MARKETING SOCIETY AWARDS for EXCELLENCE 2012: Customer relationship marketing

Skipton Financial Services
Skipton Financial Services

WINNER Skipton Financial Services (Agency: 10 Associates)

Skipton Financial Services (SFS) believed that the financial advisory market was plagued by poor customer service and it decided to do something about this. In 2009 it launched Monitored Informed Investing (MII), an investment proposition that places client service at the heart of every step. The overall aim of MII is to deliver clients above-average returns over the medium to longer term. It also makes promises on customer services, which include monitoring of funds, regular communications of performance, fund switch offers and ISA transfers.

One of the key promises is to keep clients informed on their individual fund performance. They receive comprehensive, personalised quarterly and annual reports providing updates.

Another promise is that if an MII Core Fund recommended by SFS delivers below-average returns for a certain length of time, SFS will rebate the ongoing charges for as long as poor performance continues or clients are offered a fund switch.

The product was developed through extensive market research, speaking to existing SFS clients and the organisation's financial advisers, who have a clear view of what their clients want.

Competitors were also closely examined to find out what they do well and what they lack, so SFS could discover how the proposition could become a market leader.

Between the launch of MII in 2009 and the end of 2011, the scheme vastly exceeded targets, attracting more than 21,000 clients and £1.23bn of investment. More than 90% of clients rate the service as very good or excellent and 93% would recommend SFS to other people.

The judges were impressed by the brand's commitment to customer service. 'It really became a customer champion - a worthy winner,' they commented.


Philips Avent (Agency: WDMP)

Baby products brand Philips Avent embraced customer relationship marketing (CRM) as it sought to win back customers from rival Tommee Tippee. Working with agency WDMP, Avent created a bespoke CRM platform talking to new mothers through digital, direct and experiential channels. The brand invited new mums to become part of the 'Philips Avent family'.

From the moment they registered their interest to their baby's delivery date, they received a piece of communication every month tailored to their own place on the journey to birth. The Philips Avent Family was placed at the core of the brand's marketing strategy and was integrated with mobile, ecommerce, Facebook and the brand's website. The CRM programme enabled Avent to regain leadership of the market from Tommee Tippee within six months of launch. Judges said it was a 'really good example of driving insight'.


  • ASOS, CRM welcome programme
  • EDF Energy, Thank yous reward programme
  • Nectar, A renaissance in loyalty


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