The client is a West Yorkshire local authority, covering an area with a population of over 200,000 and around 8,000 businesses. With high levels of deprivation and unemployment across some regions, the Council delivers a number of programmes to help stimulate local business and create job opportunities locally. They have a high performing apprenticeship team and run a successful business growth programme, which had already engaged over 1,000 businesses locally.
What they needed
With the extension of the business growth project, the client needed some fresh ideas on widening the scope of their business engagement to reach more business people in the area. The ERDF funded programme had strict criteria relating to which businesses would be eligible - eligible businesses were restricted to specific postcode areas and had to belong to one of seven target sectors as well as being predominantly B2B. It was important that we concentrated efforts on relevant businesses eligible for funding - however, the data held within the Council’s Evolutive CRM system was partial, outdated and inconsistent. We therefore suggested an integrated data management, purchasing, cleansing and appointment setting campaign. The key objective was to enhance the data held, to allow easy segmentation and targeting so that the engagement activity could be correctly focussed on the right businesses.
What we did
The data held by the client had been gathered over a period of time, and was patchy and inconsistent. We initially conducted a full data audit, to identify any gaps in the data, appending additional information for those incomplete records, and purchasing company details for further business not mapped in the data. Throughout the calling activity, further cleansing was carried out - augmenting the data with additional flags, for example, whether they traded B2C or B2B, and whether they met additional sector classifications. All data was made available for import into the Evolutive CRM, meaning it could be utilised by all departments within the council for further projects. This was crucial to the campaigns success given the fact that the business engagement projects were often interlinked with other initiatives at the council with the overarching aim of boosting economic growth and employment in the region.
Given the multifaceted nature of the councils offering and support available, we worked with a flexible call framework to allow for engagement with key decision makers to be fluid ,taking into account the different eligibility criteria and stage at which each business was at. By focusing on matching those more relevant elements of support to those more relevant businesses, we were able to ensure that there were no wasted opportunities.
The council had separate economic regeneration and employment teams, and so we liaised with both to feed through the relevant opportunities and arrange qualified face-to-face appointments with the most appropriate business or employment advisor. Our flexible approach on the phone allowed us to identify other opportunities alongside those for the Business Growth project - for example, businesses interested in placing apprentices. As the council have numerous schemes running throughout the year, we sought to understand from businesses what might be relevant to them month now and in the future in order to provide the council with a rich dataset moving forwards.
What we achieved
The initial campaign targets included generating 100 appointments for the business growth team and cleansing 2,000 records. We have gone above and beyond the requirements of the initial brief to generate 111 appointments for the employment team. Furthermore, we also secured 21 appointments for the apprenticeship team which was not part of the original brief but rather an added value service.