MIG help hmv retain and grow a valuable asset

News

Recovering his master's voice

With invaluable customer data hard at work again, hmv UK is back on the high-street with over three million well-informed and loyal contacts, many more in the pipeline, and other crucial brand benefits.

Modern digital data management systems are an excellent way to keep hard-earned reputations in the public eye during administration. At the same time, they can provide accurate market feedback.

Following an extensive 'Permission Pass' process MIG have recently contacted more than 3,000,000 hmv customers with new in-store promotional offers to keep hmv uppermost in their minds.

Businesses hold valuable protected data
'Customer data is the lifeblood of growing companies and seed-corn for future companies,' explains MIG Operations Director, Catherine Owens, who led the strategic project.

'Data used to be a statistic. Now, it is a hard-working online communication asset for promoting design and brand characteristics with the potential to go viral. Well-managed information is central to swift retail turnarounds,' she adds.

hmv went down in January to stiff online, supermarket and digital download competition. The new hmv UK will save 141 stores and some 2,500 jobs. But its offer as a music retailer has changed.

Tablets and other devices are no longer on offer. Instead, 'an enhanced music and visual range' is designed to appeal to customers who like to browse in-store and buy physical products from their favourite artists.

Past buyers are often very willing to receive attractive new offers and promotions. Many will then recommend what they see and 'like' to friends who may go on to become new customers.

Using an upgraded database, MIG helped hmv to keep well over two million customers regularly updated and fully-informed of the planned changes.

When it comes to data ownership, MIG's Permission Pass process has also been pivotal in the legally-safe transfer of customer names and loyalties from the old company to the new company.

In addition, the fact that customers can actively 'opt-out' online as part of the Permission Pass process provides an extremely accurate bellwether of how well a restructuring is being accepted.

Retrieve, enhance and grow
The first priority in good data management is to make sure no customer information is lost in old paper records or forgotten digital files. The second is to combine this data. The third is to use it responsibly in reactivating lapsed customers who are often open to new offers.

Another contact channel MIG uses regularly is the simple website portal. Here, members of the public can register an interest to receive future product information. Word travels fast and these are can be very successful.

The next stage is important. The Data Protection Act, 1998 and EU Electronic Data Directive, 2003, are very strict in controlling the transfer of data ownership between one company and another - or from a company to an IP and onwards.

This is where the Permission Pass is invaluable in turning a major potential problem into a safe, legally-secure opportunity that can quickly open up new revenue streams.

The Permission Pass process itself has been formulated through consultation with the Information Commissioner's Office.

Large is beautiful
In hmv's case, the Permission Pass was very successful. Not only did it retain the vast majority of data from hmv's 'live' database of two million customers, but MIG also capitalised on the surge of public interest around the iconic brand, reactivating over 1.5 million more records of lapsed customers.

MIG is now expanding hmv UK's database still further using SMS and DM as well as email to contact even more lost customers and rekindle their interest.

Data is important to every company. We are always pleased to offer advice on maximising the hidden power of data in both large and small companies. The potential is huge.

Please feel free to discuss particular situations with us. We are here to help.

For further information, please contact Rob Bielby on 0800 031 9679.

 

Recovering lost insolvency VAT

News

Recovering lost insolvency VAT

With expert guidance, submitting VAT Bad Debt Relief (BDR) claims can be both successful and straightforward. To Twice2much it is one of several starting points for squeezing crucial lost income out of insolvent estates.

Because the concept of Crown Set-Off applies in insolvency, IPs may be tempted to think that preparing and submitting a large BDR claim or a large Terminal Loss Relief claim is both daunting and ultimately futile.

Not so. As a skilled recovery audit company, Twice2much is experienced in making rejected claims from HMRC a thing of the past. The simple starting point is data.

Profits in the detail
Data is the gateway to a series of lost revenue streams. Twice2much has developed a unique and innovative expertise in identifying hidden overpayments through sophisticated data analysis, to the extent that it works confidently on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Businesses often unknowingly make excessive payments in property rates that can be recovered. The same applies to rent deposits which are easily overlooked or simply dismissed.

The insolvency system also allows considerable scope to recoup overpayments to suppliers where no set-off arrangements exist. However, a major opportunity for 'lost profit' recovery can be found in reclaiming VAT Bad Debt Relief and Terminal Loss Relief (TLR) from HMRC where set-off does exist.

Complexity made easy
The complication that deters many IPs is the fact that Crown Set-Off applies to insolvencies.

As most practitioners are aware, the concept of set-off was devised as a statutory defence to the whole or part of a plaintiff's claim with the aim of relieving insolvency debtors. However, it can only be pleaded for mutual debts of a defined character.

This means that in certain situations, a claim and counter-claim between two parties can be replaced by a single net sum owing.

The rules on claiming back VAT Bad Debt relief are usually quite clear. However, it is where this moves into insolvency that Twice2much is able to help IPs navigate successfully around the additional requirements.

'It is understandable that IPs may be deterred by a large Crown debt,' explains Twice2much Commercial Director, Philip Fernandes.

'With all VAT BDR, you must have already accounted for the VAT on supplies and paid it to HMRC.'

'In addition, the debt must not have been paid, sold or factored under a valid legal assignment. It must have also remained unpaid for a period of six months after the later of the time payment was due and payable and the date of the supply.'

'Finally, you must claim within four years and six months of the later of, when payment is due and payable or the date of supply.'

More demanding
That part is quite easy. However, in an insolvency scenario there are certain other factors that can impact directly on the ability of IPs to claim BDR or TLR successfully. This is where Twice2much's support can be essential.

'We are very happy to discuss individual cases in confidence on a one-to-one basis,' Philip adds.

While individual circumstances are often unique, the sums to be recovered are frequently substantial and the potential for success is very high.

Not only that, but all this work is done on a contingency basis. If Twice2much don't recover anything, they don't get paid a bean!

In the months ahead, Insolvency Solutions will carry a series of illustrative Twice2much case-studies to show what can typically be achieved both with VAT BDR, TLR and other forms of lost profit recovery.

www.twice2much.com

For more information please contact Philip Fernandes

 

Denby builds for growth Pottery + property = inspiring brands + expanding revenues

News

Denby builds for growth

How can a property estate be used to relaunch a 200-year-old heritage product, keep its modern consumer brand firmly in the public eye, generate rapidly expanding £ multi million revenues and make major financial savings along the way?

Strategically restructured Denby Pottery has carefully broadened its traditional wholesale manufacturing base out into the high value, fashion led retail sector.

By doubling its prime site factory outlets from 14 to 28 in only 18 months, with a 75% retail sales increase, HRPS (Hilco Retail Property Service) has shown that hard-working property portfolios can be turned into much more than just passive bricks and mortar.

Property power
Denby's property estate has been central to the company's successful business transformation and is a good example for forward-looking IPs of what can often be achieved when the power of buildings is put to work.

The company's Derbyshire manufacturing centre attracts 250,000 visitors annually. But after 200 years, a recent restructuring review of its brand architecture found that shifting the business emphasis from pure manufacturing towards a brand-led strategy, with the launch of important new product lines, was a more appropriate approach. New jobs have also been created.

Cashing in on all opportunities
Hilco Retail Property Service (HRPS) quickly realised the opportunity. A HRPS team was appointed by Denby's new owners to increase retail sales by expanding Denby's factory outlet portfolio. A crucial caveat was that the company's core wholesale business must not be compromised. This includes a well-established presence in major department store groups that include John Lewis and House of Fraser.

HRPS' solution was a complete and cost-effective turnkey operation that left Denby's main management team 'hands free'. It involved identifying new outlet sites and carrying out all lease negotiations. The package also included agreeing Heads of Term with landlords and legal negotiations carried out through a fixed fee agreement with a third party lawyer.

Store design, roll out project management and store fit out were similarly core parts of the successful project.

Early cashflow
'By taking an integrated approach we were able to open 14 new factory outlet stores at prime centres across the UK in 18 months on very favourable lease terms that are proving highly-profitable,' explains HRPS CEO, Andrew Lucas. Many of the stores have generated an early cash flow to offset on going capital costs.

HRPS' philosophy that modern companies must make their building work hard has been central. 'Property is not a dormant asset,' adds Andrew. 'This is our focus. With our extensive experience and imagination, plus close sector contacts, we see property as a very dynamic part of every business's strategy. The financial benefits illustrate this clearly.'

We regularly talk to the managers of companies large and small where the full commercial potential of buildings and real estate is an overlooked factor that can increase brand exposure and awareness, open up early new income lines and cut costs dramatically at the same time.'

Major cost savings
In Denby's case, this meant initial capital cost savings of more than 30%. These were achieved through better sourcing and innovative design solutions. It also included the very effective reuse of existing infrastructure, service and fixtures whenever possible and practical. Warehousing was moved to a lower cost third party location.

Ensuring a full range of stock was available to the public and an appropriate product mix, improving in-store sales material and increasing promotional activity have also been important.

Crucially, by working on a turnkey basis, HRPS was able to protect Denby's management team from unwelcome distraction and free to focus on their core manufacturing and wholesale business.

For more information please contact Andrew Lucas

   

Coalitions of the willing - and successful

News

Coalitions of the willing - and successful

Large numbers of totally new customer contacts, plus crucial cost, time and brand advantages, come from co-marketing with like-minded partners, as Crew Clothing's Iain MacDonald can confirm.

Niche companies are then free to focus on what they do best - delivering quality.


The route is MIG's Coalition Marketing, designed for single companies to benefit from millions of customer emails that generate thousands of new leads and hot introductions in key retail sectors.

'Our initial results are great,' says Iain, Multichannel Marketing Director for the clothing line that is a brand-leader at John Lewis. 'I'm very impressed with this novel approach to online acquisition.'

United we sell
Most specialists excel at delivering in niche sectors but struggle to make new customer contacts. MIG's logic is why duplicate the effort of other non-competitive companies that share the same demographics and marketing goals?

Pooling information - with the added momentum of MIG's powerful 12 million Customer Club transaction consumer records - is proving more lucrative.

Importantly, each Coalition Marketing campaign company benefits not just its own contacts but also from those of every other member. This multiplier makes the initiative extremely cost-effective in reaching the potential customers that firms working alone cannot reach.

An additional bonus is that many lapsed customers are reactivated by a wider offer - on average 2% per campaign.

Ready for Christmas 2013?
With summer approaching fast, it is time to plan for Christmas. Coalition Marketing's major pre-Christmas campaigns will reach out to very extensive, well-managed databases.

But with much more activity before then throughout the rest of 2013, Crew Clothing is a keen advocate of Coalition Marketing's methods and results.

As Iain MacDonald explains, 'Coalition Marketing delivered valuable new customers as expected, plus the bonus of good reactivation from our own database. By pooling our data openly we all benefit'.

Jig-saw pieces
Single companies cannot supply everything; customers buy from many sources too.

By sharing data, your chosen partners also invite their customers to take up your offer. The overall offer is much stronger.

You pay a small fee, or bounty for each new lead BUT your partners pay you a similar reward for leads stemming from your contacts.

Although each email campaign is integrated, it is also closely-tailored to your brand guidelines. Your sign-off is required before transmission.

Further, MIG ensures quality email delivery, comprehensive updates and re-sends. We also report swiftly on new and reactivated customers so that you can respond quickly.

Finally, we capture contact details of people accessing offers and pass these to you directly.

Compliant and competent
One further significant advantage is that MIG's automated system can handle millions of emails competently whilst also meeting all legal compliances - our operational methodology means that a third-party opt-in for data use is not necessary.

MIG also has vast experience in managing and delivering multiple campaigns with complex offers and tight deadlines and regularly designs, builds and executes multi-party campaigns.

Statistically, of the 4.4 million emails sent out recently, 44% of clicks were on a company's own offer, 15% were on other offers, 41% were from Customer Club contact data and 9% clicked on more than one offer.

We look forward to welcoming you soon to a highly-bespoke campaign. Book early for Christmas!

For further information, please contact Catherine Owens on 0800 031 9679.

 

Recovering his master's voice - hmv UK data speaks out loud and clear

News

Nipper

When Deloitte and Hilco appointed MIG to manage on-going marketing both during the recent administration of hmv and in the transition to new owners, there was a major additional bonus.

We were able to recover many more email records from the legacy data than the failing company managed to utilise itself. In fact, MIG has almost doubled the number of accessible and active records found in the original 7.5 million entry database.

It means that hmv UK is returning to the high street with millions of extra well-informed, enthusiastic contacts, plus many more in the pipeline.

And hmv UK is not alone. In our experience, many companies have a wealth of hidden customer data just waiting to be put back to work in creating new revenues.

Businesses hold valuable protected data
Modern digital data management systems are an excellent way to keep hard-earned reputations in the public eye during administration. At the same time, they can provide accurate market feedback.

MIG recently contacted more than 2,000,000 existing database clients with new promotion and in-store pre-release emails to keep hmv uppermost in their minds. Most have given the thumbs-up by opting to stay on the list and receive future information.

'Customer data is the lifeblood of growing companies and seed-corn for future companies,' explains MIG CEO, Rob Bielby, who led the strategic project.

'Data used to be a statistic. Now, it is a hard-working online communication asset for promoting design and brand characteristics with the potential to go viral. Well-managed information is central to swift retail turnarounds.' he adds.

Old dog, new tricks - a tribute to 'Nipper'
hmv - long associated with the image of faithful Nipper listening to his master's voice - went down in January to stiff online, supermarket and digital download competition. The new hmv UK will save 141 stores and some 2,500 jobs. But its offer as a music retailer has changed.

Tablets and other devices are no longer on offer. Instead, 'an enhanced music and visual range' is designed to appeal to customers who like to browse in-store and buy physical products from their favourite artists.

Past buyers are often very willing to receive attractive new offers and promotions. Many will then recommend what they see and 'like' to friends who may go on to become new customers.

Using an upgraded database, MIG has helped hmv to keep well over two million customers regularly updated and fully-informed of the planned changes.

When it comes to data ownership, MIG's Permission Pass process has also been pivotal in the legally-safe transfer of customer names and loyalties from the old company to the new company.

In addition, the fact that customers can actively 'opt-out' online as part of the Permission Pass process provides an extremely accurate bellwether of how well a restructuring is being accepted.

Retrieve, enhance and grow
The first priority in good data management is to make sure no customer information is lost in old paper records or forgotten digital files. The second is to combine this data. The third is to use it responsibly in reactivating lapsed customers who are often open to new offers.

Another contact channel MIG uses regularly is the simple website portal. Here, members of the public can register an interest to receive future product information. Word travels fast and these can be very successful.

The next stage is important. The Data Protection Act, 1998 and EU Electronic Data Directive, 2003, are very strict in controlling the transfer of data ownership between one company and another - or from a company to an IP and onwards.

It is here that the Permission Pass is invaluable in turning a major potential problem into a safe, legally-secure opportunity that can quickly open up new revenue streams.

The Permission Pass process itself has been formulated through consultation with the Information Commissioner's Office.

Large is beautiful
In hmv's case, the Permission Pass was very successful. Not only did it retain the vast majority of data from hmv's 'live' database of two million customers, but MIG also capitalised on the surge of public interest around the iconic brand, reactivating over 1.5 million more records of lapsed customers.

MIG is now expanding hmv UK's database still further using SMS and DM as well as email to contact even more lost customers and rekindle their interest.

Data is important to every company. We are always pleased to offer advice on maximising the hidden power of data in both large and small companies. The potential is huge.

Please feel free to discuss particular situations with us. We are here to help.

For further information, please contact Catherine Owens on 0800 031 9679.

   

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Registered in England & Wales. Company No. 06963849.