Covers Timber & Builders Merchants – ‘We’ve got your van covered!’


Covers Timber & Builders Merchants will be offering one lucky van owner the chance to give their van a new lease of life just in time for Christmas!

If you operate a van and would like to benefit from the chance to have it sign written for free, simply visit Covers’ Facebook page to enter. Entrants will need to provide a photo of their van and explain in no more than 100 words the reason it needs a makeover.



Ben Gale, Marketing Manager of Covers, said:

“First impressions in business count a great deal towards how customers will feel about a company and brand, and having the right image is an important part of this. We are delighted to be offering this prize to help a business start 2020 with a fresh new look for their van.”

The competition is free to enter and closes to entries on Friday 6 December. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 11 December and will receive full livery for their vehicle, including sides, bonnet and rear. Terms and conditions apply. Please visit for more information.


City Plumbing – TPG Campaign

Trade Price Guide

In 2018 City Plumbing set out to aggressively disrupt the Plumbing and Heating arena. We knew our market was changing both for installers and contractors.
More of our competitors were using online, customers wanted to have better relationships with suppliers and also wanted a seamless and quick trading journey by having all the products they need in one place, with one invoice. At the same time, we knew we needed to provide a more tactical experience for specialists products.

So as a company we started to simplify our business with a new operating model – restructuring our office and regional and national sales. We also introduced an extended range of products – with trusted prices, great availability and convenient and fast ways of purchasing.

We then spent 6 months researching and planning: understanding how customers buy products and what their purchase journey looked like and how our range size and prices compared with our competitors. We introduced 22 new product ranges and repriced 1,000’s of products to be at a market competitive position.

The next step was to make the customer journey easier and this led to the launch of the City Plumbing Trade Price Guide (TPG).

The objective of the TPG was to house all our ranges in an easily accessible guide that installers and contractors could use when they needed products and pricing at their fingertips.

It needed to be compact enough to fit into a side door of a van/glove compartment and visually share all the brands our customers know and trust It also needed to be linked to the City Plumbing website so tradespeople could have a seamless sales journey – from their brochure to their online basket.

It needed to be simply done – batching all relevant products together, giving top tips on additional products they may need to finish the job, also providing some education on our proposition and what we have to offer. Reaching out to our existing customers and reacting our lapsed customers. The Guide was also used to reach out to prospect customers. The Trade Guide was also to be used as a product guide for our branch network and sales teams.

The first Trade Guide took over 4 months to create from planning to print, starting at 480 pages and over 6,000 product lists, 23 different categories including our new Electrical range which launched earlier in the same year. We had 75,000 copies printed, costing £110k in all.

We then spent a further £275k on above the line activities including SEO, PPC, On The Tools, Captify, Radio, Social Media and Quantcast.

We targeted 1.2m customers with email campaigns over a 6 week period, across our existing customer base and prospect customers. All backed up by a direct mail campaign to 10,000 prospect plumbing and heating Engineers and 6,000 lapsed customers with voucher offers to encourage spend and reactivate. £20k was spent on branch POS to support the campaign backed up by incentives to encourage engagement with the branch network.

Other activities we used to drive engagement included Statement stuffers, PHPI magazine, Monthly Deals, Invoice ticketing, Telesales and sharing the TPG guide on Showroom Rewards – our incentive programme for installers.

The results
The results were phenomenal. YoY sales saw a huge 14.2% increase. We also saw the largest number of customers trading with us in the launch month, for three years (32,573).

TPG products sales improved from pre to post-launch by 5.4% equating to £2.4million sales and £0.5 m trading margin. PPC had it’s best month with 27.5k sessions at an ROI of 14%.

ATL digital expenditure generated 2.7 million impressions and 18,595 clicks. The TPG landing page online was viewed by 6,925 unique devices 7,905 times. Quantcast display ads were served 1.6 million times.

Unmanaged customers – TPG drove sales improvement in all categories with the biggest improvement in Heating.

Activity to push the Trade Price Guide to lapsed customers delivered a reaction rate of 14.1%.

The Trade Price Guide campaign helped drive a strong peak in October to our online website of 306k total sessions – 28% or 65k sessions up in September and

118% YoY. TPG online landing page was viewed by 6,925 devices 7,905 times.

Our customers and branches actively use the guide on a daily basis and anecdotal feedback has been very positive leading to the production of 3 more editions.

We have on our fourth edition of TPG, in one year, and have increased the page count by 180 pages and product lines by over 2,000.
This now includes the growing range of Electrical products, new and extended ranges across all categories, stronger proposition messaging and cross-selling categories, backed up by better availability in branch.

We’ve also been more selective in how many copies and collateral we send out to branches. They now get the right POS for what they need and the availability to order more if needed, therefore reducing waste and costs.

CED Natural Stone – Support of Peter Donegan Garden Design at The Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show Cardiff Garden

Support of Peter Donegan Garden Design at The Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show Cardiff Garden. The first Irish designer accepted to create a garden at The RHS’s only spring show for Perennial, The Gardeners Royal Benevolent Society’s 180th Anniversary. We helped and assisted Peter (who had a £2500 budget for a 3-week garden build) with attaining PR for Perennial, the charity for whom he designed the garden.

 The garden was supported by CED stone group, Oxford Planters, British Soil, Travis Perkins, Hortus Loci to name just a few… It was constructed by Burnham Landscaping. Everybody worked free gratis. It won a silver medal.

Bradford Builders Supplies – No Bull, Just Spring Deals You Won’t Believe

Spring marks the start of Bradfords Building Supplies major trading period. It’s as important to us as Christmas and Black Friday are to consumer retailers. The buzz of excitement in the air is tangible and to mark the season, we run a campaign that both our customers and our team of 700 staff in our 42 branches can get behind.

In 2019 our commercial aspirations were big:

  1. Deliver a 20% YoY sales increase on promotional products
  2. Show that a fully integrated campaign could deliver positive ROI
  3. Keep within a £78,000 budget for creative, media and production.

We are creating a reputation within our sector for our bold campaigns. In 2019, we wanted to build on the 2018 ‘Spring Deals You Won’t Believe’ campaign with the launch of the biggest marketing campaign in our 250-year history.

We asked ourselves how we could again inject the notion of disbelief into a creative idea that cut through, was ownable for the brand and put an ‘unbelievable’ message out into the market, building on ‘That Must Be B*******s’ slogan from last year’s campaign?

Creative Idea:
NO BULL – Just Spring Deals You Won’t Believe

This message was direct and to the point for our customers whilst allowing us to showcase our great deals. The message also reinforced our ‘Trusted by Trades since 1770’ strapline.

With such a clear campaign identity and belief in this concept, the business really got behind it. The commercial team were able to bring ‘unbelievable’ deals to the table and we made the campaign effective by delivering a with truly integrated approach across every part of our offering.

Campaign Activation:
The campaign was activated across the entire Bradfords estate…

  • Pre-launch: We designed and distributed a detailed campaign guide to all Bradfords colleagues and armed them with NO BULL staff T-shirts and sales pads.
  • Launch week: We used our annual landscaping roadshow we host with key suppliers, branch managers and sales staff to launch the campaign. This set it in the hearts and minds of our colleagues by setting out our plan and showcasing the fantastic products on offer. Having the buy in of our colleagues in branch is vital in delivering any successful marketing campaign as ultimately, they have to sell it to our customers.
  • In-store marketing: banners and truck liveries
  • Customer merchandise: 10,000 NO BULL customer T-shirts were also distributed throughout the Southwest.
  • TV campaign: We took our first venture onto Sky TV with a highly targeted advertising campaign hitting our core customers in the South West. We worked hard to target by location, audience, as well as genre channel (entertainment & sport) and this paid off with a reach of 149,223 which was a fantastic 89% of the total segment and impressions 113.6%, achieved which was a brilliant overperformance with 708,543 individual advert views. The 30 second advert fully played on the campaign concept and was aimed at our trade audience where one tradesman on their break reminisces with his work mates about an exaggerated recollection of a cup final, whilst his other colleagues see through the ‘BULL’. The advert then cuts sharply to one of our unbelievable Spring Deals followed by a prominent ‘NO BULL’ message.
  • Advertising: we utilised tried and tested media channels to engage the trade and drive them to branch; press, radio, outdoor, digital, and social media. The idea played seamlessly across these channels.


  • YOY sales increase on promotional products + £822,000
  • YOY sales % increase on promotional products + 36%
  • YOY reporting profit increase + £390,000
  • 5:1 return on marketing investment
  • We saw unprecedented levels of engagement with trade partners:

“The Bradfords Postcrete offer was featured on both Sky TV and radio and drove 27% YoY sales out uplift, an incredible return on investment! Thanks, Bradfords, we can’t wait for next year!” – (Area Sales Manager, Tarmac Cement)

Our branch engagement activity clearly paid dividends too:

“The campaigns seem to grow each year and really tick all the boxes with customers and staff alike. It was with great pride I was at home watching the Cricket World Cup and one of our unbelievable Spring Deals appears on my TV.” – (Branch Director, Yeovil)

Our Media Partners were also fully engaged:

“TV advertising is an incredibly effective brand awareness tool for small to medium sized brands looking to grow, Bradfords introduction to this medium can be deemed a total success”. – (James Thompson, Mostly Media)

Not only has this campaign delivered huge commercial success for our business in the short-term, we have continued to create a long-term sales platform on which to build. ‘Deals You Won’t Believe’ will return once again in 2020.