The research revealed that all the different segments do have the same wishes for what needs to be in an advertisement, however they differ in what they find the most important in a company where they sell machinery. The consigners are known with technical advances and more than 50% still reads monthly magazine, this makes it easy to contact & reach these target groups. The advertising campaigns will be directed to the communicational target group; these are the people who own a company. The owner of the company is in almost all cases also the decision-making unit of the fleet of machinery. The users of the product mostly consist out of employees. The employees do have a certain kind of influence but they will not be taken in consideration for campaigns of the target group. Most of the advertisements are aimed at end-users, since the sales companies are known with the TM's and are visited frequently.
Most of the sales companies are situated in- and around the cities and large villages. End-users are mostly situated in villages and outskirts of cities. Most of the companies are based in the Netherlands. The target groups consist almost utterly out of males.
There is a high involvement with the machinery, it is important that the machinery will last long so they can use it for years, or sell it for a good price. For the end-users is the involvement of selling as big as when it is bought. The price is very important, therefore it is important to have a clear informative message to communicate with end-users as well as sales companies. The period in which most of the machinery is sold is in September.
There are some brands that are more popular in the Benelux than in other countries, however there isn't a brand that is specifically favored. End-users can trade in their machinery and get a discount on another machine/brand, therefore they are not brand-specific. Sales companies sometimes have a preference of brand, but mostly they prefer machinery they can make a profit on, then they do not have one exclusive brand that they sell. For both target groups the price determines where they buy and sell, wherever it brings the most money will be the way of selling. The role of internet has been playing more and more a bigger role in the decision making when it comes to machinery.
List of specific features:
This list contains the specific features on which the outcome of the communication will be tested. The target group, who will be tested at the end of the campaign, need to comply with the following characteristics:
• They are the owner of a company
• They have been assigned a segment code (for tracking purposes)
• They own at least 5 machines
The amount of machinery is chosen due to: “from this amount of machinery it is interesting for RBA to pursue action to convince the customer of putting machinery to auction.” (Schroder, 2015)
5. Communication objective
There are 8 different sorts of effect targets that can be distinguished. They describe which wanted effects can be achieved with the campaign: (Raaij, 2010)
1. Categorical needs (for example by using collective commercials)
2. Brand awareness (active or passive brand awareness)
3. Brand knowledge (knowledge of product features/added value)
4. Brand attitude (attitude towards a brand/brand preference)
5. Behavioral intention (Retrieve Info, visit store, a test purchase or purchase intent)
6. Behavior facilitation (Inform consumer where/when & how the product available is)
7. Purchasing- and usage habits (by keeping members, Frequency )
8. Satisfaction (by building a relation, cognitive dissonance)
The effect targets that Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers will need to achieve is to increase the “behavior facilitation”, “satisfaction\" and “Purchasing- and usage habits” which in this context means to use the services of RBA and consign in the auction. These goals will be a guide to obtaining an increased interest in selling machinery at RBA.
For this to work a communication objective needs to be developed:
“After a period of 6 months, after the introduction of the new campaign, at least 25% of the target group must know what Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has to offer for selling machinery.
The marketing objective indicates to what extent an increase of consignors should be obtained with the outcome of this report. The communication objective builds on this by providing the necessary knowledge for the consumer to consign or buy with confidence and conviction. By providing information to the consumer that is yet still unknown with RBA, the brand awareness & knowledge will rise. This should lead to a positive increase in the behavioral intentions of the agriculturist.
The communication objectives are:
• At the end of 2017 at least 50% will have the proper knowledge about the selling process of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.
• After a period of 12 months at least 5% of the target group will have requested an appointment with the TM about selling with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.
• After a period of 6 months, after the introduction of the new advertisements, at least 25% of the target group must know what Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has to offer for selling machinery.
6. Communication strategy
6.1 Types of positioning
There are four different types of positioning strategies:
1. Informative positioning
2. Transformational positioning
3. Duplex positioning
4. Executional positioning
In this case a duplex positioning will be used for RBA. This includes the informative positioning, which the customers responded they want, and the transformational positioning. Combining these positioning will give the balance that is needed, the informative points will give an outline of the advantages of using RBA as a broker/mediator for selling machinery. Due to the unique selling point of RBA, in this case: unreserved public auctions, an informative positioning needs to be implemented so that all the steps in the selling process are known. Furthermore, there are not many big differences between RBA and its competitors, this is the reason that a transformational strategy needs to be combined with the informative. Transformational positioning connects a brand with an image/lifestyle of a consumer. It appeals to the accessible side of the consumer. This strategy can be applied since RBA is the only auction site that is publicly open and has a certainty of sale. The unreserved auction ensures that the buyer has control over the bidding process and therefore it will attract a greater audience, which on its turn is beneficial for the consignor. An end-user has a connection with its machine and that influences the perception of a consumer, this makes it an emotional product.
“We promise we can help sell your material for a market price, as we have helped many before you”
RBA can make this promise since the market value of a machinery is set at the auction. Nothing can say better what te market is doing than the auction, it combines traders and end-users that all have its own amount they want to pay for it. The unreserved auction, that is also open for public, uses its position to let the market know what machines are more valuable en which are less valuable at that moment.
6.3 Structural arrangement
The communicational expression will have an informative but personal atmosphere. The target group needs to be familiar with the way RBA does business. The personal connection demands that the expression will not be promoted by a public figure. The main color is orange; this is the signature color of RBA and is used everywhere in the world, so it will be recognizable. The Territory Managers are divided in different region, however there cannot be targeted at a specific region, so both TM's their contact info with a picture of them will be included in the campaign (this is the same for the Belgian TM's). The campaign/advertisements will also have pictures of sold machinery, and the price they were sold for, a brief explanation of the auction and selling process and a display of the value-added services. The campaign has a basic shape for all segments, but has different machinery per segment.
7. Communication mix
7.1 Communication mix table
Target groups Doelstelling Communication instruments Budget
End-users After a period of 6 months, after the introduction of the new advertisements, at least 25% of the target group must know what Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has to offer for selling machinery.
Advertising (online & offline) 5.000
All segments At the end of 2018 at least 50% will have the proper knowledge about the selling process of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Sales (telemarketing) 2.000
All segments After a period of 12 months at least 5% of the target group will have requested an appointment with the TM about selling with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.
7.2 Advertising plan
The campaign will be launched on a national scale, in the Netherlands as well as in Belgium.
The focus will be on each separate segment and some extra attention will be needed for the end-users, while that is the segment where the most companies are and the least information about RBA is known. The bigger sales companies are already visited by the sales department.
By using internet, social media & magazines most of the target group will be reached, in addition the industries tradeshows will be visited by the Territory Managers. To make sure that the services of RBA are known to everybody, RBA will have a stand at the most important tradeshows for end-users in the Netherlands and Belgium, some examples for these are: “Technische kontakt dagen & Matexpo”.
To ensure that the advertisements stand out there will be a special ad with a prize in the weeks before the auction. Some of the participants will be rewarded a VIP treatment during the next auction in Moerdijk when they guess the selling prices of the machinery that are being auctioned. This will motivate consumers to spend time thinking about RBA, and by using the possibility of winning they will follow the auction to see if they have won. By using simple influence tricks, like adding the sentence: “We have helped many people like you with selling machinery in the past 60 years” and using a simple contest triggers the emotions of a customer.
After the auction an ad will be placed with the machinery and prices they sold for will be used, each segment will have its own type of machinery that they are interested in. Furthermore, an explanation text will be added and the extra services that RBA can provide.
The costs of the advertising mainly consist of the amount the magazines ask for placing an ad. Also the websites where a web-banner will be placed are the placing costs the only direct costs. The marketing department of RBA is situated in Breda and is responsible for the creating of commercial advertising and the placing of advertisements in magazines and on websites. The sales department can suggest different magazines and sited for placing an ad, they are also responsible for the placement of machinery on listing websites. Websites like Masucs.com and Marktplaats.nl are platforms where it is easy to advertise machinery that are going to be sold in the next auction, here it is also possible to advertise. The use of listing websites increases the number of visits on the website and registrants at the auction.
The direct cost will consist of:
- Placing a full color ad in a magazine: € 750 – 1000
- Web-banners: €400,- per site
- Marktplaats.nl: €1000, - for advertising 10 machines for 1 month on the first page.
- E-mail campaign: € 200-400. The cost of retrieving the mailing list of an organization.
Function Hourly rate Hours needed Total
Graphic designer €15,- 2,5 €37,50,-
Advertising Administrator €15,- 1 €15,-
Communication specialist €20,- 1,5 €30,-
The extra costs of making and placing 1 ad: €82,50,-
Sales assistant/interim €10,- 2-3 €25,-
Tracking & adding during the active month: 2 hours per week €20,-
The extra costs for advertising on Marktplaats.nl €45,-
The magazines used for advertising will be decided by the marketing department, whereas they have information about the range of the magazine and which type of segment reads them
The websites used for advertising are:
- Websites of organizations (companies are a part of an organization like: Bouwend NL)
- Trekkerweb.com (for the agricultural end-user)
A good promotion attracts people's attention, therefore the organization of a charity auction is a good promotional venue. When visiting a tradeshow with a lot of end-users and dealers a charity auction will be the center of attention, people will talk about it with colleagues and friends. To find enough contributors, the owners of companies that also visit that tradeshow will need to be contacted and asked if they want to contribute. This is already a first step towards a collaboration. There are a lot of costs that come with organizing a charity auction. The sound truck with all the equipment for the auctioneer needs to be transported to the venue, an auctioneer needs to be flown in and a place at the tradeshow needs to be paid for. Four additional personnel need to be present at least, two for bid catching, one for the payments and another to guide everything during the auction.
Figure 7.1 shows an overview of the costs that are needed to participate at a tradeshow, based on costs of previous visited tradeshows.
This part consists of two different sort of strategies, to reach the end-user a pull- & push strategy will be implemented. Advertisements will be directly pointed at each segment and via different organizations RBA can reach many members at once. To assist the TM's the management can consider a partnership with an organization, for example: Bouwend Nederland, Cumela, Vereniging vertical transport. These are all organization that have end-users as members, when they are given a discount on the commission and the organization gets 1% of all revenue that their members contributed, they are more likely to promote RBA on their own. They will also be more inclined to place an article of RBA in their magazine, this will increase the behavior facilitation and usage habits, since when a friend or acquaintance recommends something, they will be more likely to participate themselves. To attract the consumer a discount on the selling commission is a tool to persuade them in doing business with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.
The VIP event is another tool used for the promotion of RBA during the auctions. This is the ideal moment to let people unknown with RBA or its selling process, meet with the concept.
The Territory Managers are the ones that have contact with the customers, they are the key point of the sales part. When there are questions, they are the ones that will be contacted and they make sure that all potential clients are visited before the auction. However, the telemarketing is also a very effective tool for the assistance of the TM's and therefore it is an important part of the sales instruments. By calling all the previous consignors and people who went to the VIP, the TM already has information if the customer has a machine for the auction and this way they can arrange their calendar more effectively.
...(download the rest of the essay above)