Reinventing the postal system how to build the online positioning of a paper company

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How can you develop and strengthen, in a short space of time, the digital positioning of an historic Spanish company such as Correos? How can you transfer a technological and innovative image, close to customer needs, by boosting a 2.0 digital identity linked to the revitalization and the repositioning of the brand?

Correos is the Spanish public company which until recently held the monopoly for postal services in Spain, a market that was completely liberalized in 2011, in line with a process promoted in the entire Union by the European Parliament. Even so, Correos remains the main operator in Spain, having started a gradual but constant process of modernization, repositioning and updating in the last decade.

About a year ago, the company’s Marketing managers decided to carry out a project, following the sales strategy for new products and parcel services, to increase web site traffic and boost e-commerce trade, which are sales on the Internet.

The process has involved, at first, breaking a series of internal barriers in an organization that is still quite traditional, with a strong inertia (nearly three centuries of history), an important number of employees (more than 60,000) and a business model based on paper.

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Reinventing the postal system how to build the online positioning of a paper company

  1. 1. CasesStrategy DocumentsC09/2011BrandReinventing the postalsystem: how to build theonline positioning of apaper company How can you develop and strengthen, in a short space of time, the digital positioning of an historic Spanish company such as Correos? How can you transfer a technological and innovative image, close to customer needs, by boosting a 2.0 digital identity linked to the revitalization and the repositioning of the brand? Correos is the Spanish public company which until three centuries of history), an important number recently held the monopoly for postal services in of employees (more than 60,000) and a business Spain, a market that was completely liberalized model based on paper. in 2011, in line with a process promoted in the entire Union by the European Parliament. Even A changing organization so, Correos remains the main operator in Spain, The letter and parcel market has declined for some having started a gradual but constant process of years since the emergence of the digital world, modernization, repositioning and updating in the emails and social networks. The new products last decade. currently offered by the company (personalized stamps, urgent parcels or the sending of registered About a year ago, the company’s Marketing managers faxes with digital certificates by email, to name decided to carry out a project, following the sales a few) are not very well known by clients and strategy for new products and parcel services, to the market share in the parcels market in Spain increase web site traffic and boost e-commerce is only 7.5%. trade, which are sales on the Internet. The Correos Group has several specialized The process has involved, at first, breaking a series companies in different sectors at its disposal of internal barriers in an organization that is still (Correos for letters, Correos Telecom for quite traditional, with a strong inertia (nearly telecommunications, Chronoexpres for urgentDocument prepared by Corporate Excellence with reference to, among other sources, the intervention of Alfonso Prieto (Manager of theSales and Networks Area at Correos) and Salvador Suarez (Partner at Territorio Creativo) during the conference “Reinventing Correos:online positioning of a paper company” organized by the EOI Business School on 3r November 2011 in Madrid.
  2. 2. Reinventing the parcels or Exea for large-scale printing) and bases communication structure, defining specific plans postal system: how itself on 4 fundamental pillars: for each of the digital platforms and communities to build the online positioning of a in the web, according to the media type (owned, paper company 1. Postal market: in decline. paid or earned) and using SEO (natural) and SEM 2. Telematic notifications: growing. (sponsored) positioning tactics. 3. Direct marketing: strong competition. 4. Parcels: strong competition. A blog was created for Correos about e-commerce in which different elements of online commerce Within the framework of the 2011-2014 business were discussed: marketing, usability, after-sales plan, the Spanish public company decided, as relationship, legal and logistic aspects. Also, the explained by Alfonso Prieto, Manager of the first report in Spain about the state of commerce Sales and Online Area at Correos, to gather its within social networks was launched to gauge how 300 middle and senior managers (members of the Spanish companies make use of the opportunities Board) to present the new online strategy and find that this business channel offers, as explained by out what were the main obstacles, the main internal Salvador Suarez, Partner at Territorio Creativo, the resistance to this strategic change. Some of them digital consultant that helped Correos design and were as follows: launch the project. • Possible problems with unions. One of the more prominent dynamization actions • A need and opportunity to be active online. was the one developed at the OMExpo (Online ‘Brands • How to interact and engage with clients online. Marketing Expo) 2011 in Madrid with the launch of the “I won’t follow you any more” video, in which that see the • Reception and management of criticism a post box chases pedestrians asking them to follow web as an outside traditional channels. him online. • Comparison of other public companiesopportunity within the sector that were online. The video reflects something that Suarez insists on: to repeat the need to achieve ‘engagement’, the link of the brand with the consumer. their An important change with clear objectives What were the main objectives initially posed by traditional Correos a year ago when it launched the project? ‘Engagement’, the new Advertising advertising Brands that don’t bond with their communities will disappear. The management of the Brand They were mainly these:actions only Community is gaining ground against traditional gain fans in • Reposition the brand, revitalize it. Corporate Communication or Advertising itself. ‘Engagement’ with the user, with the client, is the the short- • Steer traffic towards the web page. new Advertising. • Cultivate loyalty through social networks. term and • Create the virtual community. And to achieve this, it is essential to have a attacks in • Publicize new services. regular relationship with communities, on athe medium • Listen and speak to clients. daily basis, based on what we already know as ‘Community Management’, but also on special and long- stimulation or dynamization actions. Dynamize The plan principally followed 6 consecutive phases: term.’ and vertebrate are the two keys that succeed in generating a qualified community around a brand 1. Plan: following the objectives outlined above. which allows it to converse, respond, link, listen 2. Analyze: the situation of Correos in the web, department by department. 3. Define: the digital strategy and the online Two pillars to grow a strong community communication to develop. 4. Introduce: the management of communities to No. of fans Develop applications link up. Tools set-up Facebook adverts Link Dynamize 5. Launch: special actions to stimulate Re-tweet Campaign Competition Read Presents communities. Converse Following Proactive Promote 6. Grow: the increase of interactions with the Discounts PR 2.0 brand and the business. Listen Reply Generate content Publish Mark as favorite In the opinion of the Sales and Online Area Manager, Create profiles on social networks without the drive from the Chief Executive of the company, it would have been impossible to bridge the Vertebrate gap and make Correos a wholly digital brand. The first steps consisted in analyzing the sales and digital Source: Territorio Creativo, 2011. Cases 2
  3. 3. Reinventing the and create the content that these communities from networks and forums to the web, and from the postal system: how demand from brands. web to the point of sale, because ‘social media’ is to build the online positioning of a not an independent channel, but forms part of the paper company One can vertebrate without dynamizing, but one online environment as a whole, and this, in turn, must never dynamize without vertebrating. Brands forms part of the company’s Brand, -Marketing and that see the web as an opportunity to repeat their Communication strategy. traditional advertising actions to gain followers, without giving meaning and structure to the Finally, a fundamental factor is the capacity community, only gain fans in the short-term which, that a brand such as Correos has in making users sooner or later, will stop following the brand and, in recommend other users to become members (MGM, some cases, in the medium and long-term, will end Member Gets Member), occasionally troubleshoot up criticizing, or even attacking it. problems with other members, or even publicly congratulate or thank the brand for its good service In the Correos project, an analysis was carried out or efficiency in solving a problem. of how the presence of the brand in social networks affected each department, what “being online” in a Twitter, especially, is consolidating itself, in this proactive and permanent way meant for Customer sense, as a platform that, on many occasions, is Care and Loyalty, for Advertising, for Sales, Business substituting the traditional Customer Care service Development or Communication. (the Twitter user is especially consumer orientated, ‘The con- according to the majority of studies), as well as on a corporate level it is substituting the traditional Overcoming the online/offline dichotomy versation The key to managing links or ‘engagement’ is not channels such as telephones and emails when using with the online or offline, it is both of these at the same time. them with the media. The capacity of brand followers or fans to link with brand com- it via interactions (vitality) or references (influence) Conclusion: the importance munities is something that has always happened and still of the CEO’s support happens in real life, although now it happens in does not virtual life in a different way because the means, the If there is one essential lesson to be learned it is the importance of involving all departments within an begin or channels and, therefore, the tone and development organization, but also, and primarily, the importance of the conversation are different. end in the of its maximum executive to drive and realize such a strategic project as this one, especially in an web or But the essence remains the same. Indeed, the historically traditional organization like Correos. conversation with the brand communities does not outside it, begin or end in the web or outside it, but can start Other important aspects to reinvent the brand werebut starts in in one place, continue in another and return to the correct selection of the platforms in which to the first place: the traffic is both ways, but always one place, in the same direction, the link of brand community converse, understand the cultural change that the process entails, the speed of the new channel continues through content. when gaining clients, the importance of quality and in another For this reason, the strategy must be global, as is the community interest contents and the optimization of the channel for the Customer Service.and returns case with Correos; so that the success online can be reasonably converted into the offline world, so that to the first the attraction of traffic in the digital world translates place.’ into concrete results in the real world. Ultimately, Community Management by KPIs -Backweets to URLs - acklinks B -Results Size -Clicks (fans) Activity (traffic) -Users Influencia -Pages seen -RSS subscriptors (referencias) -Unique visitors -Followers on Twitter -Rebound rate -Fans in Facebook -Permanence times -Friends in other 2.0 - ommentaries: blogs and C forums - ommentaries: I like it C Vitality (Facebook) and favorites (interactions) - : Mentions on @ Twitter Source: Genbeta Social media, 2011. Cases 3
  4. 4. ©2011, Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation LeadershipBusiness foundation created by large companies to professionalize the management of intangible assets and contribute to the developmentof strong brands, with good reputation and able to compete in the global market. Its mission is to be the driver which leads and consolidatesthe professional management of reputation as a strategic resource that guides and creates value for companies throughout the world.Legal NoticeThis document is property of the Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership and has as its objective to share businessknowledge about Brand, Reputation, Communication and Public Affairs Management.This document is directed exclusively towards its addressee and contains confidential information, subject to professional secrecy, whosedisclosure, copy or non-authorized use is against the Law. If you receive this document by mistake, let us know immediately and erase itwithout keeping a copy.Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is the owner of all the intellectual property rights of the images, texts, designsand any other content or elements of this product and has the necessary permission for its use, and therefore, its copy, distribution, publicrelease or transformation is prohibited, without express authorization from the owner.

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