National Digital Strategy Development & Implementation

AHG

Automotive Holdings Group Limited (AHG) is a diversified automotive retailing and logistics group.

Background

Automotive Holdings Group Limited (AHG) is Australasia’s largest automotive retailer and the largest refrigerated food transport and warehousing provider. AHG maintain more than 180 car and truck franchises (108 Dealerships) representing 12 of the 13 most popular passenger vehicle brands and employs more than 5000 staff across Australia and New Zealand.

Problem

PHC identified a technology gap between where AHG was and the scope of offerings and platforms that exist in the technology market today. In order to move forward, there needed to be changes in AHG’s technology and business operations through digital transformation.

AHG manages 147 dealership websites on the Sitefinity CMS, which was rolled out in 2011. The Sitefinity CMS platform had become resource intensive and was running across 6 servers. The platform had become slow to respond and was not mobile responsive. The lack of marketing and developer resources contributed to limited innovation in the online space. This resulted in a number of manufacturers requesting control over dealership websites as the AHG website platform fell short of both manufacturer and business requirements.

There was also a competitive shift in the online landscape that had seen both a technical and innovation gap appear between AHG and its competitors. With the changing expectations of the customer, the existing CMS platform, Sitefinity, was failing to meet the required minimum standards to successfully manage the AHG website.

PHC identified a number of requirements as critical to the website platform that included responsiveness and optimisation through to technical factors such as the ability to easily add features and enhancements to the platform and server load.

Objective

AHG senior management sought to take a proactive approach in developing their digital capacity and understanding the role the digital channel plays in building and sustaining long-term customer relationships and generating sales.

PHC undertook an internal review of software platforms and resources. The PHC team was given key digital projects which AHG saw as a priority. The team then created a roadmap and timeline of key milestones to transform and deliver AHG’s national digital marketing operations and programs.

This resulted in a digital scope of work comprised of the following projects:

  1. Mobile Application: Manage engagement with current and prospective customers;
  2. Lead Management Tool: Manage inbound leads and manage the data for potential full marketing automation;
  3. Website Redesign: Mobile responsive optimisation and reassessment of current website content;
  4. Customer Relationship Management: Create a single customer profile that will become the main focal point for all marketing activity; and
  5. Create a National Digital Strategy that focuses on customer acquisition, engagement, monetisation, future-proofing, scalability and integration.

Solution

PHC proposed to immediately deliver on the following individual projects that were identified as ‘quick wins’ for the benefit of AHG:

  • Management and implementation of the Mobile Application;
  • Migration of all dealerships to third party suppliers; and
  • RFP Completed for National and Dealership sites. National and Truck website briefs written.
  • Project management of trial and then roll out of Lead Capture Tool.
  • SUV Microsite completed

After 12 months of working on the Digital Strategy, PHC has been able to scope and deliver the following key projects:

  • Digital Strategy – Including proposed formation of central Digital Marketing team.
  • Business Case
    • Business requirements for three key pieces of work including modernisation of the website platform, designing the digital marketing database and designing the leader tracker and management solution have been fully scoped; and
    • Business Case has been presented to the CEO for approval;
  • Mobile Application
    • Requirements scoped;
    • Request for Quotation developed and published;
    • Quotations assessed; and
    • Developer has been engaged and is currently supervised.

Phase 1 of the application has been delivered and is live in the application store for both IOS and Android.

  • Over 80% of dealership sites have been migrated to new external providers.
  • Lead Management Trial – A trial of two lead management solutions was carried out for the duration of 3 months. A decision was made to go with Internal Solution.
  • LeadTracker Pro (LTP)
    • Roll out – LTP is currently at 18 WA dealerships, 2 VIC dealerships, 1 QLD and 1 NSW. Aim is to implement the system for all 108 dealerships by the end of 2016; and
  • Training documentation and roll out scheduled.Completed survey evaluations for websites and mobile applications.
  • Proposed and consolidated reporting brief.
  • Undertook an evaluation and exploration of marketing automation options including investigating Marketo, Infusionsoft, Hubspot and Hybris.

PHC also identified a need for a centralised CRM within AHG to deliver systems that create a single customer record. This record will allow the online marketing team to create a digital marketing strategy that includes marketing automation and direct marketing campaigns. Consumers now expect and prefer personalised marketing, which has positive impact on conversion rates and makes conversions easier. In order to deliver this personalised experience, PHC is currently assisting AHG in developing the dedicated central digital marketing database.

Outcome

The digital projects outlined above will give AHG greater transparency and customer insights that will be used to guide the customer journey, reduce acquisition costs, improve lead management processes in dealerships and shorten the sales cycle.

PHC will continue to undertake a major digital marketing transformation for the AHG Group that will modernise its marketing efforts and lead to organisational efficiency and effectiveness.

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