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Excerpt

Table of Contents

Abstract

List of Figures

List of Tables

1 Introduction

2 Situation Analysis

3 Aims and Objectives

4 E-operation Strategy

5 E-tactics
5.1 Email Tactic
5.2 Homepage Tactic
5.3 Internet Tactic
5.4 Mobile Phone Tactic
5.5 Further Digital Tactics

6 E-CRM

7 Conclusion

References

Appendix A Analysis of Reg Vardy’s and competitive websites

Appendix B Detailed analysis of selected digital technologies

Abstract

With a total of 81 dealerships and a turnover of 1.3 billion pounds, Reg Vardy is one of the leading motor retail groups in the UK. In order to acquire new customers and maximise customer retention with the help of digital technologies, the company needs to develop an e-marketing strategy.

This paper provides a situation analysis of the present e-marketing situation of Reg Vardy, including the competitive environment based on the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities. Furthermore, the aims and objectives of Reg Vardy’s e-marketing strategy are formulated. Under the e-strategy section, potential digital technologies and the buying process are outlined to develop a ‘five-phase e-operation strategy’. This allows for targeting new and existing customers in all stages of the buying process. Specific e-tactics for customer acquisition and retention are suggested for Reg Vardy. Finally, the paper gives advice on E-CRM issues.

It could be shown that Reg Vardy’s main weakness is its current poor usage of digital technologies, the absence of an e-sales channel, the poor exploitation of multimedia functions, and the neglect of customer retention activities.

Among other recommendations, it is suggested using digital technologies to develop the market by reaching new segments, and to develop the product by offering new digital-services. General academic advice on E-CRM underlines the more practical recommendations.

List of Figures

Figure number Name of Figure

Figure 1 The marketing strategy planning process (adopted by Strauss et al. 2003; and Chaston, 2002).

Figure 2 Potential digital technologies (Smith and Chaffey, 2003).

Figure 3 A five-stage customer purchase process (Chaston, 2002).

Figure 4 Ansoff’s Matrix: Future Product and Market Development.

Figure 5 Technical framework of E-CRM process (Hamid, 2005).

List of Tables

Table number Name of Table

Table 1 Usage of digital technology at different stages of the buying process.

1 Introduction

In order to develop an effective E-marketing strategy that will allow Reg Vardy to acquire new customers and maximise customer retention, Chaston (2002) and Strauss et al. (2003) suggest following a formal marketing strategy planning process. The following figure shows an adopted version of the planning process by Chaston (2002) and Strauss et al. (2003), which is applied for Reg Vardy.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: The marketing strategy planning process (adopted by Strauss et al. 2003; and Chaston, 2002).

After analysing the present situation of the company, future objectives are identified. With the help of these objectives, an E-marketing strategy is developed, followed by specific tactics. Finally, advice on E-CRM issues needs to be provided.

2 Situation Analysis

The situation analysis presents the first step to the development of an e-marketing plan (Chaston, 2002; Strauss et al., 2003). This section analyses the present situation of the company Reg Vardy by reviewing the existing e-marketing strategy with the help of a SWOT analysis.

Reg Vardy is one of the leading motor retail groups in the UK, with a total of 81 dealerships. The company was founded in 1920. Today, the organisation has a turnover of 1.3 billion pounds, employing approximately 4,700 employees, and selling about 150,000 cars per annum (E-Marketing Assessment Details, 2005).

The company has its own in-house marketing agency called Vardy Marketing. This unit is responsible for an annual advertising and marketing budget of 17 million pounds. Recent Reg Vardy investments in IT for marketing include:

- A customer database for
- New vehicle registrations
- Used car sales
- New car buyer studies
- Customer satisfaction studies
- Customer complaints
- Dealer attitudes
- Major homepage used for
- Building customer relationships on the web
- An online product catalogue
- Product/ price information on a 24/7 basis
- Customising product/ deal i.e. choice of car and finance package
- Offering online incentives and promotions i.e. low deposits and low-rate finance
- Communicating online with customers on a regular basis (email marketing)

In the following, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treads of Reg Vardy’s current E-marketing strategy are highlighted. These have been identified through an analysis of Reg Vardy’s and its competitors’ web site, including Jamjar, Autoscaout24, mg, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche (see appendix A):

Strengths

- The web page allows customers to receive product and price information. The customer does not need to travel from branch to branch anymore.
- Links on commercial sites such as Lycos and Alliance and Leicester continue to build brand awareness.
- The company uses a customer database to cluster customers into groups, which allows for precise targeting with relevant offers.
- Based on the customers buying cycles identified with the database, the company invites the clients to a special evening at their local dealership where they can save up to 10 percent off new cars (cost-price concept).
- Information collection is via a gold card scheme and customer profiling has recently been carried out by using the internet

Weakness

- The Internet is used as an information tool rather than an alternative sales channel.
- Currently, Reg Vardy does not offer online discounts or process orders online.
- There is poor use of multimedia on the web page of Reg Vardy.
- There is a low level of presentation regarding car pictures (inappropriate background environment, no pictures of the interior car design available).
- No newsletter service is provided.

Opportunities

- The web page enables the sales of cars in areas which Vardy does not target through traditional methods, i.e. radio, newspaper and TV.
- Using digital technologies such as the mobile phone, emails and the internet, the company can acquire new customer and maximise customer retention.
- Interactive online communication with customers could be applied to maximise customer loyalty i.e. personalised communication.
- Cost savings through E-marketing could be achieved.
- CD catalogues or download of the recent cars for the customers could be provided.
- The use of collection and comparison lists on the homepage would facilitate the buying decision of the customer.

Threats

- A major threat to the traditional role of the car dealers is disintermediation. Competitors such as Jamjar offer lower prices by selling cars online. Other indirect competitors such as Autoscout24 use their web page to allow the customer to sell his or her car online. This also presents also an opportunity for Reg Vardy to generate new business.
- The development of groups of customers, who package themselves together in order to negotiate discounts with dealers.

3 Aims and Objectives

The SWOT analysis has clarified the current situation of Reg Vardy regarding the current E-marketing operations. The overall aim of this paper is to provide an e-marketing strategy to acquire new customers and to maximise customer retention. In order to achieve this aim following objectives are set:

- To develop a potential future e-strategy.
- To explore all digital technologies to provide specific tactics for customer acquisition and retention.
- To provide advice on E-CRM issues.

4 E-operation Strategy

The future e-operation strategy for Reg Vardy is developed by exploiting the whole range of available digital technologies to serve the customers needs at all stages of their purchase process. In the following, potential technologies are suggested. Then, the customer purchase process model by Chaston (2002) builds the bases for a ‘five stage e-operation strategy’.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

For a detailed description of selected potential technologies, including case studies, see appendix B.

One of the most powerful tools provided to understand the consumer buying behaviour is the five stage purchase process (Chaston, 2002) (Fig. 3).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 3: A five-stage customer purchase process (Chaston, 2002).

To enter the purchase process, a customer needs specific stimuli, for example, observing the latest model of a car in a dealer’s showroom. Once the customer has entered the information search phase, the marketer must ensure that the customer is totally satisfied with the available information. Chaston (2002) states that the information evaluation stage has been dramatically shortened through the internet. The customer can compare prices and services with the click of a button, instead of driving from shop to shop, reviewing various brochures or talking to a number of sales people. Then, the purchase phase occurs, followed by the post-purchase evaluation phase. In the post-purchase evaluation phase, the customer evaluates the product based on quality, performance, and time of delivery. If the customer is satisfied with his purchase decision, he or she is likely to return for the next purchase (customer retention).

This model can be used to develop tailored tactics for each stage of the customer’s buying process. With this overall e-strategy, Reg Vardy can acquire new customers with e-marketing activities focusing on the first four stages; as well as maximise customer retention by focusing on the final stage. In the final stage the customer retains positive feedback. However, most former customers will start the purchase process again from the beginning.

Finally, this ‘five step e-operation strategy’ will allow Reg Vardy: to sell its products to customers in areas, which have not yet been reached by traditional media (market development); to offer new services such as e-sales operations and/or to sell spare parts online (product development); to reach new customers and sell them the enhanced services (total diversification); to strengthen the market penetration with the help of digital technologies (see Ansoff’s Matrix below).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 4: Ansoff’s Matrix: Future Product and Market Development.

5 E-tactics

In this section, detailed e-tactics for each technology are provided. The identified digital technologies will be exploited to target various stages of the buying process; the table below demonstrates at which stages, which medium will be applied:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Table 1: Usage of digital technology at different stages of the buying process.

5.1 Email Tactic

Emails will be used to stimulate the need recognition, to facilitate the information search and evaluation process and, finally, to positively influence the post-evaluation decision.

Stimulation at the need recognition phase – To stimulate new potential customers to buy a car from a Reg Vardy dealership, emails are sent to specific target segments. In general, there are two approaches how to obtaining email addresses of prospects Chaffey (2003): first, purchasing or renting of opt-in bought-in lists from a list broker or list owner of email addresses of individuals who have agreed to receive marketing emails; secondly, building a house list, for example by using the web site opt-in techniques, combined with an incentive. Email addresses can also be collected offline at each dealership. Chaffey (2003) suggests five different forms of incentives which can be used to encourage the disclosure of the email address and profile details when a new customer enters the webpage. These incentives are:

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Details

Pages
32
Year
2005
ISBN (eBook)
9783638372947
ISBN (Book)
9783638705561
File size
499 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v38126
Institution / College
University of Teesside – Teesside Business School
Grade
A
Tags
E-Marketing Strategy Vardy

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Title: E-Marketing Strategy for Reg Vardy