Successfully reported this slideshow.
ISSUE TWO
OVERVIEW:
WHAT IS
FRONTLINE
MARKETING?
EXPERT ADVICE:
WORKING WITH
YOUR PROSPECTS
FRANCHISE FOCUS:
COFFEE WARS
FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO
OVERVIEW / 3
FRONTLINE FOCUS:
INTERVIEW WITH
RICHARD EVENS
DEALER FOCUS:
LOCAL WEBSITES
INN...
OVERVIEW:
With most big brands there’s still a real
disconnect between national and local
marketing. The former looks for ways
to es...
EXPERT ADVICE:
Working on the Frontline is the most exciting and gratifying part
of the transactional process for almost a...
Imagine how impressive sales could be if the local marketing
was as smart as the national, and we mean smart in every sens...
FRANCHISE FOCUS:
COFFEE WARS
DOES THE BRAND ‘ROAR’ KILL THE LOCAL ‘WHISPER’?
In each issue we put our heads together and t...
Nowhere is the Frontline more vividly cavorted on
than in the High St coffee bars. Who’s the daddy?
And, does anybody real...
What is the role of the commercial arm of SJA?
St John Ambulance advocates that first aid can be the
difference between a ...
How many training centres do you have
across the country?
As well as training at client premises, we
run a schedule of ove...
DEALER FOCUS:
LOCAL WEBSITES
When the big organisations put their websites together,
specially the franchisors and compani...
FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO
DEALER FOCUS / 13
FASTSIGNS MAIN SITE presents quite a generic series
of messages to help y...
INNOVATIONS IN
FRONTLINE MARKETING:
The operations team at Acuity
has over six years’ experience
in the development of onl...
EVERYTHING’S MEASURABLE
You’ll be able to accurately measure marketing
investment against marketing effort. You’ll
see wha...
T 01923 244 241
F 01923 232 751
E INFO@WEAREACUITY.COM
@WEAREACUITY
WEAREACUITY.COM
OAK YARD
QUEEN’S ROAD
WATFORD
HERTFORD...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Acuity Frontline Thinking Summer 2013

795 views

Published on


WELCOME TO THE FRONTLINE SUMMER 2013

Our latest issue of Frontline Thinking continues the conversation on all that is local. From the challenges faced by St John Ambulance in the charity sector, to the daily war raging on our high streets over coffee. The conversation is wide open so have a read and let us know what you think?

We are Acuity. Independent Creative Agency and Frontline Marketeers, we help the likes of Citroën, Peugeot, Continental Tyres, St John Ambulance and UK Insurance sell more through their franchise network or sales outlets. We deliver brand consistency at a local level, while creating intelligent campaigns precisely tuned to increase sales, and keep customers coming back for more. We make things happen.

We don’t hang about either. We’re faff-free, quick, and we don’t ever compromise on creativity.

The way we work with clients is a bit different too. There’s no ‘us and them.’ Instead, it’s more of a continuous loop – which works brilliantly.

Ask Citroën, they’ve been relying on us for 14 years.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Acuity Frontline Thinking Summer 2013

  1. 1. ISSUE TWO
  2. 2. OVERVIEW: WHAT IS FRONTLINE MARKETING? EXPERT ADVICE: WORKING WITH YOUR PROSPECTS FRANCHISE FOCUS: COFFEE WARS
  3. 3. FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO OVERVIEW / 3 FRONTLINE FOCUS: INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD EVENS DEALER FOCUS: LOCAL WEBSITES INNOVATIONS IN FRONTLINE MARKETING: MARKETING TOOLKITS TODAY FRONTLINE FOCUS: INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD EVENS ST JOHN AMBULANCE, COMMERCIAL MARKETING DIRECTOR PAGE 10
  4. 4. OVERVIEW:
  5. 5. With most big brands there’s still a real disconnect between national and local marketing. The former looks for ways to establish brand equity, whereas the latter is far more concerned with hitting targets – and getting the bonuses. We use ‘Frontline’ to describe your franchise network or sales outlets – inevitably parts of your business with their own unique set of challenges. They’re also areas that, more often than not, are focused on ways to increase sales and customer retention. IS FRONTLINE MARKETING? FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO WHAT IS FRONTLINE MARKETING? / 5
  6. 6. EXPERT ADVICE: Working on the Frontline is the most exciting and gratifying part of the transactional process for almost any product or service, but especially the big ticket items. With those, every sale seems like a battle won and the spoils are often plentiful. And that’s a pretty good analogy, because if we WERE going into battle then I think we might pay a fair bit of attention to sizing up the enemy and working on a plan of attack (and defence!). It’s amazing that so little planning and genuinely strategic thinking goes on so close to the actual selling part of the cycle. Customers often find themselves buying IN SPITE of the inadequate or inappropriate deck of comms they have been dealt on the Frontline – at local level (and even at the point of sale). They buy because colossal sums have been spent globally or nationally to literally hammer the brand to the front of their mind. Give ‘em a break! Words of wisdom This issue’s expert is Rob Clements, who heads up Acuity’s local marketing team.
  7. 7. Imagine how impressive sales could be if the local marketing was as smart as the national, and we mean smart in every sense. Global, national and even regional marketing has to have, to varying degrees, a more generic message. These messages are even delivered in a fairly generic fashion...TV, Press, Web, DM, blah, blah, blah...it’s no surprise, they’re talking to Joe Public. But on the Frontline, you’re talking to real people, many of whom you already know, and those that you don’t...well you can GET to know them. This closer, more intimate relationship is what gives local retailers, franchisees, dealers and their like a real advantage. And the ones that do it well will take all the business away from those that don’t. So, take very great care of your prospects, make them feel that they are important to you. Here’s a few tips that we’ve seen work really well: • Don’t ALWAYS try selling them something, try telling them something instead, like you would a friend. They don’t spend every single day in ‘buy mode’ so don’t treat them as if they do. This might mean a regular magazine or e-­letter, or, on your website’s home page a story or item that makes your business feel relevant to the local community. • Segment your database or even better, add tags, even for obvious details like gender or age bracket. This way you can genuinely TARGET your communications and not waste money (or annoy the hell out of people!). • Follow-up any comms with...more comms. If you send a letter or an email, follow up with a phone call. It’s not annoying, it’s engaging and relationship building. • Grow your prospect database organically. It’s amazing how few businesses ask for referrals from happy customers, and they love to recommend. Think how many customer touchpoints there are in a year in your business. • It isn’t always about the price. Yeah, shocking isn’t it? A lot of people want to be coaxed through an important purchase decision, by somebody they trust. They know it can be had for £XXX, and they’re pretty sure it’s not THIS WEEK ONLY, believe me. The really interesting thing is to do what we at Acuity do for a living: put yourself in their shoes and then look at the marketing comms you were ABOUT to send out to see if it’s properly targeted AND relevant. If it is, and you have a follow-up plan in place, go ahead and send it. Enjoy it – and good selling! FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO EXPERT ADVICE / 7
  8. 8. FRANCHISE FOCUS: COFFEE WARS DOES THE BRAND ‘ROAR’ KILL THE LOCAL ‘WHISPER’? In each issue we put our heads together and think about how large UK franchises could be doing things better with some blue sky thinking. This time, it’s the coffee chains.
  9. 9. Nowhere is the Frontline more vividly cavorted on than in the High St coffee bars. Who’s the daddy? And, does anybody really care? What subtleties do these gigantic players deploy to attract the Yummy Mummies after the school drop-­off, after all if they have a ‘swift one’ every day they’ll be spending north of £600 each, every year. On coffee. Who’d have thought? So, the rewards are sizeable if you can engender some brand loyalty. Unfortunately, this is a tough stunt to pull off in our most fickle of societies. And it seems that HQ doesn’t trust, or want to trust, the individuals that operate on the Frontline to do their bidding for them in this respect either. Is LOCAL over-­rated? A number of aspects might contribute to converting patrons into advocates -­price, style, decor... sometimes the actual taste of the coffee gets a belated mention in the surveys. Whichever it is, it’s the absolute consistency with which it is delivered that seems to be the key here. Not a bean out of place. Everything exactly as you expect it to be. The brand doesn’t need any local ‘colour’ to make it successful, it seems. Advocates rely on these peak levels of consistency to support their position. The lip service the brands pay to ‘local’ include branded merchandise (with your own town name on), community boards and local youth projects... but all these come across as anything BUT local as they are all organised and operated back at HQ. FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO FRANCHISE FOCUS / 9 Is LOCAL under-­rated? Perhaps we should re-­phrase that...What really makes a business work? Of course, we understand the big brands’ logic in their ivory towers. As one of our interviewees said, so accurately, “They don’t seem to be doing too badly!” But can it continue, ad infinitum? Perhaps not. Hundreds of local outlets need thousands of local staff. And these people really are local...they are working in their own communities. (The big brands should remember that when they are opening a new bar and meeting resistance from the natives, it might just make a difference to the welcome they receive if they ‘promote’ this LOCAL aspect!) But you can’t expect bright young people to toe the party line forever, without feeling they can contribute to the appeal of their offering. Unless you actually WANT to become McDonalds, the epitome of faceless globalisation. It’s our opinion that HQ needs to put in place a process and structure that allows the locals to add value to the generic offering, otherwise there’s just no flavour. Conclusion? It’s an interesting conundrum for us. We are huge fans of Frontline Marketing and we think that there is a local solution for all global brands. The Coffee Wars are something we will watch with interest. Perhaps there is a place at the table for some genuinely LOCAL players... the independents!
  10. 10. What is the role of the commercial arm of SJA? St John Ambulance advocates that first aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. With up to 140,000 people dying every year from causes where first aid could have been the difference, the charity delivers first aid to the public at over 50,000 events and trains first aid in schools, to members of the public and employees in the workplace to prevent needless deaths. Our workplace training and medical supplies products and services help businesses to ensure their work environment is safe and the income from these activities are ploughed back into charitable initiatives. WITH RICHARD EVENS COMMERCIAL MARKETING DIRECTOR, ST JOHN AMBULANCE What challenges would you say are unique to the charity sector compared to other purely commercial organisations? In the charity sector brand strength is critical in getting the charity’s message across and winning support towards achieving the charitable mission. The charity brand index places St John Ambulance in the top 10 of charity brands with a high degree of recognition and trust. But, a unique challenge in the context of marketing commercial services to provide sustainable finance is leveraging a charity brand for commercial purposes. This requires careful messaging and use of channels so that the marketing messages are on brand, appropriate to the commercial product or service and effective. The risk is that if done incorrectly, it can confuse through mixed messages or even damage the brand. FRONTLINE FOCUS:
  11. 11. How many training centres do you have across the country? As well as training at client premises, we run a schedule of over 20,000 courses at 230 centres which are published on our website and in our marketing materials. St John Ambulance is an organisation which is dedicated to serving local communities. This is a factor we have carried through to our commercial services since it is just as important to make regular training available in a convenient location for businesses. How do you manage the differing agendas of a large national brand with local grass roots advocates? Like many large charities, over the last decade we have recognised the importance of investing in brand development. We have moved to a much more coherent set of brand messages and consolidated visual identity across multi-channels and service offerings. Overall this brings benefits but it does take away some local flexibility, so getting the message right for the target audience takes some care and refining the balance remains work in progress. What systems do you have in place to assist with these challenges? Within the commercial operation the marketing structure is centralised with some of the team located in London and others working from regional offices alongside colleagues in the business units. With multiple markets, channels, and campaigns executed via a distributed team, the marketing planning function is critical to stay on message, on target and on budget. Through this process my team are able to evaluate results and learn from our experiences. How do you work with Acuity? We are working with Acuity to promote training centres where we believe there is potential for growth; some are newly launched and others well established. The promotion is tightly targeted to the area around the centre, and we particularly wanted to introduce a local relevance to our messaging. What differentiates Acuity from other agencies? We were looking for an agency that could work with a national brand to provide compelling, creative content aimed at businesses in local markets to drive customer enquiries and online bookings. Acuity’s approach was to focus on end-to-end targeting, enquiry generation and the conversion process, while balancing national brand messages and corporate identity design frame to create relevant local content. What are some of the biggest trends in charity marketing right now? The most recent published data from the Charities Aid Foundation shows donations fell 20% to £9.3bn in 2011/12. In this environment the trend has been towards more aggressive marketing through all channels. The drive to maintain return on investment (ROI) is set against the risk of long term damage to the brand. Complaints about doorstep methods in particular increased by 93% suggesting that the short term ROI imperative is creating a longer term problem for the sector. FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO FRONTLINE FOCUS / 11
  12. 12. DEALER FOCUS: LOCAL WEBSITES When the big organisations put their websites together, specially the franchisors and companies with multiple outlets, they really go to town. And as the www arena enters its third decade the levels of engagement, interactivity, relevance and navigation are significantly more sophisticated than ever before. Aren’t they? A BRILLIANT CHANNEL OR A VAUXHALL MAIN SITE. Very comprehensive navigation options, clear message, strong branding... VAUXHALL DEALER SITE. It just feels like the main site, I don’t get any sense of local, or any relevance to me. SUBWAY’S MAIN SITE, very enticing and engaging. Lots of offers. Feels exciting. I’m hungry! Click-through to SUBWAY’S LOCAL OUTLET. OK, so I can see where it is, and it’s open at lunchtime (wow). But how about today’s specials...or online offers for this store? I’m less hungry.
  13. 13. FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO DEALER FOCUS / 13 FASTSIGNS MAIN SITE presents quite a generic series of messages to help you choose to use their outlets. FASTSIGNS DEALER SITE. This is a bit more like it and not just because it uses the name of my town prominently -­it shows the actual shop and staff so I have a real sense of ‘local’. Additionally, this home page prompts me to request a quote or send a file. We think at best the answer is only ‘sometimes’, which, given the astronomical budgets often set aside for creating the right online presence is disappointing. Why only sometimes? Because usually, when you click through from the delicious main site to the local outlets’ site the come down is almost a crime. This local site is almost certainly going to be the final destination on my purchasing journey, why let me down now? I’ve done all the research and I’m desperately seeking reassurance, I want to know that I can do business with these people. What I don’t want is a slightly cheaper- looking, clunkier version of the proprietary site. What I do want is to see some personality and some added value. This is a chance for the local business to close the sale, give me ALL or at least SOME of these things, for example: • An online quote • Stock level check • Local delivery info • A live chat facility to answer my questions • An online appointment or booking function • Click and collect • A call back request All of this should be in addition to the usual opening hours, map and contact details. And it should be against a backdrop of relevant, local information and news so that I can form an opinion about my local store, not the generic brand. How about a photo of the store manager on the home page, with a happy customer who has recently bought his fifth thingy-ma-­jig in ten years from the same place. There’s reassurance for you! And what about some links to thingy-ma-jigs that are ONLY available at this store, or have been adapted to the local market? Maybe some news and photos of the local kids’ soccer teams that you sponsor. All of this makes the store look like my local store and makes me feel like a valued customer. After all, that’s what I am. And, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. We can provide all of this with a templated system that has full content management, with as much or as little editable space as you want.
  14. 14. INNOVATIONS IN FRONTLINE MARKETING: The operations team at Acuity has over six years’ experience in the development of online marketing toolkit systems. Designed specifically for larger businesses or franchises that have a number of outlets needing to localise global marketing materials, they generally boast extraordinary ROI stats. They allow franchises and dealers to plan and create press ads, web banners, direct marketing, POS display material and on-­demand literature using templates and resources supplied by us. They can even plan their spend by product, channel or campaign. The benefits are significant.
  15. 15. EVERYTHING’S MEASURABLE You’ll be able to accurately measure marketing investment against marketing effort. You’ll see what works and what doesn’t. Plus the weekly reporting on franchise or dealership engagement creates a continual loop of feedback and action that’s worth its weight in gold. EVERYTHING’S MORE EFFICIENT Users can personalise, localise and update the templates as much as they like. Press ads can be re-­sized to the correct specs and sent directly to publications, and emails are created as HTML files and sent directly to the dealer’s database. It all saves hundreds of thousands of production hours – and eye-­wateringly large amounts of money. EVERYTHING’S CONSISTENT Users can tailor the templates as much as they like, but we’ve made sure that brand consistency is always adhered to and local messages tie-­in with national campaigns. That means everyone’s budgets – local and national – go that much further. FRONTLINE THINKING / ISSUE TWO INNOVATIONS IN FRONTLINE MARKETING / 15 EVERYTHING’S FUTURE-­PROOF The system already handles a wide range of offline and digital marketing materials – with showroom TV and Facebook adverts just around the corner. It’s also possible to have a module that will generate prospect data from a brief that the user inputs and can be set to run on any permutation of volume, cost, location and profile. This data can be instantly used in e-campaigns or for DM. EVERYTHING’S LEGAL We can set up templates to automatically populate ads and other comms with the relevant legal and financial fly-copy so that all users are advertising within the law. EVERYTHING’S EASY Not all outlets or dealers are as marketing- savvy as each other. Our systems are intuitive and easy to navigate, and they allow for as much marketing planning liaison between branch and HQ as you want.
  16. 16. T 01923 244 241 F 01923 232 751 E INFO@WEAREACUITY.COM @WEAREACUITY WEAREACUITY.COM OAK YARD QUEEN’S ROAD WATFORD HERTFORDSHIRE WD17 2QL

×