Awards case study: Black Horse employs power of video to drive channel marketing campaign

Discover how Black Horse exceeded dealer take up objectives with a channel marketing campaign predominately built around high-end video production


Black Horse is the largest point of sale finance provider in the car market in the UK, and part of Lloyds Banking Group. Black Horse provides finance for thousands of customers every year to buy their vehicle from a network of dealers throughout the UK. It also sells finance through white label agreements with household brands such as Suzuki, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mitsubishi.

Challenges and objectives

The UK motor market has suffered an incredibly tough few years; subsequently, sales are only now returning to pre-recession levels. Furthermore, with 80% of new cars bought using finance, quick and easy access to finance is paramount for many dealers. However, there was a problem: requesting funds was far from quick and easy. Even where customers signed electronically, input errors caused delays. This meant contact or input from our contact centre (increasing operational costs) and sometimes a customer re-sign at a later date. In the worst case, requests were faxed or posted, incurring yet further delays and expense – hardly a digital revolution.

SignIt is a brand new digital process enabling customers to sign their finance agreements online in the dealership. Despite the clear benefits of SignIt versus existing processes, dealers are resistant to change, particularly around systems and processes, moving from familiarity to unfamiliarity.

The three key marketing objectives outlined through APC framework were:

  1. Awareness - Create awareness of the new process among dealers with a promotional element.
  2. Preference - Drive preference by producing instructional content to ensure dealers know how to use SignIt.
  3. Conversion – Encourage dealers to switch to SignIt and use the process as their preferred choice.

Media, channels and techniques used

Black Horse made sure it used straight-talking tone of voice resonating with dealers. The two clear high level headlines running through the campaign were: No paper. Less work. Referencing the paperless and time saving benefits of the process. Simple, secure, efficient. From gathered insight, the company knew the process would need to be all these things so we spelled it out for dealers in our key message.

The key media used for the sales channel roll out campaign was video. There were two elements to this to meet our objectives to drive awareness and preference. The two key deliverables of this were a four-minute promotional video to explain the benefits of Black Horse SignIt and the benefits to the end customer and a longer training video designed to help dealers understand each step and all the features and functionality.

Both videos were also reproduced for cars, bikes and caravan dealers as well as in the brands of Jaguar, Land Rover, Suzuki and Mitsubishi to further support the channel roll out to our key franchise partners. The channel marketing campaign included 15 different videos in total. Our account managers were able to deliver a consistent message to their dealers by showing both the promotion video and training video to their dealers.

The promotional video formed the key backbone of our wider marketing campaign to promote the benefits of SignIt. A website banner and campaign landing page hosted the motor version of the promotional video. The campaign was aimed at supporting the ongoing channel activity through exposure in the trade press and online media in publications we know dealers read, or websites they visit.

Results and timescale

Including planning and research, the campaign ran from March 2015 to December 2015.

Results included:

  • Over 75% take up among existing dealers by end of 2015 (target 60%)
  • 60% of cases coming through SignIt by the end of 2015 (target 50%)
  • 70% overall automation rate by end of 2015 (target 60%)
  • Over 4100 dealers using new process by end of 2015
  • Since the launch of SignIt, Black Horse sales have increased by 8%
  • 67% of dealers agree that SignIt has helped increase sales
  • SignIt since launch for Motor is as of today 151,196 funded cases worth £2,209,444,388.81
  • SignIt since launch for Bikes is as of today 21,081 funded cases worth £115,044,484.42
  • Overall 172,277 worth £2,323,488,873.23.

“The channel marketing activity supporting the launch of Black Horse SignIt is worthy of winning an award because without it, the motor finance industry would not have been transformed in such a short space of time. The marketing activity also helped build the perception of Black Horse across our dealer network.” Douglas Fraser, senior proposition manager, Black Horse.

B2B Marketing Awards 2016

This case study was submitted as part of the judging process for the B2B Marketing Awards 2016. It won the award for Best channel marketing initiative: ‘Black horse SignIt’ for Black Horse by D8 and Milestone.

See the winners

Best channel marketing initiative: ‘Black horse SignIt’ for Black Horse by D8 and Milestone