’re doing. And it showed us we’re not actually going to know every person we interact with.”    

Oh Crap has since built out a checklist to better verify the types of social posts and content the brand should be distributing in order to align better to its core values.

As a company, Oh Crap’s ambitions are big, with a lofty and overarching goal of changing 1 per cent of the Australian market dog poop problem in the next six months, and eventually erradicating the 4 per cent of landfill it represents.  

Read more of our social media marketing case studies:

 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu  

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

The best part: optimizing your site for SEO enables you to generate high traffic, and hence free B2B lead generation. This is done throug...

Sergiu Alexei

The top 6 content challenges facing B2B firms

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Check out tiny twig for comfy and soft organic baby clothes.

Morgan mendoza

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

NetSuite started out as a cloud-based provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software or as NetSuite solution provider, which companies...

talalyousaf

NetSuite to acquire Bronto's digital marketing platform for US$200m

Read more

Thanks for sharing this post, its really good information I get through this blog.CDPO Online Exam Training

Infosectrain01

3 ways Booking.com is improving its B2B marketing game

Read more

Blog Posts

Getting privacy right in a first-party data world

With continued advances in marketing technology, data privacy continues to play catchup in terms of regulation, safety and use. The laws that do exist are open to interpretation and potential misuse and that has led to consumer mistrust and increasing calls for a stronger regulatory framework to protect personal information.

Furqan Wasif

Head of biddable media, Tug

​Beyond greenwashing: Why brands need to get their house in order first

Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance is a hot topic for brands right now. But before you start thinking about doing good, Craig Flanders says you best sort out the basics.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

​The value of collaboration: how to keep it together

Through the ages, from the fields to the factories to the office towers and now to our kitchen tables, collaboration has played a pivotal role in how we live and work. Together. We find partners, live as families, socialise in groups and work as teams. Ultimately, we rely on these collaborative structures to survive and thrive.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in