Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 53 of 73

AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I FEBRUARY 2014 50 BRANDING tant to downstream customers, develop a downstream marketing strategy to deliv- er a simpler message, with increased reg- ularity, while providing more compelling benef ts for the customer. T e incentive for OEMs and outside ser- vice providers to support f eet operations initiatives is very clear. T ey can be count- ed on to not only support your brand, but to augment your marketing ef orts. In fact, they should provide you with a supplemen- tal marketing plan for both upstream and downstream marketing. However, drivers and employees from other departments who support f eet need an incentive to be fully engaged. T e easi- est, yet still impactful, marketing tool is rec- ognition. T e driver rewards concept has been around for years and has proven to be an ef ective driver behavior change-agent. As part of a downstream marketing plan that includes a medium for a promoting driver f eet policy adherence, driver recognition can spur downstream customers' competitive nature and deliver results. Electronic marketing tools, like e-newsletters, digital photography, video, and webcasts make downstream communications less time consuming and cheaper to implement, as well. AF About the Author Ed Pierce is the president of It's the Arts Integrat- ed Marketing, which offers marketing and branding solutions that include every- thing from content marketing to brand channel strategies. Previ- ously, Pierce managed market- ing and branding for ARI and ARI Fleet UK. He can be reached via e-mail at need to talk about everything in terms of prof t and other corporate goals. When you want buy-in for a new strategy, especial- ly if it requires additional budget, do the legwork f rst and showcase your research. Next, in addition to presenting manage- ment with these metrics, be prepared for every question they could ask. Assume that every statement you make will be challenged by the question, "Why?" T en, walk through every step in the pro- cess that leads to the ultimate support of a particular corporate goal. For example: When promoting the abil- ity to improve TVO, it's important to iden- tify the single most important corporate objective, and then build the analysis step- by-step. Remember to engage and address the interests and concerns of all stakehold- ers, developing buy-in and allies through a solution that helps improve those ar- eas as well. T ey want to know: "What's in it for me?" ● Deliver Bad News with a Positive Spin. T e best strategy for occasions when you have bad news to deliver is to be hon- est and upfront as soon as you discover it. Detail how large the damage is and the steps you've outlined to turn things around. By taking ownership of the bad news, bringing it to light quickly, and showcas- ing your proactive approach to problem solving, you'll have averted the crisis sit- uation while helping to actually improve the client-consultant relationship you want to build. Incentivizing Downstream While the upstream-focused message of f eet operations' ef ectiveness in sup- porting corporate goals is also impor- resources are needed, and how much time it will take. Finally, once you speak management's language, you need them to understand your language. Educate management and other constituencies with one goal in mind: another manager with a good understand- ing of f eet operations can be a powerful ally and even a convincing proponent of your strategies. ● Establish an Ef ective Communi- cation Schedule. T e good news about sharing a common language is that you will communicate more readily with your constituencies. In fact, they will reach out to you. T e bad news, the communica- tions will usually be questions. Staf will have questions. Drivers have questions. C-levels have questions. Rather than deal with a host of requests for updates or de- tails from dif erent people, set f xed times and methods for updates. Set up a f xed meeting schedule and invite all involved stakeholders, from se- nior management to other team leads. Use this time to review reports on per- formance to date and monthly, summa- rize key highlights on what's working and what needs attention, and alert everyone to new initiatives. In between meetings, send out period- ic updates via e-mail. Be proactive when anticipating questions you could be asked by management. Additionally, send out re- ports as progress or issues dictate. By set- ting the tone for communication, you'll earn the conf dence of upper management and also save your precious time from all their interruptions. ● Develop Buy-In and Allies. Now you already know that with management you FLOATING YOUR FLEET NEWS DOWNSTREAM Ed Finnegan, director of the State of Georgia Off ce of Fleet Management, recognized the challenge of enlisting support for his initiative among the 143 dispersed state agencies that utilize f eets ranging from one to 4,500 vehicles. His solution was a weekly eNewsletter called the Friday Blast. He believes that the "downstream" dissemination of f eet content offers several benef ts. "Because each agency has so many different business issues to contend with on a daily basis, f eet could become lost in the shuff e. Our Friday Blast, however, is an unassuming, yet effective, marketing tool that keeps f eet policy adherence, the f eet calendar of events, and promotion of positive agency f eet per- formances. I want to win support for our cause from our readers. So, it must be an easy read that is con- cise and engaging," he said. "More so, I want it to ref ect my personality rather than look like a newsfeed. If I'm willing to share my thoughts, they'll be more willing to share their thoughts with me. All in all, the feed- back regarding the Friday Blast has been excellent. Best of all, results prove that we have strong support for our programs by the various agencies." FINNEGAN A F 0 2 1 4 r e m a r k e t . i n d d 5 0 AF0214remarket.indd 50 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 6 : 2 9 A M 1/24/14 6:29 AM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Automotive Fleet - FEB 2014