Data-driven campaign yields impressive results

For member-based organisations such as MTA NSW, it’s critical to not only retain existing members but to attract new ones, as a sound member base ensures a stronger industry voice, while also providing a broader range of services and support for members.

MTA identified a lull in new membership applications and revenue against forecasted budget, with the membership team providing several anecdotal insights as to the reason for the slowdown:

  • Some businesses were taking services previously provided by MTA – such as legal, employment relations and others – in-house.
  • Prospects are busy operating their business, so the MTA value proposition was being drowned out and not front of mind.
  • Internal membership teams needed further assistance with selling tools and marketing campaigns to help generate sales activity and engagement.


Campaign objective: To increase enquiries among those considering becoming MTA members in 2021

Target customer: People 35+ who are senior decision makers or business owners within the automotive space. Types of automotive businesses to include new and used car dealerships, mechanics, repair shops and paint/panel workshops.

Market: Sydney metro and selected key regional areas.

Media: integrated campaign covering Social Media, Google Search, Radio and Trade Media


As a strategy-focused agency, IMA takes a research-first approach to campaign work wherever possible. For this project, as part of the creative process, our Group Account Director, Jachin, conducted a sprint phone research piece with a number of existing MTA members, to help steer the creative direction.

Two clear themes emerged from the research:

1: MTA Area Managers are key to the relationship

Area Managers deliver incredible value for those members who are active. Their role should be humanised and highlighted as part of the MTA service offering.

2: MTA membership acts as an ‘insurance policy’, if something goes wrong at an automotive business

While this is a positive sentiment, it may also point to a disconnect between how members perceive they can use MTA services – in this case, someone to call upon when challenges arise or when something goes wrong, rather than engaging MTA for ongoing day-to-day support across broader business operations. It’s a perception that needed to change.


Businesses rely on people to help them manage certain areas of their operations. At times MTA fills these roles, but often they face competition from third parties such as accountants and other business advisors, because there is a lack of awareness that MTA can provide these wide range of services from a single touchpoint.

This territory is about creating a better understanding among both members and non-members, that MTA is more than an Association. In many cases due to its long industry history and ingrained knowledge, MTA is better equipped than other service providers to offer advice and support, giving it a higher capacity to partner with business in their daily operations.

Additionally, prospective members don’t know what lies around the corner – last year showed everyone that. Our sprint research and member stories tell us that members turn to the MTA when challenges arise. We know that during challenging situations, MTA was able to assist and support many members as they adjusted and overcame the difficult operating conditions.

With these insights, a clear theme emerged: through downtimes and uptimes, businesses can turn to MTA, because we’re there at every turn. We then considered:

How can we encourage prospects to turn to MTA?

By asking them a very simple question. ‘Who do you turn to?’


  • 146% increase in member applications via the website
  • 104% increase in Google searches for ‘MTA NSW’
  • 62% increase in Google searches for ‘MTA’
  • Up to 160% increase in web traffic from key target areas

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