Commercial First to give free marketing support to customers

Commercial First has used its in-house team to research key business sectors relevant to its customers and produced a range of marketing material for their use. Business sectors being catered for include: pubs, hotels, guest houses, B&B’s and the retail sector. The free service includes the design of websites and marketing collateral, including brochures, flyers, posters and various other direct mail material.

Stephen Johnson, sales and marketing director of Commercial First, explains: “The current economic climate is challenging with the combination of rising costs and falling consumer spending having a negative effect on the small business community in the UK.

“Given this trading environment we have identified the marketing support initiative as a key way in which we can add value to our relationship with the customer. We were able to build on our experience of providing a similar service to our supporting brokers, where over 4,000 campaigns have been delivered since its launch.

“Our team of national customer account managers had identified that many of the smaller business enterprises lack the resources to establish an effective marketing plan. In addition many rely simply upon location and a traditional group of existing customers for their trade. By providing some simple point of sale material; local advertising ideas and promotions; tips on managing and establishing a simple customer database together with a professional web site we have really helped make a difference for some customers.

“At Commercial First we have always tried to bring a fresh perspective to our business and placed a premium on being innovative. This initiative also helps us to deliver genuine added value to our mortgage customers.”

Commercial First continues to lend to existing customers and is actively working on a return to the broker market. Johnson concluded “We still retain our key personnel in the sales, marketing, underwriting and risk functions of the business. We are working on a variety of funding strategies that do not rely on the securitisation markets, recognising that this model will remain unviable for some considerable time.”