A Piston-Driven Race to Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty
Leaves One Brand in the Dust
Rental car companies have a huge range in target audiences, but the two in this Brand Battle are not competing on the same capabilities. In this Brand Battle, Enterprise and Hertz competed in the only match so far where one company didn’t win any of the five categories, even though it occasionally pulled out strong performance in some of the sub-categories, accounting for the more narrow gap in scoring. But one of the easiest, most obvious strategy analyses revealed where one company couldn’t keep up. Brandify found that the brands’ reviews and social engagement were what truly set them apart.
The Players & The Score
Vehicle rental companies Enterprise and Hertz battled their branding strategies in this competition which analyzed data accuracy, local search and advertising, reviews, and social engagement. In an industry where service can make all the difference to customers who are often stressed and rushed, Enterprise influenced its consumer base in positive ways, supporting loyalty and growth. Those efforts paid off in this Brand Battle.
The final scores were:
Enterprise: 687 Hertz: 609
Battle Rounds: Data Quality | Local SEO | Reviews | Local Ads | Engagement
Engaging with customers is like changing the oil — there are lots of errands to run on the to-do list, but this one is critical to keep the gears shifting smoothly.
Battle round: Data Quality
Look twice for motorcycles, and for accuracy!
A lucrative local digital marketing strategy needs accuracy in a way that some companies that have bridged generations aren’t familiar enough with or equipped to provide. But in the online mobile world of marketing, company branding often hinges on whether consumers can find specifically what they’re looking for — and those consumers have the attention spans of puppies. Hertz’s address and phone number data as well as unclaimed or not found locations all had more inaccuracies than Enterprise’s.
Across all channels, an average of one quarter of Hertz locations were not claimed online, compared to 15% of unclaimed locations for Enterprise. On Facebook, a key social channel for younger consumers, 66% of Hertz locations were not claimed. Enterprise hit a near-perfect goal with its Facebook page locations, where only 7% were left unclaimed. On Yelp, another online favorite for consumers who research before visiting a location, 48% of Hertz locations were not found*.
Overall for address data, Enterprise had an average health of 87%, beating out Hertz’s average health of 79%. Data for both companies were analyzed across Google, Yelp, Bing, Facebook, and FourSquare.
*Locations that were “not found” were not returned in any search results. Locations that were “not claimed” were returned in search results, but data about the location such as phone number and address was incorrect or missing.
Battle round: Local SEO
Aiming to hit all the green lights.
In addition to making brand data available and accurate, companies must address the method in which customers find that data: often through local search. Here, Enterprise excels for all the keywords that Brandify analyzed via Google search: “car rental” and “rent a car.” Enterprise locations popped up in the first search result position 83% of the time, compared to only 11% for Hertz. On Bing, 68% of Enterprise’s locations were listed as the first search result. Hertz performed better than on Google but still not well enough to beat its competition, with 37% of its locations listed in the first search result position.
Even worse, 24% of Hertz locations were not ranked at all in the local search results across both Google and Bing engines when using the same keywords. Enterprise managed to keep that “No results” filter down with only 4% of its locations missing completely.
Hertz did keep pace with Enterprise in the competition for local pages, where the two brands tied with 13 points each. But for the brands’ locators and overall website scores, Enterprise again performed better and beat Hertz by three points in both categories.
Battle round: Reviews
Online success relies on employees behind the wheel.
Online reviews allow consumers to vent about companies that they have had bad experiences with, and a customer who has had a bad experience is more likely to write a bad review than a customer who has had a good experience is to write a good one. Enterprise crushed its competition in this difficult category, where problems can arise at the most inopportune time for customers who are often on tight schedules and prone to grumpiness. Almost 74% of Enterprise reviews are listed with ratings of 4 and 5 stars, where Hertz trailed far behind with only 45% of its reviews rated with 4 or 5 stars*.
Hertz’s marketing department grabbed a shovel and began digging its brand a grave when we scored customer sentiment for the two companies. Hertz was awarded a negative sentiment score — -3.33 — on the sentiment analysis scorecard; meaning it had more reviews with negative sentiment (almost 56%) than positive. This was another tragically historic moment in Brand Battle history, as no other company has ever received a negative score for sentiment analysis.
Hertz even encountered an overall negative sentiment for keywords such as “experience,” “car,” “rental,” “service,” and “staff”.
“If you’re my worst enemy, feel free to use Hurts. Everyone please else stay away! Dealing with this company is like playing a whack-a-mole game where they’re trying to stick you with a fee or unnecessary upgrade or service. Just when you think you’re clear, they hit you with a fee from nowhere. Customer service was rude as soon as they knew I was declining all extra a services. Initially told me I was getting a Corolla but they gave me a broken down Hyundae with a horrendous rattle. Hertz, hurry up and go belly up. I cannot stand businesses like you where you try to take advantage of customers at every turn.” — via Yelp, reviewed on June 17, 2016. Rating given: 1 star.
Enterprise, on the other hand, enjoyed a well-deserved summer cocktail and basked in the glow of 74% positive review sentiment.
Battle round: Local Ads
Forget about that highway billboard – use mobile ads!
Hertz half-heartedly attempted a comeback in the local advertising competition, where it managed to beat Enterprise specifically with its general advertising campaign. But Enterprise spends more money on search advertising: almost $148,000 monthly on desktop and mobile, while Hertz spends $114,000 monthly, according to SEMrush. Hertz also spends more on desktop than on mobile advertising.
Hertz also did well with search keywords, where 80% of the company’s keywords ranked in the first, second, or third position on the search engine results page (SERP). But Enterprise employs nearly 10,600 pay-per-click keywords for both desktop and mobile, generating monthly traffic of more than 234,500 visitors.
Battle round: Engagement
Don’t stop short on connecting with customers!
Enterprise again KO’d its competition in the social engagement battle round, a category related to the reviews category where Hertz floundered pitifully. Enterprise has 519,914 followers on its corporate social media accounts, nearly 200,000 more than Hertz’s 324,339 followers. This huge difference accounts for Enterprise’s score of 19 to Hertz’s 0.3 on Brandify’s social monitoring scale of 20 total.
But neither brand is utilizing the authoritative power of local social media. Local profiles for both brands are inactive, setting an indifferent tone directed at customers who might engage and commit. For the six months analyzed, almost no posts were made by either company, significantly dropping engagement scores at a local level.
That local page engagement was one of Enterprise’s few weak points, and the company hit the gas pedal in the final stretch of the competition. On Facebook and Foursquare, Enterprise had almost four times as many customer check-ins at its company locations than Hertz: 28,000 compared to 4,000. Reviews are also important for measuring customer engagement, and Enterprise shows it is making efforts to engage with customers by responding to negative reviews and feedback.
Since May 15th, Hertz customers had liked the brand’s posts 2,182 times, compared to Enterprise with close to 10,000 favorites and likes. Hertz customers shared about the brand on social media 626 times, while Enterprise’s customers shared posts 2,944 times.
In the final minutes, Enterprise coasted past the finish line while Hertz sat with a dead battery, dirty carpets, and trash in the console halfway around the racetrack. For overall engagement scores, Enterprise won an impressive 29 points — but all in the name of friendly games.
Brand Battle Winner: Enterprise
Brandify’s Recommendations for Hertz
- CLAIM LOCAL PAGES & USE THEM! To excel in data quality, Hertz must claim local profile pages on all platforms, to even create a path to engage with local customers and increase the likelihood their brand will be found online. Currently, 66% of locations are unclaimed on Facebook. The brand would do well to work toward optimizing local pages with a click-to-call option and by connecting local social media pages for better visibility on social engines as well as search.
- DELIVER LOCALLY IN PERSON: Hertz can deliver a positive experience for its clients locally with better training for employees and by implementing a system to address negative customer responses to certain keywords. Attention to these topics will likely improve the sentiment rating on platforms such as Google, Yelp, and Bing.
- REEVALUATE ADVERTISING. Hertz is spending a substantial amount of money every month on advertising, but spending more on mobile ads could drive more mobile traffic for on-the-go customers. Spend on localized ads would help Hertz reach customers searching in a particular location.
- HELP CUSTOMERS FIND YOU. Local pages need tags and keywords to help customers searching for generic terms find the Hertz brand. Currently, 24% of Hertz locations don’t show up on search engine results pages using keywords analyzed (see the Local SEO battle round above).
Brandify’s Recommendations for Enterprise
Enterprise should continue nurturing its current marketing policies by engaging with customers on review sites and in person and maintaining online location data information and search keywords. Brandify recommends one inclusion:
- FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL CHANNELS. This brand will continue surpassing its competition’s efforts by claiming local pages on Facebook — currently, 19% of Enterprise’s locations are not found on Facebook. Pages can reach specific customers with locally-focused posts and offers, which can also be linked to local webpages.
The battle was scored using Brandify’s Social Data Matching (SDM) technology with data from various channels,* including Google, Bing, Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare. Data was entered into the Brandify analytics engine to test the two companies’ local digital marketing footprint to determine a final Brand Score for each. The Brand Score is calculated with an algorithm consisting of more than 250 variables over 5 core location-based areas: Data Quality, Local SEO, Reviews, Social Engagement, and Local Advertising.
*Other channels sources included in this analysis: Yellow Pages, MerchantCircle, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.
Brandify is transforming the way businesses connect to consumers by leveraging location technology and offering unrivaled personal service. Brandify has helped hundreds of brands understand and improve their local presence. Current and past clients include True Value, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Applebee’s, Black & Decker, and more. For more information about Brandify, go to brandify.com.