Q&A with Daniel Shaw, Group Marketing Manager of Listers Central and GJB Window Systems
Following Roy Frost’s (ex Deceuninck MD) recent acquisition of two heavyweight fabricators – Stoke based Listers Central and Essex based GJB Window Systems – the two companies have been busy pooling their resources in a concerted effort to offer installers the very best products and support. One asset which now sits across both businesses is Daniel Shaw, long-standing marketing manager of Listers.
When did you join Listers and what were you doing previously?
I officially joined Listers as their Marketing Manager in 2011 but in my capacity as a self-employed marketeer prior, Listers were one of my largest clients and so I’ve been working with Listers since around 2005.
Describe a typical working day.
Manic with a hint of craziness.
I’m an early starter and like to be in the office around 7am whilst the phones are quiet. I put on the headphones and as I think with everyone, its email catch-up time in that first hour.
I’m a stickler for a to do list, so I work my way through compiling the day’s activities and trying vehemently to tick them off as the day progresses. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the only typical thing about my day is that the list grows by the end of the day…it never shrinks!
After the emails and the to do list, the day then takes its own course. I could be writing press releases, designing adverts for customers, updating our websites, working on e-shots, travelling to visit customers, working on the latest marketing strategy, proofing brochures, sorting music for the showroom…you name it, I do it.
It’s a non-stop rollercoaster ride of exciting projects and new ideas. With my role now extending out across two companies, it’s really interesting to see how one idea needs to be tweaked to suit the other company. GJB and Listers have very different client bases so adapting concepts is key to making them a success for each company.
Tell us about Elitis, the long running marketing support package from Listers.
We set-up Elitis in 2005, in fact it was one of my first projects when Listers employed my agency. It was the brainchild of the then Managing Director, Mark Warren, to devise a brand that levelled the playing field between the small installer and the big The idea was simple. Our installers are great at installing but don’t have access to mega marketing budgets or the time to dedicate to marketing themselves. We basically filled that hole for them.
Elitis is a retail focused brand that houses a purpose-built website. This website generates consumer leads, which are then handed FOC to our installer network. We then developed an Elitis brochure which could be overprinted for our customers helping them stand out from their competition as well as personalised product sheets. Over the years we have developed the Elitis offering to include personalised websites, van liveries, workwear, stationary packs and showroom support. It’s really very comprehensive and has been adopted by a large majority of our customers.
What marketing elements from Listers are you looking to introduce to GJB customers?
We’re certainly introducing the Elitis brand into GJB and we’ll be optimising our website to include the South more and help generate leads for GJB customers.
GJB will now have access to a product range, that they previously didn’t, such as the Residence Collection and our Timeless Flush window. Working with Rob Waller, Sales Manager for GJB, we’ve been taking what I do for Listers with regards to communicating with customers our product lines and adapting that to suit GJB’s customer base. GJB for instance had their first customer newsletter in December, which went down exceptionally well with their clients.
Do you think fabricators should provide marketing support for their customers? Or do you think the ultimate responsibility should lie with the installer?
This is an interesting question and one that when we started Elitis, we wrestled with ourselves for a good couple of years. It can be an onerous task trying to get installers to get on-board with something that is new to them. There’s a lot of hand holding required and sometimes the efforts may not pay off. But with perseverance and continuous support, Elitis started to gain momentum on its own and became so well respected that we were finding it so much easier to get customers working with us to maintain the integrity of the brand. I can see why fabricators may steer clear of that level of support, but for Listers, it’s what stands us apart so I’m glad we stuck with it and then grew Elitis over the years.
Are there any big developments in the pipeline for Listers or GJB?
Yes…but they’re a secret! All I can say is, at Listers we’re in the throes of redesigning our showroom for a fantastic new range of products. At GJB we’ve started from a blank canvas and developed a retail showroom that will be opening up very soon. Some of the products that will be highlighted are again, new to GJB so it’s all very exciting!
One thing I’ve learnt working with Roy Frost is, every day there’s something new on the table…and that’s what makes my job so very interesting!