Marketing change – Turning decline into growth
“With Martin’s help the business sustained its B2B position as market leader, reversed a long-term decline in consumer sales, enhanced its propositions and hit its profitability targets. He is an individual who displays integrity, teamwork and very high levels of commitment.”
Managing Director, HPI
HPI is a leading provider of automotive information to the Motor, Finance and Insurance industries and direct to consumers. It was acquired by Norwich Union in 2005 and Martin Wright was bought in as Interim Marketing Director to strengthen the management team and to dramatically change and improve marketing effectiveness.
Specific objectives were to reverse a 3-year decline in consumer sales, to maintain its number one B2B market position and to help hit demanding profit targets.
Rapid change on several marketing fronts was required. Key to this was a better understanding of the marketplace gained via quantitative and qualitative research. This highlighted a fundamental problem; the core consumer proposition and media mix were targeting a small, shrinking segment of the market.
To create growth we pulled together a cross-functional team to get under the skin of consumers’ purchase motivations and to help shape and create consensus around a new brand proposition. Marketing change that flowed from these insights took the form of a distinctly new creative approach and a far greater emphasis on online media, specifically:
- A new website was produced
- A new PPC and SEO Agency hired
- Online spend was dramatically increased.
- And new partnerships with eBay and RAC were also developed to give the company access to new markets.
I also introduced the concept of category management to the business which provided a framework within which rapid commercial decisions about pricing and innovation could be made. Within 12 months a 3-year decline in consumer sales had turned into 57% growth.
Similar focus was given to the business’s B2B activity. A CRM solution was implemented and a telesales team and direct marketing programme introduced to support the field sales team and increase HPI’s reach.
Despite new market entrants from AutoTrader and price cutting the company’s No. 1 position was consolidated and profit targets met.