MERCEDES-BENZ
RETAIL GROUP

The challenge for today’s automotive brands is to discover opportunities to influence buyers and to understand where and how to invest to ensure you are on their ‘short-list’.

The traditional linear ‘path to purchase’ model still applies, however, successful brands are now stepping outside of these boundaries, engaging with customers during their ‘micro-moments’ of exploration. Whenever the consumer is seeking information is an opportunity to engage. Search (especially Smartphone useage) is the anchor to these micro-moments.

This case study illustrates how Broadplace worked with Merecedes-Benz Retail Group to construct a digital strategy centered on a ‘360 customer view’- focusing on supporting and influencing customers throughout key moments during the pre-purchase digital research phase.

CASE STUDY – BACKGROUND

Upholding the values of Gottlieb Daimler: the best or nothing, MBRG has become synonymous with quality, excellence and efficiency. Mercedes-Benz Retail Group is the retail arm of Mercedes-Benz UK, with multiple dealerships located across London and the South East.
As their appointed digital agency, Broadplace were crucial in the planning, creation and execution stages of their online advertising campaigns. As leaders and authorities in the digital marketing space, Broadplace also ensured strong collaboration from other stakeholders such as Google, Facebook & Bing. The overall marketing campaigns were also supported by a new and talented marketing team at Mercedes-Benz Retail Group with specific, “digital-first” hires managing and supporting social channels paired with website management.

CUSTOMERS GOALS AND WHY

The top-level brief stated the necessity to generate high quality traffic to meet MBRG’s business objectives of selling cars, parts and hours across Mercedes-Benz and Smart, focusing on various dealership locations. To be able to meet the objectives, the campaign needed to be responsive to changing business requirements, while reflecting new campaigns, updates and ever changing economic climates.

The campaign needed to be based on agreed timescales, with the ability to respond to the retail market and wider industry trends.

The brief was broken down to a more granular approach:

  • Drive measurable leads across a key range of focus areas;
  • Support the launch of new branding and website for Mercedes-Benz Retail Group;
  • Mirror industry and seasonal trends such as new number plate registrations;
  • To measure success, not simply by website traffic, but by conversion to calls, form completion and emails.

Mercedes-Benz Retail Group proposed a media strategy which focused on supporting and influencing customers at specific “moments” during their buying cycle. Examples of these moments included:

  • “Which car is best?”
  • “Is it right for me?”
  • “Can I afford it?”
  • “Where should I buy it?”
  • “Am I getting a great experience?”

Both Broadplace and the marketing team at MBRG were able to map each of these moments to an appropriate channel, to provide both reach and engagement at crucial moments. The focus on moments, as opposed to channels at this point of the planning, allowed Mercedes-Benz Retail Group to construct a unique 360° view of their customers like never before. The campaign planning was, therefore, modelled across a variety of channels where customers were present at these moments.

In order to work with the variety of channels, Mercedes-Benz Retail Group commissioned:

  • A series of evolving and constantly tested creatives at model and event level;
  • A dedicated copywriter at Broadplace to implement and enhance search advertising.

In order to work with this variety of channels, Mercedes-Benz Retail Group commissioned:

  • Google AdWords , Facebook, Bing, Display/Programmatic, Video, Social, Email

Throughout the duration of the campaign, at specific milestones, MBRG and Broadplace set to review, refresh and optimise creatives, in-line with seasonal promotions and trends, in addition to prevent creative fatigue for customers.

The campaigns were also tailored to suit each respective location, with the ability to shift the activity to support particular dealerships during specific promotions throughout the year. Facebook targeting users around a specific location, supporting email campaigns directed by postcode and paid search campaigns used geo specific branch details, calls to action, opening times and other information.

THE RESULTS

The overall results of this campaign were frankly astonishing. MBRG had set high growth targets for the campaign and the actual results by far exceeded those. Actual Cost per lead was 82% lower than the original target envisaged, and total leads was 157% over the initial target set. They experienced a huge 213% increase in the overall volume of leads year on year and, on top of that, MBRG also managed to reduce their cost per lead by a massive 67%, increasing market share at a lower cost per lead.

The key performance indicators of the campaign are listed below:

  • Click through rate saw a 365.10% increase
  • Conversions / leads went up by 213.1%
  • Cost per lead was reduced by 66.22%
  • Total reach of the campaign exceeded 38,596,533
  • Average session duration experienced a 20.21% increase

The holistic digital campaign now drives the lowest cost per lead and highest volume of leads amongst all of MBRG’s channels and marketing mix. The digital campaign is also influencing and supporting their activity in other media.
This focus has expanded its digital presence to include a reach of almost 40 million across a range of digital channels, driving an increase of over 200% in leads through the website call to actions and physical phone calls. The huge increase in leads and accurate tracking has allowed for these leads to be passed to sales quickly and efficiently through different channels. As a result of the increased volume, quality, efficiency and transparency, we have seen direct sales converting sales at a much higher rate and in a much quicker turnaround time. Mercedes-Benz Retail Group are currently also working on implementing further improvements that will allow them to drive and track leads like never before possible, with the help of Broadplace and Google, and in ways that are reflective of how customers actually want to engage with MBRG.

THE RESULTS

Not only did this campaign deliver enviable results, sustained growth and huge year on year growth, with conversions up 213% and cost per lead reduced by 66%, but it also exceeded by far the original targets set. It’s not just about the phenomenal results, though. It’s more than that. This campaign was innovative and included a mix of first to market implementations never seen before, such as Google betas, experiments and cutting-edge technology.
The tremendous success didn’t go unnoticed, with the campaign receiving a Highly Commended award at AM 2018, for best digital campaign.