Following the team’s recent win at the CMAs, Dave Raynor, plumbing and heating category director at Polypipe, discusses how the manufacturer has successfully managed a year of complex communications challenges, including the restructuring of product divisions and the launch of new product lines.
In late 2012, we recognised an increasing cross-over between merchants and installers purchasing both our plumbing and underfloor heating products. In recognition of this cross-over, we combined these two leading product ranges to form one cohesive offering, the company’s largest – Polypipe Plumbing and Heating.The challenge the marketing team faced was to communicate this new offering to the target audience groups, in order to support Polypipe’s wider business objectives of increasing sales.
Delivering an integrated marketing campaign
In order to meet these objectives, we conducted detailed research into our target audiences – primarily plumbing installers and merchants. This research was then used to create and deliver a strategically-focused and integrated marketing campaign, including the launch of a significant number of new product lines and a new merchandising concept.
As part of this campaign, we revamped our online presence with the introduction of www.polypipe.com/plumbing-heating. Created to provide customers with a single source of information, the website comes complete with an installer knowledge centre, updated quotation tool and online ordering service. We also refreshed our marketing literature to accommodate the new offering including handy, pocket-sized literature and merchandising guides.
In order to capitalise on valuable face-to-face communication with our customers, we exhibited at a number of trade and consumer shows. Via a third party agency, we also implemented a trade and consumer PR campaign, which ran in parallel to a targeted programme of trade advertising.
Winning ‘Marketing Team of the Year’ was the second celebration of the evening for us as we also picked up the award for ‘Best Use of Press and Public Relations’ with our PR partner, Refresh PR.
Installers and merchants alike greeted our strategy with acclaim. Key results from the last year include expanded distribution and a five per cent sales increase, a combined audience reach of 11,814,828 via trade and consumer PR, an increase in merchant stockists and high sales of new product lines. Finally, average monthly enquiries were up 290%. The CMA award win rounds off a brilliant year for us, leaving the team optimistic about what 2014 will bring.