Vandersanden BV (VDS) is a major European manufacturer of specialist building bricks, based in Belgium. They turn over c€80m, with most of their revenue coming from northern Europe. They have a long history of making very high quality bricks from locally sourced clay, as well as designing new and innovative building systems.
VDS wanted to launch their flagship product, the Zero Bricktm into the UK market. Their target audience was wide, ranging from small private self-builders, specialist low-volume house builders and architects and specifiers from commercial architects and building contractors.
The key sales message was that the Zero Brick was new, different and unlike competitive solutions could be easily and quickly implemented without any additional training required by the brick layers.
VDS set themselves a target of having the Zero Brick firmly specified on a “significant” UK building project by the end of 2011. By significant, they specifically meant greater than 250k bricks. For reference, a typical UK 4 bedroom domestic property has c15k bricks.
Vandersanden do not have a presence in the UK, except via their sales partner, Hoskins Brick, based near Cambridge. Historically, both VDS and Hoskins had only managed sporadic, ad-hoc display advertising which had not been backed up with awareness building via press releases. As a result, very few members of their target audience in the UK would have known either Vandersanden or their products. Whilst VDS knew what they wanted to achieve, they had little firsthand understanding of the UK construction or architectural media space.
VDS turned to Business Vitamins who had been recommended having recently designed and built the new Hoskins Brick website. Business Vitamins drew upon their prior experience of marketing high quality products to the architectural and construction space, to create a workable marketing plan for VDS.
An initial mediaplan was built, listing the likely key publications read by the intended target audience. Using this, a range of PR opportunities was identified; a number of full page display adverts were created and a small number of direct mail pieces were designed. Each of these had specific tracking mechanisms in place to ensure that leads could easily be attributed to each media channel, and within that, which specific media title.
Additionally, an existing Zero Brick microsite was recreated by Vandersanden on a .co.uk domain, with tracking code in place in order to measure visitor numbers.
The campaign commenced in late June 2011 and ran for circa 5months. In total there were over 200 leads generated from the campaign. Of these, 128 leads were captured and recorded directly from the advertising, direct mail and PR. In addition, there were around at least another 75 instances of prospects contacting Hoskins Brick directly via telephone.
Most importantly, the campaign met its key objective. A major project, relating to the new construction of a major public sector building in Battersea, south-west London, has seen a deal specifying c6million Zero Bricks being specified for the sites marketing suite.
Business Vitamins understand there is considerable potential for further sales leading directly from this initial opportunity; due mainly to interest from other public sector projects that are planned nearby.