Consumer Direct Marketing Plan 2009-10 by zom14864


									Consumer Direct Marketing Plan 2009-10
Executive Summary

Consumer Direct, the government funded consumer advice service, has now
been under the stewardship of the OFT for over three years. The marketing
budget supports the operational function and is required to promote the service
in line with financial and operational constraints however, CD will benefit from
heavier involvement in consumer-facing OFT campaigns such as Scams.

The current strategy for Consumer Direct marketing for 2009-10 is to sustain
the current level of calls and the prompted awareness above 30 per cent
(currently at 32 per cent). Our recent research shows that there is a demand for
more web-based information, but it must not be to the detriment of the
vulnerable consumer.

This year’s National Consumer Week will be an exciting collaboration between
the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Consumer Direct and Trading
Standards services. The event will be encouraging consumers to 'Know Your
Consumer Rights' and will include a consumer launch, consumer quiz, small
business advice and partnerships with a number of retailers.

Page 1 of 7
Author: Karen Chilvers, Head of Marketing, Consumer Direct
6 July 2009
Overall Aims and Objectives for Consumer Direct

Our vision is a service that results in: 'Empowered, knowledgeable consumers'.

Our mission is 'to provide clear practical advice on as broad a range of
consumer issues as is cost effective; working in partnership to ensure more
support for those who need it most, and to provide data to drive business
improvement, intelligence intervention and market change'.

Service objectives

•    To increase consumers' access to quality assured advice and information.
•    To give people the knowledge, tools and confidence to be able to resolve
     matters themselves.
•    To improve the quality and coverage of information for trading standards
     and other stakeholders.
•    To act as a gateway to other complementary services where further help is
     required or specialist advice is needed.
•    Reduce consumer detriment by at least £3.50 for every £1 spent.

Overall Marketing Objectives

•    Reaching vulnerable and harder to reach groups and helping them to
     access consumer advice allowing them to be confident consumers.
•    Increasing the reach to more confident consumers, ensuring we give them
     the tools to achieve a fair result.
•    Educating young consumers and allow them to be confident consumers of
     the future.

Page 2 of 7
Author: Karen Chilvers, Head of Marketing, Consumer Direct
6 July 2009
Customer Insight

Before developing our plans for 2009-10, it was important to fully understand:

   ♦   Attitudes to CD (users and non-users)
   ♦   Awareness (prompted and um-prompted)
   ♦   User profile of callers and website users
   ♦   Understanding of Consumer Direct
   ♦   Consumer needs from the service

Therefore, during the first quarter of 2009, Consumer Direct undertook
additional research in order to understand current customer opinion on CD and
explore some potential future solutions. Three studies were undertaken:
awareness tracking, qualitative research and a website survey.

Some of the main conclusions were:

   ♦ The Consumer Direct brand and website are well received and easily
   ♦ With low usage in age groups under 35, a web solution for younger
     consumers is required but, an over-reliance on a web-based service could
     disenfranchise older consumers.
   ♦ Vulnerable groups are still difficult to access, as seen analysis of calls to
     CD and a relatively low level of calls from those with a low skills base
     (although we do seek to target these through the OFT’s Skilled To Go
   ♦ ABC1 consumers are more assured and likely to complain, although they
     may clarify their rights first via our website but all need a telephone
     service for complex issues.

Respondents cited the following when asked about preferred information

   ♦ Internet advertising, written material, shops/supermarkets, libraries, post
     offices, GP surgeries, back of receipts, newspapers and Instant
     Messaging were all accepted as ideal methods or locations to push the
     CD message.

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Author: Karen Chilvers, Head of Marketing, Consumer Direct
6 July 2009
   ♦ 39 per cent of callers to CD became aware of the service due to a
     website/internet search and younger respondents clearly favoured
     internet advertising.

   ♦ 28 per cent of callers cited a phone book service as their source of
     information, but it is not clear if this is on-line or printed books.

   ♦ Respondents spontaneously recall seeing Consumer Direct on energy bills
     in the last seven months.

   ♦ All agreed that a good portal for promoting consumer advice was via
     retailers and shopping centres.

   ♦ Bright and bold colours, characters and retail-centric advertising were
     well received.

   ♦ The brand may be crowded with a phone number and URL, so separating
     the two for appropriate mediums may be appropriate.

   ♦ User Testing was also conducted by BIS and the following issues were

          o The site was well designed and easy to use, but more detailed
            information could be provided.

          o Consumers tended to 'google' for information, so it would be
            prudent to increase our visibility on search sites.

          o Bullet-pointed information was appreciated and we could make
            more use of this.

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Author: Karen Chilvers, Head of Marketing, Consumer Direct
6 July 2009
Marketing Objectives 2009-10

Central Communications Objectives

Key objectives for this year are:

•   Ensure that consumer-facing OFT publications have a Consumer Direct look
    and feel, where appropriate.
•   Work with the operations team to ensure a smooth transition as the service
    adapts to a smaller number of centres following the Interim Solution results
    and the communications and marketing issues that arise from re-routing
    consumer calls.
•   Work within the constraints of the volume management strategy,
    maintaining call volumes within affordability.
•   Adapt the brand to promote the website or phone service, depending on the
    audience and medium.
•   Encourage consumers to 'search on-line' for Consumer Direct.
•   Explore digital media opportunities for the Consumer Direct brand.
•   Take full advantage of the 'Know Your Consumer Rights' campaign/National
    Consumer Week and Christmas campaign opportunities to promote
    Consumer Direct.
•   Re-allocate spend across directory media, taking account of the awareness
    data provided by the CD database.
•   Sustain the percentage population reach between 2.6 per cent and three per
    cent as a national average.
•   Ensure that the consumer is not affected by the service changes resulting
    from the results of the Interim Solution or the procurement process for the
    Strategic Solution.
•   Continue to promote to the vulnerable consumer via community initiatives
    and the bidding process.
•   Ensure cross-region involvement in marketing spend via the bidding process.
•   Ensure that the CD communications team work within the governance,
    meeting as a group at least three times during the year.
•   Conduct research to continue to inform the strategic direction of the service
    and quality assurance from the current service.

Page 5 of 7
Author: Karen Chilvers, Head of Marketing, Consumer Direct
6 July 2009
PR Objectives 2009-10

Through the use of free media, PR will raise awareness of consumer rights,
warn people of the dangers of mass market and other scams, and promote
consumer best practice:

(a)   To increase public awareness of Consumer Direct and position the
      Consumer Direct brand as a trusted source of clear, practical and impartial
      consumer advice.

(b)   To drive consumers to the Consumer Direct website for robust advice or to
      the phone line for specific problems, being mindful of any operational and
      financial concerns.

(c)   To encourage consumer best practice.

(d)   To support the OFT's consumer campaigns such as Scams Awareness,
      Save Xmas and the Know Your Rights campaign (as appropriate).

(e)   To protect Consumer Direct’s reputation.

(f)   To promote the partnership working between the Office of Fair Trading,
      Consumer Direct, local authority Trading Standards Services and other
      government agencies.

(g)   To foster good relations with all other partners.

(h)   To inform and motivate Consumer Direct staff.

Regional Objectives

In return, we ask that regions work within the framework below:

•     Produce and manage a programme of events for National Consumer Week
      and take advantage of the regional opportunities this campaign presents.

•     Distribute at least two press releases each month to regional media.

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Author: Karen Chilvers, Head of Marketing, Consumer Direct
6 July 2009
•    Conduct at least two community talks each month.

•    Build a network of local journalists to ensure regular coverage of the CD

•    Bid for funds with creative ideas that have been fully researched and
     costed, with a view to maximising CD awareness amongst vulnerable

•    Complete a monthly return to the central team on the above objectives in
     order that regions can share best practice via the Knowledge Base.

•    Work with local TSS to promote the CD service to the public, in particular
     the 08454 number and to report any issues to the central team.

•    Ensure a representative attends Marketing & Comms meetings, as
     indicated in the governance structure for Consumer Direct and attend, or
     send a substitute, to any conference calls that are arranged for specific

Page 7 of 7
Author: Karen Chilvers, Head of Marketing, Consumer Direct
6 July 2009

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