Lennox succeeds with Web-based, co-op advertising portal

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Challenge: With its dealers decreasing their advertising investments and its competitors entering into partnerships with major retail stores, Lennox Industries, a leading provider of climate control solutions for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration, needed a partner to manage its co-op advertising programs. Specifically, the company wanted to offer its dealers and contractors greater flexibility while maximizing its own national advertising budget.

Solution: Lennox turned to Advertising Audit Service (AAS), an integrated marketing solutions company.

"Initially, Lennox had planned on using AAS strictly for co-op management," said Rob Sims, director of merchandising and training for Lennox Industries. But AAS soon proved to be even more useful.

"We thought all that was needed was a co-op management solution, but when we heard their challenges, we proposed that we merge our AdMaker solution with the co-op solution that Lennox already had agreed to use and then add our Turnkey solution for placement," said Art Fiordaliso, president of AAS. AAS was able to create a customized, Web-based portal solution in which Lennox could offer its dealers and contractors customizable advertising and promotions, online access to marketing materials around the clock and a ready-to-operate media placement function. Individual dealers can also tailor their own materials within an approved template.

The Lennox solution was the first application that merged AAS’ co-op management systems, Admaker system and Turnkey placement tool.

Results: "Suddenly our local advertising numbers went up," said Sims. "We have seen a 400% increase in local advertising spending by our dealers."

In 2004, Lennox saw a 30% to 40% increase in its rebate budget, which is a direct correlation to a sales increase since rebates are only given when a sale is made. Sims says the feedback from dealers has been overwhelmingly positive. Although Lennox faced some opposition at first because the product is now available only online, even those dealers reluctant to change now enjoy the solution because of its simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

When asked about the success of AAS’ new solution, Fiordaliso said, "The Lennox numbers speak for themselves."

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