Customer relationships are principally managed by Pirelli through two channels:
- the sales organisation operating in the territory, which has direct contact with the network of customers and that, thanks to advanced information management systems, can process and respond onsite to all interlocutor information requirements; the sales structure is constantly trained on product and commercial issues thanks to the contribution of the Commercial Academy, one of the 10 Pirelli training academies dedicated to the continuous development and updating of skills of the entire sales network;
- the Pirelli Tyre Contact Centers, of which there are 32 worldwide, are staffed by more than 150 employees carrying out activities of IT support and order management (inbound), telemarketing and telesales (outbound).
As well as through traditional channels, 2014 saw Pirelli have a significant increase in user involvement on its own social media channels internationally, most notably Facebook and Twitter. The Global Page on Facebook dedicated to the brand has over 980,000 fans, while the Motorsport page has about 378,000 fans, in addition to two Twitter accounts: Pirelli Media (77,000 followers) and Pirelli Motorsport (43,000 followers). The Company is also present on Instagram where in late 2014 it proposed a successful initiative relating to the launch of the Calendar which has collected more than 4,000 fans. YouTube and Google+ have also been confirmed as fundamental assets for the activation of ad hoc special projects.
As for the Motorcycle Business Unit, the digital projects of the Metzeler and Pirelli brands deserve a mention: For Metzeler, in addition to the website present in 9 countries worldwide, a page dedicated to bikers has been active on Facebook since 2012, with 260,000 fans and content posted in 14 different countries in the relevant local languages. There has been very positive feedback over the years for the activation of the Metzeler Maps, the Ridexperience blog and the new “Answers” feature that involves the users on the site. Among other things, the Metzeler.com website, in its Italian version, features an e-commerce channel. To maintain relations with consumers, the @metzelermoto channel on Twitter and YouTube have been in place for some time.
The Pirelli Moto brand has a significant presence on Facebook with over 300,000 fans connected and content posted in many countries around the world, with particular attention to the Asian countries in which Pirelli is developing its social media presence.
The mobile application Diablo Super Biker is also of great importance, now accounting for more than 350,000 downloads and being highly appreciated by the biker community.
Finally, the Ride Passion retail project plans to include an iPad app that is available to users in the waiting lounge for the purpose of information and collection of customer information.
In general, the CRM project occupies a priority position in the Business Unit, considering the biker community as a group of product fans to be retained and to engage in the brand’s activities.
In terms of surveying its own customers and the analysis of the performance and the positioning of the brand over the competitors, there is great strategic importance in the Market Research studies that Pirelli carries out with an increasing level of innovation in methodologies and content. Also in 2014 there was a significant project involving direct questioning of the end user using the Brand Tracking survey in the Top 10 Markets for Pirelli (Italy, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, USA, Turkey and Russia). The ongoing changes made to this study over the years have made it possible to refine and improve the precision of business insights into the brand role, image profile and characteristics of the different touchpoints that influence the end user purchase decision.
2014 also saw the continuation of the Tyre Talk project: a project for listening to trade customers, groundbreaking for the tyre industry, based on an innovative web-based research platform, which can now count on the participation of more than 500 members that form a select panel of customer-partners, capable of contributing to the understanding of the dynamics of the market, the development of new marketing tools and business opportunities.
Through constant search, contact and collection of feedback which includes the innovative and transparent involvement of our customers in various types of surveys and online forums, studies are conducted on various marketing issues such as the launch of new products, the management promotional activities or materials at points of sale, the management of activities related to F1 and the assessment of the Pirelli B2B portal.
The key issue is to collect the opinion of customers on the behaviour of end users, not only at the point of sale, but also in relation to more general dynamics related to the purchase process such as the perception of the brand and product, the use of the labels introduced by the new European legislation and the service expectations related to a change of tyres.
Customers show a good level of active participation in the various studies proposed, which recorded an average response rate greater than 55%. The principal results are then shared with the panel members through publication on the dedicated portal and transmission of monthly eDirect Mails with updates on the principal activities underway. This activates a listening and comparison process as the source for continuous improvement.
Project management, not only as an innovative research tool, but as a real lever for customer relationship management, involves the definition - given by the heads of trade marketing - of a plan for recruitment and engagement of the dealers involved, represented mostly by the company’s main retail networks.
The opinion of our customer-partners is bound to have more and more strategic importance in the support of our decision-making process, not only in the evaluation phase of activities already done, but also through participation in processes of co-creation of ideas, for example through involvement in testing activities of innovative marketing concepts.
Pirelli also monitors its competitive position and its brand image through detection of Key Performance Indicators such as Top of Mind, Brand Awareness and Brand Consideration, in order to support planning activities in support of brand and marketing strategies. The 2014 survey has confirmed the position of Pirelli as one of the top two best recognised tyre brands in Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. In Italy, Pirelli also confirms its leadership in terms of Brand Consideration. Outside Europe, Pirelli shows excellent performance in Brazil, China and Russia. In Brazil it remains in first place for each brand KPI; in China it is in third place as the best known brand and in second place as brand considered for purchase. Russia recorded growth in awareness values that lead Pirelli to be third in Top of Mind. In general, in all countries, the performance of Pirelli proves to be even more positive regarding our key premium target with values of all indicators higher than the more generic target of car owners.
In order to further refine the brand positioning, Pirelli during 2014 prepared a strategic document, called Brand Pyramid, in which the values, personality and traits of the Brand are summarised.
This document subsequently gave rise to a work scheme called Brand Key, which has already been completed for the main countries, and which has the aim of giving unity to the brand communication in terms of: emotional benefits, functional benefits, reason to believe, differentiating elements and target audience.