The Client:

Prysmian Group is the largest manufacturer of electrical and communications cable in the world.

The Group offers the widest possible range of products and services, operating in the businesses of underground and submarine cables, systems for power transmission and distribution and special cables for different industries, including medium and low voltage cables for the construction and infrastructure sectors.

A significant amount of their revenue in the UK is generated through the sales of electrical cable to small electrical contractors, via specialist wholesalers.

The Project:

Prysmian (formerly known as Pirelli) historically has enjoyed high brand awareness and association with high product quality. Yet since Prysmian changed its brand name in 2008 there was less marketing support in the UK and anecdotal reporting in 2016 suggested that brand awareness amongst SME electrical contractors was falling. To address this, working with Ridgemount PR, they set about implementing a year-long campaign. Yet the company new little about its small contractor users or how to reach them. Research was essential to find out more.

Ridgemount PR approached Competitive Advantage Consultancy, recognising our expertise in construction market research and our understanding of the communication channels used because of our Construction Media Index reports. We were tasked with researching small contractors to gauge their selection criteria when purchasing electrical cable and the information channels they use.

The Objectives:

The research was to provide evidence-based information to inform marketing strategy via:

  • Measuring the initial level of brand awareness for Prysmian and its competitors amongst SME electrical contractors
  • To establish a benchmark prior to promotional activity commencing
  • To repeat the survey at regular intervals to gauge the impact of promotional activity on brand awareness, providing a measure of return on capital employed

The Methodology:

The research commenced at the start of a year-long promotional campaign, to initially inform strategy and tactics at the planning stage. Then a schedule of research was agreed to monitor the effectiveness of the promotional activity over the year. Feedback from this then allowed Prysmian to fine tune their promotional programme.

The research was first repeated four months into the campaign activity, then at five-month intervals. Each time a new sample of 400 electricians were polled, via a combination of online survey and telephone interviews. Analysis included a geographical split, so awareness in different regions could be noted and local engagement campaigns developed.

The Benefits:

The results of the research helped to build the persona of the SME electrical contractor, with information about frequency of purchase and principal suppliers. It gave feedback on the organisations and factors that influence decision making and the role of social media in communicating this, helping the company fine tune its use of the various channels.

Overall the research informed the planning and evolution of a high-impact, multi-channel campaign which achieved growth in brand awareness leading to winning one of the most prestigious award at the Construction Marketing Awards 2018 for Best Use of Strategic Planning and Management.

Marketing and Product Development Director Riccardo Weber said

“In my experience, research is an important foundation for business strategy, both informing the original planning and providing a measure of implementation. Competitive Advantage understand this and were able to time research to fit the various stages of our campaign.”

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