This week we have the pleasure to share an interview with Peter Berry, the Affiliate and Display Manager at Hertz. Read below what he had to tell us about working at Hertz, key audiences, advice for publishers and his predictions for 2018.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and your current role & responsibilities?
I manage the Affiliate and Display activity in our corporate European markets (UK, FR, DE, IT, ES, NL, BE). Hertz car and van rental take up the bulk of my time but we do support the Thrifty and Firefly brands too. I work closely with Webgains and our Display agency to ensure these channels are aligned with the wider business objectives and performing as effectively as possible.
Can you introduce Hertz? How have you found working at Hertz?
Hertz is a pre-eminent brand in the travel let alone car rental space; this year we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we basically invented the notion of car rental. We have 500,000 cars across 10,000 locations in 145 countries across the globe so it’s a truly international effort.
This scale is what hit me when I first started at Hertz; having worked network-side for 6+ years I was used to affiliate being at the centre of everything, all of a sudden it is a much smaller cog in the machine. It was an interesting perspective and the reason I wanted to jump brand-side; I’ve benefitted from exposure to other functions not least Display of course. I had anticipated there would be a fair few challenges and a different culture; big companies can’t always be as nimble as the latest digital pure play or start-up. There are plenty of obstacles that shouting alone won’t fix, indeed sometimes you have to face that certain things just can’t change at that time and you have to find another way.
What is a typical day when working for Hertz?
Our European HQ is in Uxbridge so the day normally starts skirting road rage and gridlock on the M25, though I frequently visit Webgains and our Display agency in central London. In over two years I’ve not settled into a typical day as such, we’re working on a number of projects between markets and channels. I’m in the digital acquisition team alongside Search and SEO; we have recurring meetings with some of the other departments – that could be digital product, local market managers, partnerships (airlines, hotels, credit cards, etc), brand and comms. Occasionally there’ll be broader updates including operations, counter sales, pricing and fleet management, or broker and franchise teams.
Besides the diversity of the business, we’re also undergoing a bit of transformation. We’ve overhauled the affiliate channel in terms of the structure and tracking already which makes it more transparent and tactical. Display moves at a rate of knots anyway, especially if working closely with the likes of Google, so we’re always evolving and testing new things. Elsewhere the business is revisiting a lot of core areas such as technology, strategy and brand so it’s easy to see why I’m not settled into an obvious routine.
Who is your key audience & does it have any specific characteristics?
Our customer base varies as much as our product range; from business to leisure, from cars to vans, from hourly to multi-month, from the airport to city centre, then, of course, we have the three brands geared towards different parts of the market. Hertz is the premium brand so we’re not normally top of the price comparison rankings or voucher Top20s. This means we have to work smartly to make the most of these partners and to explain our proposition and value to the customer. If customers are looking for a reputable company with the best cars and service then it’s a good match for Hertz. We’ve recently done a lot of audience and brand profiling work which I hope to be able to share with our partners soon, that should help inform our marketing further.
Can you tell us more about your digital marketing strategy for 2018?
Hertz have a few things in the pipeline but I can’t talk about all of them just yet. Our centenary sale is in Jan and Feb but we expect to make a lot more of the big birthday this year and there will be a lot of campaigns tying into this milestone I’m sure. Affiliate-wise I’m glad that the dust has settled on migrating the three brands to Webgains, in 2018 we’ll look to re-engage with partners and plug gaps in our coverage, with a particular focus on the non-UK markets which have possibly been a bit neglected in the past. We have tested new offer functionality at the end of last year so hopefully, we’ll kick on with the sensible application of this with key partners. Generally, there is an education piece to be done about the Hertz brand, proposition and objectives which I look forward to sharing.
What advice would you give to Publishers wishing to promote your brand?
It starts with getting in touch, which goes for me too. I intend to be a bit more ‘present’ now that the bulk of the plumbing has been done, alongside the team at Webgains of course. I’m fairly flexible in how we work with partners but it’s a performance channel so any opportunities for delivering quality business will be welcome. While Hertz is global I am particularly interested in rentals within our core European locations, i.e. when cars are picked up in UK, FR, etc – we may well look for ways to boost this type of revenue in particular. Again, I am happy to explore some tactical promotions but outside of our seasonal sale periods it is very unlikely that discounts will be widespread or long-term so I’d encourage partners to consider alternative hooks.
Any closing remarks you would like to share with your publishers?
I think I’ve talked enough already.