Are you frustrated that your national campaigns are misinterpreted at a local level? This is particularly important in a sector like automotive, where the local marketing is distributed across a network of dealers.
For example, working with both Citroën and DS Automobiles requires us to produce communication solutions that meet the global brand objectives and support dealerships on the fronline. We've developed an approach over a number of years using 4 guiding principles:
# 1. Think Global, Act Local
Using the Citroën case to explain and specifically when they were launching their new DS5 flagship model, we had to ensure that the global brand’s signature of Créative Technologie was showcased to the full. Locally, the dealers needed a DM communication that would engage with their local customers and prospects, so the central strategy we developed was designed to meet these 'glocal' needs.
Given the sales success of the smaller DS3 and DS4 models the previous year, our communication strategy was to group all DS models together, to remind prospects of the DS5’s illustrious DNA. We created a mail piece that sold the DS Line concept by way of introduction to DS5. To customise the activity at dealership level, we used Digital Space’s digital watermarking system that links with mobile technology, to create the UK’s first interactive DM piece.
# 2. Creative Amplification Through-the-line
The Direct Mail campaign targeted 120,000 prospects on behalf of 192 dealers. Each prospect was ‘linked’ to their local dealer, and the mailer was then personalised to the dealer, both in the copy and in the watermarking - a unique breakthrough. The watermarking in the images of the cars was used to serve rich content to the customer via a dealer personalised app. The app also included dealer-specific content that included the option to book a Discovery Day launch visit or test-drive, request a brochure or a call-back, or call the dealer directly.
Our innovative solution yielded very strong results:
- 83% of dealers received responses through the app, with 880 unique hits
- Over 40% of responders interacted with the videos available in rich content
The interactions with the app were tracked, the data passed to the CRM agency for qualification, and the leads passed on to the dealers.
A post-campaign dealer survey showed that 63% of the network were in favour of continuing to use innovative, high-tech mailpieces like this. We're delighted that our approach keeps the customer satisfied, at global and local levels.
# 3. Deploy Dedicated Hub Teams
The devil is in the detail. To ensure local consistency we run a dedicated implanted team for Citroën. They are the central hub for all the dealers' marketing and localisation requirements, and act as guardians of the brand.
Our experience has shown that Marketing Asset Management systems run by an independent team - a Dealer Marketing Service - outside of HQ, provides the best results. Not only is this team committed to the solution, it is dedicated to providing a service and is seen as impartial. This gives it the unique position of being the champions of both the network and HQ.
It’s fair to say that some situations just can’t be satisfied with a template. In these instances, you need to surround your MAM system with a reliable, manual design and production facility, to work together with your network on bespoke content. Make sure that it’s affordable and can seamlessly add inventory on time and in keeping. This way, you’ll keep your network onside and, mainly, on-system.
The online portal we have developed for planning and production across all channels (advertising, digital, email, DM and PoS) has driven brand compliancy up to 95%. And through predictive marketing and data analysis, we ensure the customers' positive brand experience continues long after their car purchase.
# 4. Deploy a Marketing Asset Management system
Citroen's MAM system ensures thier valuable brand’s assets and content is available to the entire network, so it is all pulling together in reinforcing the DS brand. Thier Brand assets are presented in real time, ready to use, to personalise, build and track, there and then.
The built-in marketing planner works doubly hard for HQ. If your deploy one then you’ll be linked into each of your dealer’s systems, giving you visibility on your network’s planned and actual activity, media-mix and spend. Even basic reporting will show you which channels and templates are most popular; an invaluable tool which will help you measure, analyse and optimise. A host of performance metrics that matter to you and your network, to track sales, footfall, click-throughs, trials or anything else, lets you link budget with effect, and provides the ammo you need to steer network activity. Extensive use of these reporting functions adds a layer of business intelligence, whether you are a Branch Manager, a member of the Field Team, the Marketing Manager or CMO.
The competitive activity tracking function gives Citroen a more local outlook on what is happening, and makes their frontline marketing more tactical, agile and ultimately more effective.