Enterprise launches three agency reviews across global media, brand strategy and digital
Enterprise Holdings—parent of car rental companies Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car—is launching three separate reviews to find lead agency partners across global media, brand strategy and digital. The St. Louis, Missori-based company is doing so as it looks to ramp up its marketing efforts despite downward market trends and competitors pulling back due to the global pandemic.
This will be the first time Enterprise has ever appointed agencies of record for brand strategy and digital. The incumbent on media is Omnicom Media Group's PHD, which an Enterprise spokesperson confirmed was invited to defend.
The company spokesperson said while many of its competitors and other companies in the travel sector "are pulling back due to the impact of COVID-19 on business, we are focused on investing for the future." That thinking comes from Enterprise CEO Chrissy Taylor, who was promoted from president and chief operating officer in December 2019, who is positioning Enterprise as a mobility company.
"We are looking to the future with optimism and confidence,” Randal Narike, exec VP of global mobility and customer experience, said in a statement. “We’re looking for several agency partners who share our vision, understand our bold goals and who want to join us on the exciting journey ahead as we transform our marketing capabilities to ensure we continue to exceed consumer expectations.”
According to the company, a request for information for media was issued this week while the RFIs for digital and brand strategy will be going out to agencies soon. Enterprise expects to make its selections by early 2021.
The review for brand strategy is being managed by consultant Roth Ryan Hayes. The brief calls for "a partner to help take our strong brands and position them for future growth in mobility, including overall brand strategy, positioning, architecture, identity and design standards."
The global media review is being run by Ebiquity. Enterprise said it is seeking "an integrated and strategically skilled media partner that can enhance our current framework, communications planning and tech-stack to help build effective [and] efficient media campaigns for the future."
The digital review is being run internally. The company said it "is accelerating digital investments and looking for Customer Preference Center and Customer Data Platform partners to support more personalized marketing efforts."
Enterprise Holdings spent $47.4 million on U.S. measured media in 2019, according to Kantar. Broken down by brand, Enterprise Rent-A-Car spent $28.6 million, National Car Rental spent $17 million and Alamo Rent a Car spent $1.8 million, per Kantar.
While Enterprise said it plans to increase investments in its marketing budgets, Kantar figures point to a slowdown in spending earlier this year. Across its brands, the company spent just under $10 million on measured media from January to June of this year compared to $28.3 million on measured media from January to June of 2019, according to Kantar.
The travel industry and certainly the car rental business has been hit hard by the pandemic as people follow shelter-in-place advisories. Enterprise's biggest rival Hertz filed for bankruptcy in May with nearly $19 billion in debt and some 700,000 idle rental cars.
IBISWorld reported that the car rental sector “has endured vanishing demand as customers fear coronavirus spreading, causing industry revenue to decline an expected 21.4% in 2020 alone.” The market research company expects industry revenue to fall by 2.6% to $36.5 billion in 2020.
According to IBISWorld, Enterprise holds the largest market share for rental cars ahead of Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Advantage Rent a Car and Fox Rent a Car.