MCA Management Awards 2007: Marketing

Winner: Propaganda - FMG Support

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

With 130 staff, Fleet Management Group (FMG) offered car and commercial fleets accident management, repair and recovery and rental brokerage. Problem was, customers dealt with one business or another, with little awareness of the other services. Three salesforces had little incentive to cross-sell and the group lacked visibility. Why would big players in the fleet market such as GE, Zurich, and Arval listen to a minnow in Huddersfield when they could play safe with better-known rivals like the AA and RAC Commercial?

Aiming to increase turnover from £29m to £45m, FMG asked Propaganda to design its sales literature. But the consulting firm knew that brief was impossible: how could it create an engaging and fresh approach without first understanding how FMG tackled its customers' challenges?

Propaganda suggested a programme to discover what customers wanted and what they thought of FMG. This included interviews with staff, customers, intermediaries, suppliers and prospects, and even competitors and the media. It identified opportunities to help FMG break through its glass ceiling: first, integrate the three firms into one business, FMG Support, and make the brand values of pride, intelligence and determination more overt. Then create a loyalty scheme for FMG Support's network of bodyshops and repair agents.

Next up, marketing. FMG Support would have to think smarter. To position it as a thought leader in its sector, Propaganda helped it compose opinion papers that were sent to the press and to senior executives at clients and prospects. It set up a cross-party working group, chaired by former transport minister Steven Norris, to host round-table debates with key industry figures. And Propaganda recommended targeting senior execs by advertising in the sector's two main trade titles.

Propaganda proposed sub-branding FMG Support's superior technology as 'Ingenium', handing salespeople a strong theme. It created a new logo and visual ID for FMG Support, out of which flowed a brochure, a brandbook and new website.

Did it work? FMG Support now wins contracts where it previously stood no chance. Royal Mail gave it a three-year extended contract covering 40,000 delivery vehicles. GE has become a customer. And from turning over £29m in 2004, the group now projects a turnover in 2007 of £75m.

TAKE-HOME TIPS

By recasting its three autonomous divisions as a single, branded enterprise, Propaganda raised FMG's game: it has won big new contracts and turnover is up 250% over three years.

- Embark on a discovery programme to unlock market insights.

- Build the brand from within.

- Ensure complete buy-in across the business to sustain initial success.

- Strip away resistance to change - senior execs must lead by example.

SHORTLISTED
Consultancy: Academee
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Client: B&S Learning and Skills Council

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