Magazine article Marketing

Profiting from a Long-Term Strategy

Magazine article Marketing

Profiting from a Long-Term Strategy

Article excerpt

Giovanni Cantarella, marketing director at Vauxhall Motors, says a long-term approach to media can save money, increase effectiveness and add flexibility

In 1980 we took the decision to increase our investment into television and in 1989 we extended our approach to seek a long-term relationship with certain of the then available suppliers. Without going into too much boring, and confidential, detail we signed agreements over a two-year period with a number of companies.

I believe this secured me some of the best deals available in the market. I'm confident it gave me access to the best quality airtime for my products and I know that in that two-year period I received incremental airtime with a value in excess of |pounds~1m. This deal was only possible because media was an integral part of our strategy development right from the very beginning. It helped to sharpen the direction of our creativity, it ensured efficient communication with my target audience and it increased the accountability of my scarce advertising budget.

Within our long-term policies we still require the flexibility to establish short-term promotions. Typically in the car industry this results in tactical press advertising using national newspapers. Invariably due to time constraints, this takes the form of single-page mono insertions promoting a particular deal.

It may seem strange for a client to say this, but these campaigns can often look very similar and often a newspaper can carry three or four or five competitive marques in the same issue. Again the clutter factor.

During the last 15 months, through an integrated media/creative development, we have taken successful strides to break away from the environment.

In July 1991 we switched a significant proportion of this traditional newspaper campaign onto outdoor. Despite the cries of "it cannot be posted" and "it will never work" we pressed ahead with a national campaign of 48 sheets and 96 sheet posters.

The results were startling. Our share of the 1991 August market was over 15%. And in the market that saw total sales down by 15%, Astra and Nova sales increased by 1% and 12% respectively. Pretty good in a mightily competitive retail sector where both models were over four years old.

But we do still need to provide press support. Since the beginning of 1992 we have taken a fresh approach to our use of national newspapers to advertise the Nova by exploiting the opportunity provided by on-the-run colour in all national newspapers. …

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