Protyre are no strangers to the Best use of the Apteco software awards, having been runner up in 2015, when they developed predictive models for tyre wear, enabling timely tread check and replacement due reminders. Since then Protyre has started exploring the possibilities of combining a number of the functions of Apteco software to increase the operational efficiency of their entire end-to-end business and optimise further the overall customer experience. In motoring speak, switching from “Manual” to “Automatic” and heading towards a “Driverless” model!
Protyre have constantly sought ways to navigate their customer data more effectively in their drive to base their entire customer communications programme on “marketing to an audience of one”. Every communication is unique to every customer, in content and timing. This route would not have been possible without their Apteco powered communications platform and ever closer integration of the many data touchpoints across their business. Today their business is motoring ahead, with their data driven marketing winning awards in the tyre industry and setting new records for business performance.
Protyre is the UK’s fastest growing tyre retailer, with over 1.5M customers and 160 branches nationally. Protyre’s success is based on consistently delivering a great customer experience. Over the last 5 years their customer base grown from 729,000 to 1.5M, growth fuelled by the intelligent use of data and technology.
Protyre is also one of the largest providers of MOT testing in the UK, conducting over 100,000 tests a year across over 80 test centres and MOT bay utilisation is a key measure for the business. Previously, the Department of Transport provided visible reminders to stick on vehicle windscreens when the MOT was due. Nowadays the due date is easily forgotten, meaning Protyre customers are often reliant, and grateful for their MOT due reminder.
Following the mantra that “innovation starts with the problem”, Protyre started exploring all aspects of the MOT marketing and delivery process to identify where the problems and risks lay. This identified 4 key steps and processes where using the full end-to-end capability of the Apteco software, could improve and optimise the process and business model enabling more efficient MOT testing service delivery, protecting revenue and creating the opportunity to give even better value to customers.
The Apteco solution
Due to significant investment in equipment and testing facilities, it was critical that MOT bay utilisation was maximised, and that every MOT bay was earning its keep. This meant building a “demand” driven pricing model and marketing process responsive to each centre’s local market and actual bookings. Apteco's marketing automation capability was utilised, to vary the customer offer based on the number of bookings and utilisation at each individual MOT test centre “in flight” during an MOT campaign. By doing this Protyre could drive increased bookings at centres with below optimal MOT bay utilisation with higher incentives and increased marketing focus, and reduce the promotional discount at centres with high booking levels, thereby protecting and optimising MOT revenue yield.
The core MOT customer marketing journey had evolved into a multi-channel, multi-phase programme that extended over 6 weeks prior to the MOT due date. Every month, vehicle records on the Protyre database were screened against the DVLA database, to append the latest MOT due date, keeper change dates and indicators for scrappage and export. This ensured that vehicle data was kept as up to date as possible, a prerequisite for truly optimised response and conversion rates. At every campaign stage, the customer data, is matched to the latest bookings and screened against latest suppressions and opt outs. Again, all in the interests of GDPR compliance.
The campaign was split into three streams: Reminders - those who had an MOT the previous year, Lapsed- reactivation of those who missed their last MOT with Protyre, and MOT Due for those who have never had an MOT with Protyre. Every vehicle owner, linked to a vehicle on the database, with an MOT due within 6 weeks, was scored with a PWE model using variables such as their vehicle type, age, make and model, and demographics such as distance to their nearest Protyre MOT test centre, to determine their propensity to buy their next MOT from Protyre and this in turn defined the selection priority and optimal customer communications mix for communications they would receive. The PWE model score was not only used to automate the campaign routing across mail, email and outbound calling, but also the selection hierarchy and marketing effort invested in each customer. The core marketing programme prioritised high propensity customers and enabled the automatic selection of additional candidates for centres, where bookings were below their MOT booking target, to increase local MOT marketing activity in their area.
The project created a closed loop marketing model using FastStats and PeopleStage to automatically adapt MOT promotional offers and mailing volumes “in flight” for each MOT Test centre, during the 6 week MOT campaign cycle. Automatically applying a higher promotional discount at centres with lower levels of MOT bookings and reducing incentives at centres with already high booking levels, protecting and optimising the MOT revenue yield.
Designing the original campaign flow was challenging and required the integration of a number of elements and functions into the PeopleStage campaign schema. These included new weekly data feeds for bookings (on and off line), combining “live data” with campaign level persistent variables to route audience journeys, using “Splitting” within PeopleStage rather than manual interventions to drop and re-route records and a complete ruleset to define most appropriate MOT test centre for each customer, de-conflicting nearest, last used, most frequently used and customer movers new addresses.
The results have been stunning. Since using FastStats to refine campaign selections, apply PWE scoring and define the optimal channel mix for each customer, booking conversion rates for the MOT Reminder cell of the campaign have increased from 24% to an average of 58%.
The impact on the business
Successful deployment delivered an immediate dividend - a saving of 4 day’s effort every month, and a robust process without the risks of manual data errors. Once proven, this allowed Protyre to start work on building the logic to support demand based pricing and centre booking utilisation optimisation, something that could not have been contemplated using manual processes.
MOT bay utilisation has increased year-on-year every month since implementation
The MOT Reminder - rates increased from 24% to 58% and MOT Due - nearly trebled conversion rate from 4.2% to 11.68%
More timely reminders allowed Protyre to significantly improve customer experience and MOT compliance
Monthly resources and time required to deliver monthly MOT campaigns was reduced and there was 90% reduction in stress levels!
Vehicle data is kept as up to date as possible - a pre-requisite for truly optimised response and conversion rates
Synchronising our customer marketing directly with our operational needs, has changed the way we think about what our database and what Apteco can do for our business. We have already proved data can deliver happier customers, now we have happier shareholders as well!
Morgan Jamison, head of retail marketing: Protyre
Morgan Jamison, head of retail marketing: Protyre