Marketing Program Development & Management
Two major energy companies turned to James McFarlin Marketing for project development and management support, while at the same time retaining some of the largest ad agencies in the world.
Why would Shell and Texaco bypass their ‘mega’ ad agencies and choose McFarlin to develop the majority of their critical marketing initiatives? The reason is simple. Ad agencies typically do not interface with internal operations personal who are responsible for accomplishing specific business goals. Ad agencies generally support marketing initiatives via national media channels promoting generic products like fuels and credit cards.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONSULTANT
CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
When Texaco was searching for a consultant to become an integral part of their brand management team, they were looking for a smaller group, more of a “boutique” firm, as opposed to their ad agencies that handled media advertising.
The hope was that the smaller firm would be more flexible and able to deliver at the fast pace Texaco was looking for. In short, Texaco wanted to find a marketing communications and PR partner to help them manage and grow their brand.
CAPABILITIES THEY WERE SEEKING INCLUDED:
Marketing experts with strong project management experience
- Marketing direction, ideas
- Both B2B and B2C experience
- Strategies & consultation
- Public relations support
- Brand development
- Program development and implementation
- Local store marketing
- Graphic design
- Copywriting (great skills in both creative and business-focused writing)
The Texaco / Shell Joint Venture
Texaco was a large organization with a sizable network of employees, channel partners, and vendors. Texaco wanted a marketing partner that could quickly grasp corporate needs and understand the company’s infrastructure and network of intermediaries, as well as supplier/customer relationships.
Following five years of service as Texaco’s primary marketing and communications agency, Shell and Texaco formed a joint venture to merge their U.S. refining and marketing operations. Prior to the JV, a study of both brand’s business practices was conducted by a transition team. Texaco emerged as the more evolved of the two.
McFarlin was selected as the primary marketing firm for both brands. There are several examples on this website of marketing programs and initiatives we managed for these two brands.
During this time all of the marketing programs we had previously put in place for Texaco were replicated by us for Shell. This also included completing several major initiatives Shell was already studying prior to the JV, but did not feel they had the confidence to implement these initiatives without assistance from an experienced team. We were successful in developing and implementing many new initiatives for both brands. One example is the Branded Car Wash program developed and launched for both brands following one year of pilot testing and program refinement.
After five years the Texaco/Shell JV was terminated when Texaco elected to merge its global business with Chevron. To approve the Texaco/Chevron global merger the FTC required Texaco to divest its U.S. marketing and refining assets. Shell purchased Texaco’s stake in the joint venture. Following this, we were asked to stay on with Shell and was charged with the responsibility to developing the program to convert 10,000 Texaco stations to the Shell brand, while concurrently upgrading 15,000 Shell retail outlets to the new international facility brand standards.
This is the largest retail re-branding initiative in U.S. business history.
We were instrumental in taking these two behemoths into the digital age by developing several useful business and marketing solutions including devising the first on-brand digital local store marketing system, ever adopted by any organization. The platform we devised enabled each individual outlet the ability to create their own marketing materials online, using the back office PC. Retailers now had the ability to produce customized marketing materials for their exact retail offering such as co-branded sites including 19 co-branded quick-service restaurants (QSR’s).
The web-based system, delivered via the company extranet, combined print orders at tremendous savings and contained a database that handled distribution.