Business Finance – PwC gets into gear in mid-market.

A new website aimed at growing and middle market business has been launched by a firm one might least expect it from.

PricewaterhouseCoopers widely considered a multinational for multinationals, is bent on reinforcing its dedication to the middle market through its new site ‘Driving Ambition’.

One of the slogans that slides across the site as you log on, ‘You’re in the driving seat, think of us as your navigator’, is the essence of the site and the drive behind the new campaign.

Hype-free, the site is candid and informative and, more importantly, it is free. Routemaster enables users to log inquiries by selecting their market sector and business topic. The user is then either directed to information held on PwC’s global site or is able to register the inquiry via email for a more personal touch.

Central to Driving Ambition is the interactive website backed by a call centre that routes inquiries to regional offices.

Keith Anderson, senior partner at PwC’s Leicester office said that since the merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand public perception of the firm has been skewed.

‘The two firms got to where they were by nurturing middle market business,’ said Anderson, who is responsible for Driving Ambition.

‘It’s about confirming externally our market position. Afterall between 35% and 65% of our business around the world is in serving local companies with ambition,’ he said.

The government’s e-envoy annual report for 2000 put the number of businesses connected to the internet at 90%. In the US the comparative figure is 93%.

With these statistics, Anderson is confident the benefits of Driving Ambition will reach the small and medium-sized market.

‘I’m staggered by amount of information they (one-person start-ups) know about their target market, and so on. We’re finding individuals much more e-literate. The younger the start-up the more au fait they are with what the internet can do.’

‘Last week the level of hits we were getting was quite encouraging. And we’ve got people calling our contacts,’ said Anderson, but he wasn’t able to offer any concrete statistics.

The campaign’s cost of around #600,000, PwC believes is worth its weight if it means the firm is able to ‘reinforce the essence of what we’re about.’

And it doesn’t matter which ‘gear you’re in’ as the site offers advice for every stage a growing business faces.

‘The key point in regard to the website is that PwC is an inclusive brand. Whatever stage a business is at, whether it’s looking to expand, or just has a business plan, we can help. It’s not a one size fits all,’ says Anderson.

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