LAUNCH OF NICHE SPECIALIST ENGINEERING COMPANY
Heritage Blast Cleaning Ltd (HBC) based in Mayfield (East Sussex)?was launching a specialist sympathetic surface blast cleaning service across the South East of England.
The HBC service employs the very new Jos-Torc and Doff environmentally friendly, chemicals free air and water restoration and renovation surface cleaning system for heritage and antique?stone, timber, oak, tile, granite, marble (etc).
Launching the company required a cost effective strategy for this new SME. The aim was to establish HBC as the specialist company for this service.
The HBC launch strategy essentially required a contact database to reach the HBC potential customerbase of construction companies involved in restoration and renovation projects, local council planning departments, restoration specialists, architects, civil engineers across the South East.
I devised a brand identity and logo.I devised he HBC website as the centre of the marketing campaign. Then an HBC LinkedIn social media account populated with HBC cast studies, information fact sheets, press bulletins and newsletter. The aim of the launch strategy is 1) to connect building awareness; 2) influence brand confidence; 3)then generate sales leads – then maintain contact for future projects and retain brand awareness for the HBC service.
The marketing route was to initiate contact.. the contact would be interested from the information within the LinkedIn account.. then visit the HBC website.. there they get brand confidence from the branding, website design, content, images, case studies – they are convinced regarding the HBC competency, knowledge, etc.
In addition we held a successful half day Jos-Torc and Doff surface cleaning workshop, presentation?and demonstration inviting key potential customers such as?National Trust, English Heritage, local construction managers, local planning officers, architects.
Within six weeksI had generated all the required HBC marketing collateral and a database of over 500 LinkedIn connections with key potential customer contacts. The company was launched and?within 6 weeks the HBC company and business was generating sales leads from across the SE of England?and from?London, Essex and neighbouring counties.
Within 12 months the company had established the business, brand and service across the key catchment areas and beyond. Sales leads typically arrived via the HBC website contact form.
In the second year we concentrated the marketing to direct sales – telemarketing to key customers to generate sales leads.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CASE STUDY :I worked with Freesource Energy as they was a fast growing green energy company based just outside the UK green capital Bristol. The company has since been bought-out and I ceased working with Freesource Energy as they continued to grow they appointed a full time in-house marketing manager.
During my tenure I worked alongside the managing director and key senior directors, shareholders and managers to develop the brand, marketing and PR. Freesource Energy operated across an increasingly competitive and aggressive market sector of green energy where the boundaries were in constant change from changing economic, environmental and political protocols and legislation.
To make matters more challenging Freesource Energy operated across both B2B and B2C sectors including business, agricultural, commercial, construction and domestic demographic sectors.
MARKET RESEARCH – STRATEGIC PLANNING – PUBLIC RELATIONS – MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS – INTEGRATED MARKETING – TRADE SHOWS – SOCIAL MEDIA – COPYWRITING – WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT – BRAND DEVELOPMENT – SALES AND MARKETING – PROMOTIONS – B2B – B2C
With the company already trading for a few years and requiring direction my first requirement was a complete marketing communications audit to ascertain where the company has been, where they are now and where they need to be, together with SWOT analysis. This work and audit involves a great deal of research, surveying and analysis before you have enough information for planning. As they say… ‘if you don’t know where your going, your likely to end up someplace else.’
With such a diverse operation across diverse ranges of sectors and activities I devised a fully integrated marketing communications strategy was required. Not only would this approach vastly improve the communications for the company but also deliver improved performance and ROI. I implemented my IMPS marketing planner systemacross the company management team.
I instigated a broad range of PR collateral including press bulletins, case studies and articles with leading business, domestic and agricultural media. We hade a feature supplement in a series of regional agricultural magazines. The PR material was also utilised at press lounges and trade shows, social media and blogs.
For cost effectiveness the strategy was a PR-led strategy with keynote events, radio interviews, case studies, social media, networking, workshops, seminars, articles, features sponsorship, trade shows and more.
In the process or campaign management and market research I identified a key marketing opportunity for the company. I orchestrated a strategic alliance between the company’s solar PV division and a major agricultural buildings manufacturer whereby anyone purchasing a building – usually quite large buildings for storage and undercover animal management – has the option to have solar energy panels installed not only to reap the benefits of free electricity for themselves but also generating FiT gains to offset the cost of the building purchase. Essentially the FiT would generate enough income so the building is free.
Summary : The marketing communications effectively strengthened the brand communications across the entire Freesource Energy marketing. The campaign effectively took the brand to a higher level. With a stronger brand identity and marketing communications so the company was tendering and winning high level projects as well as more successful consumer and commercial projects.
A marketing communications audit is typically perceived by clients as possibly not really relevant. After all they have an in-depth experience and understanding of the business.. wrong!. They have an inside perspective and an outside perspective usually discovers many aspects of the business external as well internal communication and other aspects of the exchange of information across the company they were not aware of. Two such clients come to mind.
One client told me they did not require a marcoms audit. The company were already recording hundreds of website hits a day so the website for working well. I then reported the hundreds of hits did not enter the website but were merely recorded landing on the home page and then leaving. Very few actually entered the website and I was able to explain why and how this could be rectified. The decided a marcoms audit would be a good investment.
Another client in air traffic control systems at an important stage of the business development commissioned me to conduct a marketing communications audit. Not only did the audit report many useful points but crucially how this company, dependent on the internal close communication and exchange of information for product development and customer support was badly failing. As this growing company was relocating I was able to show how to improve the internal communications situation they would need an open plan single level office layout rather then on multiple floors to improve internal communications and exchange of information.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re likely to end up someplace else..
I firmly believe market research, study, survey and planning is the bedrock of any successful marketing strategy and marketing campaign. Asking the right questions to get the right answers.
When was the last time you conducted market research for your business? Have you ever conducted any research? For most business owner, the last time they did any research was for the business plan and raising finance.
You would be surprised how many times clients have thought research is an unnecessary time consuming/unnecessary cost. After all they know their business. The clients who agree most times discover vital valuable – sometimes game changing – facts and information about their business they was not previously aware of.
Why is market research so successful? Another reason is largely because business owners are looking out from inside their business. They work largely on presumptions rather than fact. I am able to look at their business from the outside inwards, from all angles and every perspective. Together – from inside and outside only can we get a FULL story of the business.
I can offer a full range of market research services individually tailored to your particular requirements, brief, market sector(s), target audiences, etc.
- Research techniques include:
Qualitative, and quantitative methodologies
Face to face interviews
Paper based postal questionnaires
Web based surveys
- Typical research subjects include:
New product/service research
Customer satisfaction surveys
Market research needs to be carefully considered before it is undertaken, and this is where I can really add value to the process.The design of a market research project must be undertaken within a carefully considered strategic framework, and as such a rigorous definition of the objectives of the research will always be performed before any research is undertaken.
MICRONAV – brand audit, marketing communications audit, global launch strategy, 2012
Overview : MicroNav is a world leader in the development of air traffic control (ATC) defence (ATD) simulators and training systems since 1988. With year-on-year growth in a highly competitive market sector, MicroNav needed to re-evaluate company marketing and brand communications to ensure effective portrayal as a market leader and authority.
Audit – The company was in the development of a crucial next generation ATC/ATD system for launch in three years time. The company therefore needed to evaluate the company’s brand and communications in readiness for the launch and for creation of a global launch strategy. A B2B marketing communications specialist I was commissioned to conduct the group brand and communications audit.
Strategy – Having completed the successful MicroNava brand evaluation, communications audit and report to the board, I was further commissioned to devise a global product launch strategy for MicroNav in collaboration with the sales and marketing director.
Audit solution – (An NDA prevents me from detailing too much about this case study).
The brand and communications audit was the result of 4 weeks research into every aspect of the company operation, past/present marcoms, surveys – the DNA of how the company operates and portrays itself to its customers.
The audit revealed many important points regarding MicroNav external communications but also internally. The company was considering relocation to bigger office premises. The manner in which the company currently communicated internally was crucially deficient in key areas. For instance the company’s technical R&D department was on a different floor and offices to the sales and marketing department yet these departments needed to work and collaborate closely. Other MicroNav departments also needed to collaborate and work closely yet were situated on separate floors and rooms. This situation was not appropriate to a business needing to work closely together in the sharing of essential information, resources and facilities to a common aim.
Strategy solution – The launch strategy for MicroNav was particularly challenging to devise as the product was in the early stages of development so any strategy had to be planned for three years ahead. My plan was to initiate a plan that can be revisited each year to refine as the product in development became defined and key USPs emerged that could effect the strategy and communications strategy. A current NDA prevents me revealing the strategy but in planning the MicroNav strategy this required extensive research and surveying to determine where the company are now and where they needed to be.
They said it could not be done.. I did it!
As I drove on the motorway I tend to glance at car transporters.. but then I am a ‘geeky’ sort of guy.. until I noticed many motorists glance at car transporters when passing as I did.
I had this question – why do car transporters carrying motor cars on the motorway in front of motorists in the ‘motoring moment’ do not carry advertising to accompany the car transporters and cars – for example: Vauxhall car advertising while carrying Vauxhall cars?
I asked this question to a major car transporter company in Birmingham and was told ever since car transporters were created the vehicle contractors have tried to get advertising onto car transporter but for more there are numerous criteria to address to resolve the problem – for example how do you change the advertising when the cars are dropped off and new cars uploaded. You cannot carry ford advertising with Vauxhall cars. then there is the elements to contend with, access to vehicle when carrying advertising and numerous other problems to deal with. I was told ‘it cannot be done’. Numerous companies and manufacturers had tried over the years and failed and some with costly repercussions.
I swear within 60 minutes I had a solution and basic design done in the car on a notepad.
I then spent a month locating the right engineering company to create a prototype and a car transporter company to enlist the help of their vehicles and collaborate (Richard Lawson, Scotland). I spent a year developing the solution and engineering, testing, more prototypes until we were ready for full on-road tests.
The full story is interesting and full of drama. The project had many obstacles to overcome to get this project a reality and on the road.. but I did it. History had been made.
HighRoad Advertising (HRA) – The world’s first car transporter advertising media system meeting EVERY vehicle, environmental, service and driver criteria – the solution. They said it could not be done – I did it.
In the photo you see the world’s first car transporter advertising system not only on a maiden run from Stoke-on-Trent (Staffs) to Purfleet (Kent) but then into successful 30 days full service trials out of the Richard Lawson Hartlepool Depot. I will also add the video of the prototype run in due course.
Overview – Sussex Blast Cleaning was at that time a predominantly domestic blast cleaning company for low profit small items from household gates and bike wheels to the more profitable odd local council, trade and commercial projects. Within 12 months the company and business was repositioned and transformed to become the biggest commercial blast cleaning company in the Southeast of England.
Rationale – To increase profitability the company and realise the true potential of the business we identified the need to reposition the business services from deomestic blast cleaning company to a predominantly trade and commercial blast cleaning company.
Strategy – The marketing strategy devised to achieve this repositioning of the business included a change of company brand identity, new logo, new stationery, new van livery and the creation of a website (the company did not have a website) essentially taking the business online for the very first time.
Result – Within 7 days of the new Sussex Blast Cleaning website going online with new brand identity and logo the company received a Â£250K sales enquiry (which they won) for a major pharmaceuticals company. Within 6 months SBC won another Â£250K order for a project for the new T5 London Heathrow Terminal. Within 18 months the company won the prestige Mary Rose ship blast cleaning restoration project.
We never realised a new logo and website would have such a dramtic positive effect on the business… M Griffin, MD, Sussex Blast Cleaning Ltd
Overview – Werner Electric GmbH is the world leading German manufacturer of over 40,000 electrical components over 40 product groups with sales offices and product distribution across the world. The company had an autonomous sales office and distribution network open in India – Werner Electric India PVT LTD.
The company in India opened with sales offices, distributors and sales teams is Delhi, Mysore (head office), Mumbai, Bangalore, Ciombatore. In a highly competitive industrial market sector the new business was struggling agaisnt fierce overseas rivals for new customers and new sales despite sales and marketing support from Germany. The struggling company and business faced threat of closure
Rationale – The Managing Director contacted me to identify the problems and to make improvements and I was appointed (p/t) Sales & Marketing Director –
- Quickly identifying various sales personnel problems replacing those unproductive sales team members sourcing more experienced senior sales managers and sales managers, training and managing I frequently visited the teams in India,
- I was accompanying sales managers on business tours and presentations,
- I revised advertising, marketing and PR,
- I stage managed all trade shows,
- I monitored, motivated, inspired, incentivised and managed the sale teams and senior sales managers locally and remotely from the UK.
- Included in the business revamp was training for the MD and administration staff to improve product deliveries to customers, as well as deliver of product samples, technical support, sales literature, etc.
Result– Within 12 months the business was transformed with upward growth and expansion. At a leading automation exhibition in Mumbai I transformed sales leads typically from 30-50 sales leads over a 3-day event to over 250 sales leads, new distributors and significant press lounge opportunities over the same 3-day event.
VACON DRIVES UK – The World’s First Virtual Company Launch Event, 1999
Overview : Vacon is the brand name of a wide range of variable speed drives and inverters manufactured in Finland with sales offices across the world. Vacon wanted to launch a UK sales office managed by 3 senior ex-ABB directors. The Vacon Managing Director contacted me requiring a UK launch strategy for the company, brand, business and product range.
Rationale : The Vacon launch strategy was a potential customer database of potential customers – hire a hotel in Hinkley (Leics) – distribute invitations to the customer database inviting them to a one-day Vacon launch event – on the day Vacon management would present the product range and company to generate sales leads. I advised the MD this strategy was costly with a high risk of failure for Vacon as senior technical managers in the UK did not have the time to be away from their work to travel across the country to attend such hospitality events. Another launch strategy was advised.
Solution : My launch strategy was to launch the Vacon into the UK using the internet – the world’s first company virtual launch event – I named my launch strategy ‘The V-Event’ – The Vacon Event. By launching Vacon on the internet in a virtual B2B multimedia website -type presentation allowed the customer database of potential customers the luxury of attending whenever they could over 7 days (not one day) – 27×7 to suit their calendar and timetable – attending the V-Event from their PC/laptop without any travel required – can invite colleagues – can revisit – can forward link to colleagues – can download information sheets/brochure/datasheets – live chat and interaction with Vacon managers – V-Event launch strategy, graphics and multimedia can be reused for other Vacon worldwide launches – AND when the event concludes after 7 days the V-Event website is modular designed to allow just changing the V-Event frontend and backend to provide the Vacon UK website making this a very viable strategy.
Communication : The V-Event was promoted circulating a wide range of Vacon press bulletins to UK trade publications together with support display advertisements in key page positions – postal V-Event VIP invitations sent to the Vacon UK customer database.
Result : Over 300 people attended the V-Event Vacon virtual launch event on the internet from across the UK (with some from abroad) – establishing Vacon rapidly into the highly competitive UK drives/inverters market – This innovative strategy was seen by customers as an innovative technology company using innovative technology and internet launch strategy – generating significant new business leads – building brand awareness – attracting many more customer leads than the initial strategy would have – delivering excellent ROI for the client – awarded ‘Macromedia Website of the Month’ for innovation and for ‘pushing the website/internet envelope’.
ICS-TRIPLEX – GLOBAL LAUNCH STRATEGY FOR ‘TRUSTED’ SAFETY CONTROL SYSTEM, 2002
Overview : ICS-Triplex is a Â£1.6bn high technology and engineering group developing safety systems with plants in the UK/USA operating across the global the oil and gas, marine and offshore markets. ICS-Triplex was a PLC group in a major global market against the world’s biggest engineering and technology brands – ABB, Rockwell, Siemens, etc
ICS-Triplex client was launching their next generation product – a control and safety system named Trusted. Following my successful (inspired) stage management of the ICS-Triplex sponsored ‘World Safety Congress Conference (London)’ I was asked to provide a cost efficient global launch strategy for Trusted.
Rationale : The client invited their marketing, PR and advertising agencies to pitch for the launch strategy business but each returned with high cost marketing strategies very similar in ‘text-book’ approach to each other. The calculated ROI for the ICS-Triplex and risk of minimal success in the market to develop sales was unacceptable.
Strategy : World processing of oil, gas, chemicals (etc) at that time were increasingly controlled by control systems involving microprocessors and complex software with a tendency to fail. Back-up systems also failed and worldwide catastrophes occurred. World governing health and safety bodies demanded more control safety to the technology developers of the control systems. Their response was to ‘bolt on independent’ safety systems to the control systems to become control + safety systems.
ICS-Triplex is a renowned safety systems technology company so their position was to bolt-on a control system to their system to enhance safer processing. The difference with the ICS-Triplex Trusted system was this was not a bolt-on solution but a fully integrated ‘safety control system’. This key USP was overlooked by the client agencies and client themselves as a key USP to go to market.
Solution : I devised a cost efficient worldwide PR-led B2B marketing communications launch strategy focusing on the ICS-Triplex Trusted ‘safety control system’ being much more safer than any ‘bolt-on control and safety system’ from ICS-Triplex’s major competitor systems. This positioning enabled ICS-Triplex to stand apart from their rivals and compete much more cost effectively then by more conventional (text book) marketing routes to market.
We went to market not as ‘control+safety system’ but as a safety control system from a safety systems specialist company presenting a much ‘safer’ prospect to customers than other systems could offer giving ICS-Triplex a significant competitive advantage in the market.
Summary : The key to success was in my research and understanding of the technology together with my awareness of the current business environment, market as well as political and industrial climate at that time.
I worked closely with the client for 2 years between sales and technical divisions to implement and drive the strategy and communications across the various media including trade channels, trade shows, sales literature, AV, advertising and sponsorship – a double-decker bus co-sponsored by UK trade health and safety council on tour to key industrial locations promoting greater industrial safety and endorsing the Trusted safety control system.
The IMPS planner system is your marketing blueprint for the business.
My IMPS planner system has been specifically developed to provide clients with –
- Full integration of their individual marketing activities to enhance marketing productivity, performance, value, ROI – marketing, PR, advertising, events, website, trade shows, design, mailshots, etc.
- Total control over the entire 12 months of the marketing mix – what, when, who.
- Total accountability over the ROI, monthly/quarterly budget investment – forward planning, investigation, data analysis, budget planning and more.
- At a glance monitoring and management of the marketing activities.
- Prioritised budget control – what must be done; what should be done; what would be nice to get done.