Ramping up data-led CRM in Nissan’s Fleet division

How KMMS has moved to revamp the car manufacturer’s marketing activity in the B2B space

KMMS’s success in developing Nissan UK’s retail Customer Relationship Management (CRM) into an insight-led loyalty programme opened doors for us, and we’re now working in the fleet arm of the auto maker’s business.

Nissan has significant growth aspirations in the B2B space, with a new Director of Fleet brought in to shake up performance.

KMMS was tasked with applying its experience in revolutionising Nissan’s retail CRM programme into the B2B space, as the car maker sought to grow its presence as a mobility solutions provider for businesses.

Our challenge was to bring a greater level of sophistication to Nissan’s Fleet division, so that the company could enhance and leverage the value of data to facilitate the sale and leasing of vehicles to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

KMMS was tasked with applying its experience in revolutionising Nissan’s retail CRM programme into the B2B space

We started working with Nissan’s fleet business in November 2016. Fleet is split into three segments – corporate, large fleet and small businesses.

Our role for 2017 was to support sales to the small business fleet segment – defined as small businesses who could be in the market for a fleet of 0-25 vehicles.

Our goals were to

1. Drive traffic to Nissan’s ‘Business Centres’ – dealers that have a dedicated business sales function, with dedicated B2B people and specialist commercial vehicles staff

2. Raise awareness of business centres among prospects

3. Drive leads for salespeople to nurture

Insight

Auditing data sources

The work started with an audit of Nissan’s fleet customer data. It quickly became apparent to us that the fleet business did not have the same rigour in terms of data entry that exists in Nissan’s retail business.

This meant that we needed to help Nissan define the technology and business strategy in Fleet and set up business practises that were fit for strategic action.

We needed to help Nissan define the technology and business strategy in Fleet and set up business practises that were fit for strategic action

Our initial brief was to focus primarily on retention versus acquisition. However, the state of the data meant that we needed to change the way Nissan did things before we could focus on retention. So, our work in Fleet so far has taken on two strands

1. Putting processes in place to begin collecting high-quality, actionable data for the purpose of long-term retention and loyalty marketing activity

2. Focusing on acquisition in the immediate term

Strategy

Focus on acquisition opportunities

Presented with Nissan’s poorly inputted data, we purchased a third-party specialist dataset on SMEs, to focus on smaller companies that might be in the market for a fleet of 0-25 vehicles.

We used this data to enrich INTERACT, our own database tool.

We then used Nissan’s 2017 model launch programme to time the roll out of our communications.

Our strategy was designed to leverage model launches to drive engagement and expand the pool of prospects

Nissan launched new Micra, Qashqai, and X-Trail models in the UK in 2017. Our strategy was designed to leverage these model launches to drive engagement and expand the pool of businesses who might be in the market for a fleet of vehicles, underpinned by Nissan’s business proposition.

We also matched the models to our dataset, so specific businesses were rolled into our activity based on the models that were most relevant to their business.

And because our third-party dataset had third-party opt-in, we also designed a system that flagged ‘handraisers’ from initial communications and converted them to Nissan’s own opted-in prospects.

Creating a data-led environment

Concurrently, we worked with Nissan to get fleet processes and technologies in shape to facilitate loyalty and retention activity in future.

Nissan already used Contact Advantage, a popular CRM system in the auto industry. However, its implementation and use at dealer and Business Centre level was not consistent – some Business Centres were using spreadsheets, others were using filing cabinets. The result was bad data.

In 2018 and beyond we will be in a much better position to execute loyalty and retention activity

We audited the use of Contact Advantage and expanded its implementation so that useful, actionable data was captured by salespeople on the ground. We also worked to streamline Nissan’s systems, so more could be done through Contact Advantage.

Nissan took on our tech proposal, so in 2018 and beyond we will be in a much better position to execute loyalty and retention activity through improved and continued data strategy.

Driving forward

The work we have done so far with Nissan fleet has made us a trusted strategic partner for the division, and further embedded KMMS into Nissan’s overall business.

The data environment we have set up means we are in a position to formulate a retention plan for the business, and this work is under way.

We’re also continuing to drive awareness of Nissan’s Business Centres and grow the company’s prospect pool.

Our acquisition work has reaped strong rewards for Nissan’s Fleet business – driving a 6:1 return on investment in the first year

With high-value items in the B2B environment, it’s vital to understand the consideration phase in the middle of the sales funnel – and that’s what our activity has brought to Nissan fleet.

The brand is now set up to take acquisition, loyalty and retention opportunities in the B2B space – and we are in discussions about rolling this solution out beyond the UK and into Europe.

Our acquisition work has reaped strong rewards for Nissan’s Fleet business – driving a 6:1 return on investment in the first year.