We asked three of our current live wires about their roles and how they’ve achieved success over the last year. This is what they told us:
Group Director Strategy and Commercial Planning
What’s the secret of a good commercial director?
It’s a combination of identifying the different needs of customer segments and developing effective responses to our competitive threats. That requires a detailed understanding of the UK market, and so the team analysed different segments using business models mapped against dealer segments (e.g. franchise/regional).
Is it also a case of ‘know your enemy’?
Exactly! Most competitors typically address only one segment, which allows greater granularity in searches. As a national brand, we’ve been looking at how to achieve closer regional focus.
You’ve clearly been successful.
Data quality has been key, along with cross-functional teams, executive buy-in and a strategic commitment.
Next, we’ll be asking how we can demonstrate value and creating tools for sales teams to do this. A customer satisfaction programme will also help us to understand dealer needs.
Mobile Product Manager
What have you been up to, Gareth?
Developing and delivering what has been called TMG’s most successful product launch ever - mobile! It’s been a busy year rolling out the Auto Trader Mobile platforms, a new version of the mobile site, our iPhone application, and launching a new advertising platform for dealers.
Were the launches difficult?
We worked hard. The sales force was highly effective at talking the product out to dealers, and there was a certain amount of dealer education required - but most of them immediately saw the value of such a well conceived product.
How has the reception been?
Enthusiastic! We got twice as many dealers on board than anticipated, and the iPhone app attracted 50% more users. Dealers have enjoyed much more exposure as a result. We currently have 4000 customers on board.
Summarise the mobile offer for us.
It’s a self-sustained digital advertising platform and dealers pay to use mobile as a separate channel: Auto Trader wherever they are.
Head of Display Advertising (Autotrader.co.uk)
What has your team being doing, Naomi?
We’ve been consistently over-achieving revenue targets in tough market conditions!
What else is new in the market?
Networks, which essentially trade in unsold banner space, have become dominant. It’s a cost-effective way for agencies to buy media, though not always with the guarantee of running on premium sites. The credit crunch has made advertisers more willing to trial this strategy.
How have you overcome these challenges?
We restructured the team with more focus on agencies, seeking to prove our value in terms of the response we drive and the research we provide. Accordingly, we organised Insight events to provide ‘money can’t buy’ insights to agencies. Great new products also helped - the homepage takeover skin is hugely popular and drove more traffic to the Fiat site than Google in one day. We’ve really focused on our customer, and the implementation of SalesForce has been an incredibly useful tool to help us manage this.
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