MARKETING MATTERS

We like to share our thoughts on matters relating to the integrated marketing services we offer – including marketing strategy, corporate branding, marketing communications, website design and development, digital marketing (search engine optimisation, digital advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing and marketing automation), and non-digital marketing (advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, event marketing, public relations and corporate incentives).

AXA INSURANCE

by BGL Communications on June 23, 2017
AXA-Logo-300x119 AXA INSURANCE

AXA INSURANCE

AXA is one of the largest insurance businesses in the world. AXA Insurance contracted us to deliver ad hoc marketing support. This mostly took the form of the creation of tenders and presentations to support their sales team in their negotiation of contracts with their broker network. We worked in close partnership with their marketing team to design and deliver professional materials, often working late into the night to hit tight deadlines, and to accommodate important last minute changes. This work helped to win several high value new business pitches for the client.

We were also asked to deliver campaign concepts for a number of direct marketing initiatives, one of which was for a taxi insurance product. This work included a series of focus groups with the target market, to discuss their views and opinions about the product’s features and benefits, as well as to establish their feedback regarding design visuals which we created for the event.

Another project involved searching for images from online libraries to support one of their brokers, who was struggling to create professional marketing collateral. We were subsequently commissioned to design and artwork various materials on their behalf.

We were commissioned to assist with the preparation of a presentation template, the purpose of which was to agree bespoke agreements with brokers on an individual basis regarding joint business plan arrangements, and outlining the commitments from the partner and the support they would be offered by AXA Insurance.

We were asked to come up with message propositions for tactical campaign ideas, to design event invitations, to create internal documents, to design HTML templates for email campaigns, to develop sales incentives, and so on.

‘They were great fun to work with. Highly efficient and personal, and responsive to all my needs. They were always available at the end of the phone, and they never once turned down any requests – regardless of how tight the deadline. I trusted them to get on and deliver the work and they always did a good job. Very reliable and down to earth. I would not hesitate to recommend them.’

Alison Barlow
Senior Marketing Manager
AXA Insurance

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AZLAN

by BGL Communications on June 23, 2017
Azlan-logo-300x124 AZLAN

AZLAN

Azlan is one of the world’s largest IT distribution companies. They supply a vast range of computer software and hardware from global vendor brands, including HP, Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and so on. We were commissioned to provide email marketing support to share key vendor information with various sales distribution channels. The process involved developing design templates that were relevant to both the client’s brand and the vendor’s products. We were given top line information on what articles were required, and left to our own devices to create relevant and informative copy. We had to quickly become experts in our understanding of the manufacturer’s products that they wished to promote to their supply chain. This involved online research to enable us to identify features and benefits to the end user and to the distribution channel. We created short copy for the email newsletter and long copy for hyperlink pages.

Once the copy was approved, we designed the e-newsletter and article pages. The next stage in the process was to create HTML code for the newsletter and the ‘find out more’ pages. The data was then cleansed and emails sent out to the distribution channel.

The project has seen engagement levels amongst resellers increasing substantially. There were several “calls to action” and the results have indicated a large increase in interest and attendance at product training workshops, seminars and webinars.

 

‘Highly recommended. Abacus were really easy to deal with. I needed to work with a marketing agency that I could trust to just get on with things without needing me to hold their hand every step of the way. This was a tricky project because it needed the agency to quickly get to grips with complex content, and then to generate simple messages and clear creative. Having good project management skills was also important.’

Gemma Stannett
Marketing Manager
Azlan

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BRAUN/ORAL B

by BGL Communications on June 22, 2017
braun-logo BRAUN/ORAL B
OralB-Logo BRAUN/ORAL B

BRAUN/ORAL B

P&G are one of the largest corporations on the planet. We were appointed by an event management company to provide them with strategic and creative event marketing support for two of P&G’s global brands – Braun and Oral-B. This was specifically with regards to an annual week-long training event, attended by hundreds of Boots retail consultants. All key UK suppliers of electrical products (Braun, Oral-B, Panasonic, Philips, etc.) were given the opportunity to present the key features and benefits of the hero products they would be focusing on in the all-important pre-Christmas sales period, a period which accounts for about half of annual sales within this sector. For Braun, this meant a focus on their premier collection of men’s electric shavers and female hair removal products (shavers, epilators, IPL) and, for Oral-B, we focused on their award-winning series of electric toothbrushes and other related ancillary products.

We were involved in every stage of event delivery, including selling in the concepts to the marketing teams at P&G, and then to present them to the conference management team at Boots. Each year, we created a new theme for the presentation we delivered, and we consistently received highly favourable feedback from delegates. Our strategy was simple and effective. Firstly, we created a memorable theme that resonated with the target audience and which was current, engaging and fun. This involved dressing up a conference room so that the experience for delegates entering the room was as if they were entering an entirely different world.

We created a slick and professional presentation, and appointed a professional and personable host. We planned everything to the smallest detail and rehearsed late into the night to get things right. The presentation involved substantial audience interaction and hands-on time with the product and we never overloaded delegates with information. Delegates also got to interact directly with the P&G sales training team, who were an essential part of the proposition. We discussed the key features and benefits, always focusing on the three most important messages we wanted them to remember when they left the room. We timed the presentation to ensure we never overran, so delegates had time to prepare themselves before their next session, and this small detail made a big difference to the impression delegates took away with them. We put together a suite of materials to create a training support pack for delegates to take away, to enable them to share key messages with their in-store colleagues.

 

‘The training sessions were amazingly creative and were really well received by delegates. Very professional team and great attention to detail in every respect.’

Marketing Manager
P&G

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BT

by BGL Communications on June 22, 2017
BT-logo BT

BT

BT is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. We were appointed to deliver communication updates involving sales education to 15,000 customer-facing representatives on a quarterly basis. The challenge facing BT was simple. How do you make sure that 15,000+ staff are aware of what is going on within the company, as well as understanding which key products to focus on selling in a dynamic business model, and to provide them with information about the most important features and benefits relating to these products? BT has a cascade training system in place. What they wished to achieve was a consistent corporate message whilst still providing an environment that allowed for group discussion, local personalisation and information sharing.

We created a quarterly 20-minute video featuring clips from senior managers within the business, who talked about the primary areas of focus which were most relevant to their areas of the business at that time. The video was hosted by an up-and-coming actor, with a clearly-defined script.

All customer-facing staff attended a meeting run by one of BT’s training managers at which this video was shown. We also created a presentation, supported by trainer notes, and a suite of desktop promotional accessories featuring sales prompts which were given out to all staff. Sales training support materials were hosted on BT’s intranet, and all advisers were expected to familiarise themselves with this content. The final element was an interactive online quiz, which tested audience knowledge about content relating to that quarter’s sales focus.

 

‘First class. The entire team were brilliant – great fun and very switched on.’

Channel Training Manager
BT

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DORA THE EXPLORER

by BGL Communications on June 21, 2017
Dora-Logo DORA THE EXPLORER

DORA THE EXPLORER

We were commissioned by Nickelodeon to develop strategic and creative concepts to support promotional point of sale concepts for Dora the Explorer, campaigns that could be tailored to the requirements of individual multiple grocery retail chains located across Europe – in the UK, this meant companies such as Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s, some of whose stores provide an important sales channel for Dora the Explorer products.

The objective underlying the project was to provide their sales force with presentation tools that they could use in preliminary discussions with their corporate customers to demonstrate a variety of sales promotion concepts to increase sales of products specifically featuring the Dora the Explorer brand. We additionally looked at opportunities to demonstrate the potential benefits of an integrated long-term strategy outside of these retail channels that would support and encourage repeat sales on an on-going basis.

The process began with market research, which revealed powerful insights about purchasing patterns, needs and values amongst the target audience. This helped to clarify strategic direction. The core objective identified in the client briefing process was to reward milestones – the achievement of “firsts” by children. Dora the Explorer is a powerful role model for kids, and our research identified a need to create an environment which rewarded family-specific issues, as well as firsts that might be small as well as big, and to reinforce positive new habits concerning everyday behaviour.

We saw an opportunity for the Dora the Explorer brand to recognise, reward and reinforce a wide variety of positive behaviours in children. We identified four types of ‘firsts’ and we proposed that the POS was provided in the form of a pack with physical elements to help parents to celebrate important milestones.

We created three different creative concepts – each of which could be offered to a specific multiple retailer and tailored to fit their corporate brand strategy. We developed add-on promotional ideas for retailers to use in-store to make the campaigns come alive. We identified third-party collaboration opportunities that would make the idea bigger and more powerful. We proposed shopping centre roadshows to provide wider exposure with positive PR opportunities supporting the key message that Dora the Explorer is the perfect brand guardian for important milestones in a child’s formative years. Finally, we created a concept to launch Dora into the world of social media with ‘Dora’s World’, where families would be able to safely share firsts and photos of their kids with family and friends in a secure way. This idea included an Explorers Club concept to encourage loyalty to the brand past the initial point of purchase.

 

‘Great concepts. Very pleased.’

Marketing Manager
Nickelodeon

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ESSO

by BGL Communications on June 21, 2017
Esso-logo ESSO

ESSO

Esso is one of the largest petroleum companies in the world. We delivered a forecourt campaign, the primary aim of which was to promote customer service to 6,000 staff employed at 600 privately-owned petrol stations across the UK.

We beat off the challenge of seven other agencies to win this work – the client told us that they were impressed by the depth of our strategic insights and the quality of our creative work, combined with the proactive approach we took at finding economies.

One of the key insights we gained from our research was that there are two types of cashier who work in forecourts – those who work less than six months, and those who work longer than six years. Therefore, we developed a two-pronged strategy to meet the needs of both audience groups. As it was also evident that there was a huge mix of nationalities, languages and cultures across the estate, we recognised the need to deliver communications in a tiered way to meet a wider variety of needs. The overriding concept was simple. We called the campaign Customer Watch to correlate with Esso’s through-the-line Price Watch consumer campaign. WATCH was an acronym for five simple things we wished cashiers to focus on when serving customers – Welcome, Attitude, Thoughtfulness, Consideration, Helpfulness. The key to the success of this campaign was to maximise registration – we used a variety of techniques to achieve 90% enrolment within a month of launch. The campaign strategy achieved 75-80% participation each month. This involved mystery shoppers, scratch cards, newsletters, promotions and quizzes. We made customer service visible, fun and interesting.

Mystery shopper scores rose steadily. The secret to the ongoing success of the campaign was to make the audience enjoy participating in the programme. We also used the monthly newsletter to highlight top performers and to promote important corporate messages and product news.

 

‘Great campaign. Highly impressed.’

Training Manager
Esso UK

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IBM

by BGL Communications on June 21, 2017
IBM-Logo IBM

IBM

IBM is one of the largest computer companies in the world. We delivered an award-winning UK channel marketing campaign for their PC division. The aim of the campaign was to promote sales of IBM PCs via their channel sales network, which included distributors, corporate resellers and value added retailers. Our strategy was to create a sales promotion campaign that was highly visible and great fun, as we knew that sales people working in this marketplace were highly remunerated and it was challenging to engage with them unless incentives stood out from the crowd.

Every sale generated a scratch card, and every scratch card won a mystery prize, which could be exchanged for store vouchers, a bottle of champagne, a bunch of flowers to send to a loved one, or for entry into a prize draw. The theme was based loosely on James Bond. Because there were different sizes of business within the channel, we operated a tier system, so everyone had a fair chance of winning one of the quarterly top performer rewards, which was always some form of high octane adventure.

We were subsequently appointed to deliver a pan-European channel marketing campaign. We overcame legal, cultural and taxational issues to deliver a £1m programme that included elements of communication, education, recognition and reward. The most important benefit of the strategy was that – for the first time – it provided IBM with the contact details of sales, service, technical and support staff across their entire European dealer network.

‘We worked together to develop a large sales incentive programme to be delivered across the EMEA region. It was a great success, and we were able to measure sales numbers as well as incentivise a lot of salespeople within our business partners. The agency is customer-focused, creative and great to work with.’

Pernille Loevengreen
Channel Marketing Manager
IBM

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IDT FINANCE

by BGL Communications on June 20, 2017
IDT-Finance-black-logo-300x50 IDT FINANCE

IDT FINANCE

IDT Finance is a leader in mobile phone card technology; they now wished to enter into the prepaid credit card marketplace due to a declining marketplace for phone cards. We were chosen to launch the first ever prepaid MasterCard available over-the-counter, with a £1m+ campaign budget.

We were involved in developing the branding, communication and marketing strategy to support the business plan, which initially involved recruiting thousands of independent CTN (confectioner tobacconist newsagent) retailers around the UK. We created various brand concepts during the pitching process and Prime Card was born.

We demonstrated how the features of the card provided a broad range of benefits to different target audiences. The unbanked, who desired the ability to make online transactions. Parents who wished to share money with children travelling overseas. Gifting to friends and family. Migrant workers who wished to send money home. We held focus groups with target audiences to better understand their needs.

We were responsible for the creation of the website – content, structure, navigation, copywriting, photography, graphic design and so on. We also created product packaging and retail point of sale packs; desk mats, window posters, promotional leaflets, shelf wobblers, etc. We helped to train the selling-in team.

We managed to achieve coverage within 15,000 PayPoint and ePay retailers across the UK during a three-month pre-launch campaign. Our strategy involved ongoing retail refreshment POS packs to maximise support and visibility.

Advertising activities included a targeted door drop campaign, London tube car advertising, six-sheet posters, pay-per-click advertising, regional radio, local press and PR. Fresh campaigns were launched throughout the year as additional product features were added.

The campaign was a success – purchases of Prime Card overachieved sales targets outlined in the business plan. The product launch won an industry award.

‘They were a pleasure to work with. They are reliable, delivering quality work on time; energetic and enthusiastic; and very good with people. They are problem solvers – willing to find solutions for business and marketing challenges – and excellent at managing client relationships. They combine an impressive background in marketing and communications with a commercial pragmatism, appreciating the important balance between creative thinking and a client’s commercial realities. I look forward to working with them again.’

Jamie King
Managing Director
IDT Finance

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KUEHNE + NAGEL

by BGL Communications on June 20, 2017
K-N-Logo-300x60 KUEHNE + NAGEL

KUEHNE + NAGEL

Kuehne + Nagel is one of the largest global providers of integrated supply chain solutions. We were appointed to provide ad hoc marketing support to their UK office by their sales and marketing director, who wanted to work with an independent marketing agency to deliver effective solutions at a fair price. He was also looking for a marketing partner that he could rely upon to deliver work on time and on budget, who was responsive and flexible, and who had a good reputation for the quality of their strategic and creative work. Being a busy man, he also needed to work with an agency who he could trust to get on with things without constantly demanding his input.

The first project we worked on was an award entry, which they had never previously won. Under exacting time pressure, we interviewed the relevant people and absorbed a significant amount of information. We wrote the entry and created supporting assets, all the time working in close partnership with our client contacts. Kuehne + Nagel won the award, and we were subsequently invited to support them with another award entry, which they also won. As part of this process, we developed a series of email marketing campaigns to promote the award nomination process, and then to announce the success to their customer network.

We were subsequently commissioned to deliver a series of leaflets, promoting various products and services, which involved research and planning, design and artwork, copywriting and copyediting, image search and retouching. We were then asked to assist with the creation of signage for their new flagship head office near Heathrow. The designs have proven so popular that they have now been rolled out in regional offices across the UK and EMEA.

We were asked to assist with the creation of a corporate presentation that could be used by the company’s 500+ salespeople across the UK. The challenge was to integrate content from various vertical and horizontal parts of the business, all of whom had previously developed their own presentations, none of which were congruent with the brand proposition. We also needed to make sure that the presentation was compliant with corporate guidelines. Another key objective was to make sure that it was easy to navigate around the presentation, technically ensuring that it would display correctly on every single person’s laptop. We designed the presentation so that it had sections which could be edited by the user to personalise it to their particular presentation needs. We created an interactive presentation with a menu system that allowed users to access any section in two clicks. This was important as the presentation ran to 200+ slides, and a linear solution would have proven unusable. We created an animated video to launch the presentation, which is now used behind reception at many of their UK offices to provide a visually interesting welcome to the business.

 

‘Abacus have never let me down. They are very reliable and I trust them to get on and do the work.’

Francis Blackmore
Director – Customer Solutions & Marketing
Kuehne + Nagel

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LAND ROVER

by BGL Communications on June 20, 2017
Land-Rover-Logo LAND ROVER

LAND ROVER

Land Rover is a global automotive brand. We delivered a range of dealership marketing activities, including group incentive travel, channel communications, and corporate events.

Our primary area of involvement was in the creation and delivery of a sales incentive programme to recognise and reward the achievements of various dealership departments, including management, sales representatives, service engineers and parts specialists.

Working closely with our clients at Land Rover, we devised a series of campaigns to encourage these departments to deliver tangible added value benefits for the business. For dealer management, targets were set to assess performance aggregated across all departments within the business. They were split into regional groups and the best performing dealerships won an incentive to join an exclusive annual travel trip. Parts, sales and service managers were rewarded with attendance at prestigious domestic events, and sales representatives also accumulated points that could be exchanged for gifts or vouchers.

The programme also included knowledge testing and mystery shopping. We sent out regular newsletters to remind dealer staff about key points of focus throughout the year.

We also devised and delivered bespoke training campaigns, including a ‘ride and drive’ roadshow, where dealership sales staff were invited to attend a series of events around the UK, which allowed them to compare Land Rovers with competitor models. This helped to assuage fears and doubts about the perceived strengths of the competition.

 

‘Really enjoyed working with the team. Very pleased with everything they delivered.’

Operations Manager
Land Rover

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