Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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TO SUCCESSF ULLY DEVELOP A AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I FEBRUARY 2014 46 Fleet managers can take a page from marketing to develop a f eet's brand and make it an integral part of the company. BY ED PIERCE M anagement guru Peter Drucker once said: "T e aim of market- ing is to know and to understand the customer so well that the product or service f ts him and sells itself." T e term marketing may conjure nega- tive images of lascivious "Mad Men," fast- talking telemarketers, or annoying website pop-up ads. But, replace the word market- ing with management, then specify a cus- tomer in terms dealt with every day — a boss, the CEO or company president, de- partment heads who are f eet stakeholders, f eld f eet administrators, and, of course, drivers — and, suddenly, Drucker's mar- keting mantra has great meaning. T ere's no doubt that a f eet manager's ef ectiveness depends on "knowing your stuf ." But, the ability to market a manag- er's or department's competencies improves the chances of being recognized as an im- portant asset. By utilizing the best prac- tices described below, you can create and impart a brand for the company's f eet op- eration, an image or impression you want to project as an organizational asset in the minds of the company's key constituencies. 1 Summary of Value. How would you articulate the value a department brings to the organization on a daily basis? How would you do it in a few, memorable words? Generally, the f eet department wants to be seen as problem solvers sought out by cus- tomers when they need answers or help. T e f eet manager's contribution to the organization's bottom line is advanced by an image that allows you to demonstrate the work you do best, elicits quality feed- back, engenders admiration, and creates advocates within the organization. Ironically, as the department/f eet man- ager, you may be the least likely person to do this. You may have too many thoughts on the topic. You know how much work gets done, how many departments you touch, and how much value you bring to the company in so many dif erent ways. 2 Def ne the Market. In the case of f eet decision makers, upstream customers in- clude company stakeholders: upper man- agement, f nance, procurement operations, human resources, occupational safety, and other stakeholders impacted by f eet oper- ations. T e downstream customers include drivers, f eld administrators, in-house ga- rage staf , "sof -cost" departments, OEMs, and service providers. 3 Know the Market. T e goal of any marketing campaign is nothing less than to persuade someone to act the way you want them to act, believe what you want them to believe, and become an agent of change on your behalf. Not only do you need to know who these people are, but you need to know what they think. You need to get inside your customers' heads to more pre- cisely deliver an ef ective marketing mes- sage that makes your target think, "T is is what I need. T is manager understands my concerns and can help me." 5 STEPS To effectively market their departments, f eet managers need to: ● Def ne their value, customers, and brand. ● Manage communication between company stakeholders, customers, and their departments. ● Drive other departments to support f eet operations and its value within the company. AT A GLANCE A F 0 2 1 4 r e m a r k e t . i n d d 4 6 AF0214remarket.indd 46 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 6 : 2 9 A M 1/24/14 6:29 AM

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