Indian firm's new customer strategy doubles sales
The Indian battery manufacturer Amara Raja Batteries Limited (ARBL) reports significant financial benefit as a result of a customer-based strategy implemented with the help of loyalty marketing consultancy SurfGold.
The company's HI-WAY relationship marketing programme was launched one year ago, and has recently featured among the world-wide finalists in the Peppers and Rogers marketing impact awards. ARBL's HI-WAY brand of batteries are targeted at the heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segment, but was considered a marginal player in the market, having had difficulty in penetrating the truck owners segment. The company also suffered from low product and brand visibility in the market.
In an effort to overcome these problems, ARBL launched its customer relationship programme, aiming to develop a healthy relationship with truck and fleet owners on a one-to-one basis, and to educate and enrol the key decision influencers (i.e. the battery mechanics) about HI-WAY batteries, so they could recommend them to their fleet owners. The programme aimed to increase HI-WAY's market presence and increase its share of the market by demonstrating care for the customer and by changing the perceptions of key influencers within fleet operators.
Gathering data A team of marketers was employed in different cities throughout India. They contacted truck and fleet owners with offer of a free electrical audit of their trucks. The free check-ups were then conducted with the help of local battery mechanics, on behalf of ARBL. Reports were then sent to the fleet owners containing full information on the electrical health of the trucks, covering the battery, wiring, and head lamps and the complete electrical system.
Apart from creating a great of amount of brand visibility in various trucking zones throughout the country, this activity helped ARBL collate a lot of customer data - including details of fleet owners, the number of umber of trucks they owned, the nature of their business, and even their preferred make and specifications of battery.
Using the data In a span of less than one year, SurfGold was able to use this data to generate a comprehensive database of fleet owners. More than 20,000 trucks were audited and sales of HI-WAY batteries grew up by 200%, with the overall market share increasing by 500%.
When asked the critical success factor for the programme, N. Ramasubramani (country manager for SurfGold India) explained: "The main reason that the HI-WAY relationship programme has been such a huge success is that we tried to move the pitch away from sales and demonstrated a concern by identifying and fulfilling an unarticulated demand, and hence built a positive opinion in the influencer's mind."
Indeevar Govardhanagiri, business head for ARBL, concluded: "Before, we were just another battery in the market and now we're viewed as a company that wants to be customer-centric and have a good relationship."