Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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4 Brand Reinforcement. Circling back to the f rst point: Choose the words of your value message, as simply as possible. Based on my experience, you will f nd the right words from your customers. Af er all, you want to be what they want you to be. How- ever, complicating matters is the fact that what the CFO wants you to be will be dif- ferent than what the HR manager wants. And, that will be dif erent than what the sales VP wants — all the more reason to keep your message at the highest possible level. 5 Aspire to tie your department's im- age to corporate goals. Something as sim- ple as the play on words, "we drive value" makes the point. "Success in motion" de- f nes the f eet's role and goal. Whatever the f nal words, they must be consistent with the customers' interests and expectations. Once the words are right, you need to con- vey and reinforce that message at every turn and to every constituency, which re- quires a two-prong campaign. Reporting Upstream & Downstream In your role as manager, you ultimately report to upper management and involve stakeholders from other departments in setting goals, talking strategies, getting buy-in, communicating results, and pri- oritizing workf ow. T ese are your up- stream customers. Of course, you have many more custom- ers who can make or break the implemen- tation of even the f nest strategy. Drivers, f eld administrators, OEMs, service pro- viders, and other department employees that touch f eet are all down- stream customers. By sharing your brand and reinforc- ing that message with enough regularity to create understanding and build a base of advocates, you stand a better chance to achieve a sound f eet strategy. But, obvi- ously, the communications tasks are dif- ferent for upstream customers vs. down- stream customers. Managing Upstream If you've ever felt micromanaged or ig- nored by management, felt strongly about a strategy but couldn't get buy-in for it, or if you've ever felt sick at the thought of re- laying bad news, the following marketing communications tips can help you build a strong, trust-f lled client-consultant re- lationship with your key constituencies: ● Get on the Same Page. What does man- agement care about? Its corporate goals: growth, prof tability, social responsibili- ty, service excellence, and other big picture measures. Capture management's interest and earn its trust by translating f eet goals and strategies into business terms manage- ment will appreciate. For example, a long-accepted f eet met- ric, such as total cost of ownership (TCO) with its focus on return on investment (ROI), or return of cost, may not impress a management team absorbed with total value of ownership (TVO). T e TVO met- ric requires more work, specif cally, identi- fying the company's overall business goals, def ning the business change required to meet those objectives, and identifying the technology enablers required to achieve the business change. But, the good news is that, by doing so, you can build closer working relationships with procurement, f nance, and other departments you need as advocates. Start by sitting down with key manage- ment and stakeholders to jointly agree on strategy, goals, and timelines. T en, sched- ule regular update meetings throughout implementation. Keep everyone on the same page regarding what to expect, what AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I FEBRUARY 2014 48 BRANDING GE TTING ON THE SAME PAGE J ohn Dmochowsky, senior sales f eet manager at Mondelez International, recently shared some insight into suc- cessfully facilitating company buy-in for Mondelez's risk program, which came out of the company's Safety Summit. "The unique thing was to get all key stakeholders into a room, spending an entire day def ning expecta- tions, determining how they receive our current safety program, and projecting where we need to be done in the future," explained Dmochowsky. He added that attendees included representatives from risk man- agement, human resources, sales, and f eet. "The conversation was robust, and we had the opportunity to coalesce our key initiatives. We now have a rhythm going with this group. Everybody is engaged because everybody has skin in the game. As a re- sult, our plan will bring cost savings, but most importantly, it will enhance the safety of our employees at Mondelez International," he said. The ability to market a manager's or depart- ment's competencies improves the chances of being recognized as an important asset. PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/KALAWIN DMOCHOWSKY A F 0 2 1 4 r e m a r k e t . i n d d 4 8 AF0214remarket.indd 48 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 6 : 2 9 A M 1/24/14 6:29 AM

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