​How this digital marketing platform is helping Covid-hit businesses thrive

Borough Markets born out of the pandemic is determined to bring best-of-breed marketing automation to smaller outfits

With Covid shuttering businesses and driving down foot traffic, many, especially those in hospitality, were floundering as they grappled with the challenges of shifting to digital marketing to support online efforts.  

Out of this need, Borough Markets was born. Founder, Grant Baker, sought to develop a turnkey marketing solution that would enable businesses of all shapes and sizes to compete online with larger sophisticated retailers. The Adelaide startup has now created a solution that consolidates data, provides personalisation for customers and assists in finding and delivering new customers. Debuted in late 2020, it’s an outfit with Covid in its DNA and Acoustic’s martech platform in its foundations.  

Local South Australian wineries like Kay Brothers and Torbreck Winery, for example, had to find new innovative ways to get to the markets, Baker said.  

“The cellar doors used to drive their foot traffic and with Covid it’s really been around generating that direct-to-consumer traffic,” Baker told CMO. By contrast, tourism operators in Sydney, such as restaurants, needed to establish home delivery services and other ways of doing things.  

“Now with lockdowns lifting, many traditional business are looking to reach new markets and with new customers, they’re wanting to lock in and secure a very brand loyal relationship with the customers that they have,” said Baker.  

When talking to small businesses, Borough Markets doesn’t focus so much on tech and data but instead on outcomes.  

“We don't talk about the fact that we run nine different algorithms or that we have direct integrations in SSPs and DSPs,” Baker said. “It's really four things. One, we take a customer’s data and consolidate it because that's the biggest challenge small businesses have, the data is so fractured. We then run the segments to speak to their clients. The net outcome event is an increase in revenue.  

“Because we understand who their customers are from their first-party data, we’re able to go through programmatic and paid social and find 1000 new customers.”  

Borough’s third proposition is to set up remarketing on a client’s websites, with the conversion tracking across platforms aimed at building user journeys using the existing platform.  

But the most important thing, Baker claimed, is to understand that most small to medium businesses are built around one person being the CEO, CFO, HR director, ops person and they have limited time. “So we provide a completely managed solution where we do all the work, we do all the heavy lifting,” he said.  

Borough Markets built its platform from components of the Acoustic enterprise marketing technology platform. This enables the company to sell the sizzle to the business while handing the rest themselves.  

“It's not about the technology, it's about the results,” Baker said.  

Overcoming digital marketing hurdles  

According to Baker, the biggest challenge is convincing smaller organisations they can expand their digital marketing horizons.  

“The world they had available to them was Facebook Business, SEO, SEM and AdWords. It’s explaining they can go into programmatic advertising, they can use hyper-personalisation and dynamic content. This has all been completely foreign to them,” he said.  

Delivering cost-effective creative to small businesses is another integral element in this platform approach.  

“When we set up a winery, for example, we will create full journeys straight off the bat, from cellar door to mailing lists, from first purchase to wine club subscription, and a monthly campaign,” Baker explained. “There might be 70 or 80 touchpoints in that. To try and outsource that in the traditional sense to a creative agency would be prohibitively unaffordable for most smaller operations.”  

Baker is excited about the possibilities the Borough platform can bring to all types of businesses, by bringing together in-store transactions, online transactions, data analytics, Web traffic, programmatic and digital campaigns with first-party data, database that aggregates, scores and weights with a headless CMS.  

“Because Acoustic is agnostic, we were able to go and find the best-in-breed in all the sections and then import that all together. It’s fairly unique,” Baker added. 

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