How a Marketing Award Winner Used the Economic Downturn as a Springboard for Growth

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Mar 22, 2011 @ 12:13 PM


The early-bird deadline for The 2011 (8th annual) International Business Awards is April 12 - entry to the IBAs is open to all organizations worldwide - so we thought we'd take a look back at Thai Yamaha Motor Company in Thailand, which won the Stevie® Award for Marketing Department of the Year in the marketing awards categories of The 2010 IBAs. Here we look at how they turned lemons into lemonade in 2009.

Thai Yamaha Motor imageThai Yamaha Motor has been a success story since it was established 47 years ago, but the strength of the company was tested during the economic crisis of 2009 when the Thai economy declined by 3%, and industrial sales declined by 9.8%. Despite this, Thai Yamaha Motor achieved record sales and expanded its market share, while at the same time increasing customer satisfaction and improving its operations. Today, Thai Yamaha Motor has achieved a premium brand position in the Thai market by offering innovative products and utilizing lifestyle marketing.

Marketing Achievements
At the time of the economic crisis in 2009, the company recognized that it needed to maximize revenue and reduce costs. The measures that it took resulted in an increased market share from 23% to 28% over the period 2007-2009; a profit level that is among the highest in the industry; and employee satisfaction that has reached a record level of 80%.

So how did Thai Yamaha Motor achieve this?

Launched New Models
During 2009, the Thai Yamaha Motor marketing department launched several new models designed to meet the needs of the economic climate, and their efforts resulted in a 53% market share of the automatic motorcycle segment as well as a rating of 92% in customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Brand Image
The company’s motorcycle retail shops were modernized and improved nationwide to enhance the brand image.

The company ran an advertising campaign using popular Korean and Thai celebrities; it sponsored a series of popular sell-out concerts; and the company even set the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of automatic motorcycles when 2,474 Yamaha Finos gathered at an event organized by Thai Yamaha Motor at Khun Dan Prakarnchon Dam, Nakorn Nayok Province, Thailand, in August 2009.  

The result: Thai Yamaha Motor Company received the most publicity in press publications and online news stories for the industry segment that year.

Operation Efficiencies
In addition to their marketing efforts, Thai Yamaha Motor introduced a number of operating efficiencies: Factory operations were significantly improved, achieving the highest level of "complete assembly without rework" in Yamaha’s worldwide operations; recalls were reduced to one of the lowest in the worldwide Yamaha group; and supply chain management was improved, reducing inventory turnover to 14 days.

Corporate Social Responsibility
Thai Yamaha Motor opened a new Yamaha motorcycle safety riding school, acclaimed as one of the best in Asia. The company also received a government award for its safety record in factory operations at the national level.

As a result of improving its employee satisfaction, Thai Yamaha Motor achieved employee turnover rate as low as 3% at a time when the industry rate was at 11%.

Thai Yamaha Motor has received a number of awards over the past few years, and in 2009 the Royal Thai Government recognized its top management for the company’s education and vocational-training support.
Continued Growth
Thai Yamaha Motor continues to grow. The company is among the top contributor to Yamaha profits worldwide. It has continued to expand production capacity and to improve ways to better serve its customers.

In February 2011, Thai Yamaha Motor's chief operating officer Praphan Phornthanavarsit said that Thailand's motorcycle market grew by an impressive 20 per cent last year to around 1.85 million units, due to continued economic recovery and increased consumer confidence.

"The Yamaha brand also enjoyed a year of success in 2010, recording the highest sales in 10 years. Total wholesales were 505,000 units, with total retail sales of 486,000 units, total motorcycle registrations of 479,000 units, and total parts sales of Bt1.4 billion," Praphan said.   "These achievements have led Yamaha to enjoy a market share of 26 per cent, which reflects strong confidence in Yamaha's products and outstanding image."

Based on Thai Yamaha Motor's analysis of economic trends and related factors, it expects that the motorcycle market will record sales growth of 4 per cent this year, to around 1.92 million units, he said. Yamaha's sales target for 2011 has been set at 520,000 units. If this is achieved, it will be equivalent to 9% year-on-year growth, achieving a market share of 27%.

About Praphan Phornthanavarsit
Praphan Phornthanavarsit, Chief Operating Officer of Thai Yamaha Motor, is an inspirational leader who has utilized strategic thinking and creativity along with strong management skills to make Thai Yamaha Motors the success it is today. He has had a successful track record in various fields, including the automotive industry, information technology, and business consultancy. Praphan is one of the most respected persons in Thailand’s motorcycle industry and has contributed significantly to the industry’s development.

About Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd
Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is the manufacturer and marketer of Yamaha motorcycles in Thailand. The company employs about 3,200 staff, and in 2009 had an annual sales turnover in excess of 700 million USD with production capacity of 600,000 motorcycles. The company's manufacturing facility is one of Yamaha Motor’s largest and most efficient motorcycle plants in the world.

Want to be recognized for your marketing achievements as Thai Yamaha Motor was?  Get our free tipsheet, 10 Tips for Winning Marketing Awards in the 2011 Stevies.

The early-bird entry deadline for The 2011 International Business Awards is April 12. You'll find the entry kit here.

Topics: business awards, marketing awards, communication awards, marketing award

4 Ways CAWOOD's Marketing Award-winning Work Keeps Kids Fit

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Mar 07, 2011 @ 04:10 PM

Full-service agency CAWOOD in Eugene, Oregon USA won for Best Writing/Content in the website awards categories of The 2010 American Business Awards.

Full-service marketing agency CAWOOD launched their award-winning web site for Eugene Pediatric Associates in December 2009.  The goal in creating was to provide easy access to comprehensive pediatric advice and information 24 hours a day.
Jeneca JonesThe site allows parents to read about a variety of topics, watch videos, access vaccine records, plan their child’s office visit, and send messages to their pediatrician or nurse through a secure system, day or night. By providing this online service, the doctor’s office receives fewer phone calls and is able to better serve patients and their families.

Written almost entirely by Dr. Pilar Bradshaw, content and videos are delivered in the same sincere, knowledgeable, heartfelt voice parents know and trust. Jeneca Jones of CAWOOD was a collaborative editor.

The web site is only one part of the media mix for Eugene Pediatrics. The CAWOOD philosophy is that the media mix should create a synergy that compliments each medium and targets the key audience.  Following are four elements used in marketing the practice:

- Web Site as Teaching Tool
The Eugene Pediatrics’ website serves as both an introduction to the practice and a teaching tool for physicians to use when they talk with parents:

- Traditional Media
In Eugene Pediatrics’ case, good, old-fashioned newspaper advertising is being used to help introduce new physicians and generates prospective patient calls;

- Local Television
Eugene Pediatrics physicians offer parents regular health tips on a local television station;

- Arena Advertising
The practice is promoted on an animated electronic sign in Matthew Knight Arena, where the University of Oregon plays basketball and where big-ticket entertainers such as Elton John perform.

“Customizing media to appeal to the demographics and psychographics of the desired audience is essential to any marketing program,” explained CAWOOD’s Jeneca Jones.

Want to be recognized for your marketing achievements as CAWOOD was?  Get our free tipsheet, 10 Tips for Winning Marketing Awards in the 2011 Stevies.

About Jeneca Jones
CAWOOD Account Executive Jeneca ones is an expert communicator with a passion for words, Jones creates original and creative copy for print advertisements, press releases, web sites, and more. A salesperson for ten years and newspaper editor for five, Jeneca knows how to listen and is always looking for ways to make emotional connections through her writing.  Her experience working with a broad spectrum of people from various social, cultural, and economic backgrounds helps CAWOOD’s clients span any divides. She provides real-world answers and big-picture perspectives tailored to meet individual needs.

About Dr. Pilar Bradshaw
Dr. Pilar Bradshaw is a board certified pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She began her medical practice in Eugene in 1999.
Bradshaw practices the full spectrum of pediatric medicine and sees patients from birth to young adulthood. Her special interests include the treatment of asthma, medically fragile children, and adolescent eating disorders.

Founded 30 years ago by President Liz Cawood, CAWOOD is a full-service marketing agency, which evolved from a public relations firm to a one-stop shop providing the marketing services its clients needed.  The award-winning firm specializes in branding, research, planning, Web, video, marketing, advertising, public relations and consulting.

Topics: business awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, eugene peds, cawood