Diane Phelan is the director of marketing at Permatex, a leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of innovative chemical products to the automotive maintenance and repair markets, and a division of ITW (Illinois Tool Works Inc.), a U.S.-based, NYSE listed corporation, founded in 1912.
Phelan has been with Permatex since 2003. She has been director of marketing since 2011 and also served as director of product management and key account sales. Before heading up product management, Phelan was international market manager for Permatex International. Prior to joining Permatex, she held several marketing positions at News America Marketing. She holds a bachelor of science from University of Connecticut and is working on her MBA at University of Hartford.
In today’s Executive Interview, Phelan talks about the company’s new marketing campaign and the variety of ways Permatex will drive home its new slogan, “Always Right on the Job.”
Permatex recently launched a brand new marketing campaign that is intended to establish the company as “the solution center for all automotive maintenance and repair needs.” That’s quite a broad and powerful goal. Can you tell us more about how you aim to achieve this?
We want to ensure that both professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike continue to view us as the trusted, quality leader, and the one-stop-shop with the right products for all their automotive needs. That’s why we have launched an ambitious program to spread the message to professionals and enthusiasts, as well as our distribution and retail partners. The campaign includes print, online, and social media, public relations, POP, merchandising, sampling and QR codes. It also endorses our new slogan, “Always Right On The Job,” which best describes the promise that Permatex offers its customers, reflecting the reliability of Permatex products and the ability to offer the right solutions for a variety of jobs. To further drive this effort, we have dramatically retooled our website, Permatex.com, and are preparing to re-launch it in late October as part of our overall message.
The company is so well-known for core products such as Permatex Gasket Makers and Fast Orange. How do you plan to increase awareness for other, secondary product categories? Can you tell us more about these products that you want to bring to top of mind for consumers?
We are dedicated to educating our consumers and developing the right products that meet the changing automotive needs. We have the know-how and the extensive portfolio of quality products – whether its sealants or threadlockers, hand cleaners or easy-to-use repair kits.
This campaign will associate our popular core products such as Permatex gaskets/sealants and Fast Orange hand cleaners with less nationally known products such as our Spray Nine brand cleaners and degreasers. We hope to create more national interest in the Spray Nine line because it holds the solutions to many problems that are currently at heightened awareness in automotive market. As most people are probably aware, a vehicle’s interior is the perfect environment for collecting and breeding an unbelievable amount of germs, bacteria and mold. And, our flagship product, Spray Nine Cleaner and Disinfectant, has the perfect answer. It is a time-saving cleaner and disinfectant with nine distinct uses that get the job done right the first time!
Beyond traditional advertising, what other outlets will the company use to communicate this new marketing message and reach consumers?
Permatex has invested more time and resources in utilizing social media as a way to further engage with its end-users. We have daily automotive related posts on Permatex and Spray Nine Facebook pages, driving traffic to our websites by notifying consumers of events and promotions using Twitter and providing DIYers and professional with how-to videos on our You Tube channels.
One very critical element in marketing any brand is a good website. As you noted earlier, the company is preparing to re-launch Permatex.com later this month. What changes/additions/improvements did you make to the site to help reinforce the company’s new brand message?
We are very excited to re-launch Permatex.com in late October. We have developed the site to be a solution center for our consumers, providing them with useful information needed to get their job done right the first time. The website will be an upgrade in its visual appeal, educational content and consumer engagement. It will feature more detailed product pages such as a product gallery of images, videos, applications for multiple markets and printable instructions. It will engage and interact with consumers through its Facebook and Twitter conversation feeds, which will be available for all to see on the homepage. A blog will feature posts on educational tech tips, related automotive content and key events. The site also will feature an FAQ knowledge base, which allows users to search for answers to their questions. We also address different markets such as automotive, motorcycle, heavy-duty and marine through our “who we serve” section.
Coming shortly after this launch is our “Product Selector” tool, which will help end-users identify the right products for the jobs or applications they are working on. And this is just the beginning, as we are planning to bring in even more useful enhancements with the coming new year in 2013.