Thursday, May 15, 2014

Case Study: Social Media Strategy @ Mercedes Benz – Targeting young Customers through Social Media

Mercedes Benz has been actively engaging with customers and prospective customers particularly younger generation customers as part of its marketing and sales strategy "Mercedes-Benz 2020 - Best Customer Experience". Worldwide, Mercedes Benz has around 23.5 million fans on the national and international Mercedes-Benz Facebook pages and the company has successfully set up a benchmark in the automotive sector in terms of engaging with fans and customers. Mercedes Benz has two million likes, shares and comments monthly at the international Facebook page highlights the aggressive fan engagement who discusses the brand and its products. To attract younger generation customers like 21- to 29-year-old potential consumers who felt Mercedes Benz cars as “stuffy” and more suited to their parents’ generation, the company launched the new CLA-Class cars that feature a compact design and a relatively low price — models start at less than $30,000.

Mercedes put its main marketing focus on social networking and first established a partnership with famous filmmaker Case Neistat who in exchange for a CLA car, made four videos showing his personal experience with Mercedes’ vehicles. Mercedes also invited Instagram’s five most popular photographers to drive CLA vehicles and post photos to the site. The photographer whose post garnered the most attention won a car. Mercedes-Benz’s Nathan Tan, a supervisor of advertising said that the social media marketing effort paid off as the average age for CLA buyers fell by 11 years which is younger compared to Mercedes buyers in general. “Mercedes ended up with an 82 percent conquest rate, or percentage of new buyers who had previously chosen another brand. Seventy percent of new buyers had never previously bought a luxury car. “It was the greatest advertising in Mercedes’ history,” said Nathan Tan.

Mercedes uses Instagram along with Facebook and Twitter successfully in a powerful way and has the most active fans among all car brands. Mercedes plans on increasing these social networking platforms in 2014 to further tap into a younger generation of buyers. Instagram Shootout is where car photographers can post images on the Mercedes-Benz channel which can be rated by users to determine the winner. Since 2009 the company has been using social networking when it launched a professional journalistic network to maintain close contact with a large number of international online opinion leaders from a range of different areas, from cars and technology to fashion, design and lifestyle. Mercedes-Benz marketing strategy for the all-new 2014 CLA-Class is working well and the company believes social media as a critical platform to attract a new generation of younger buyers who have never purchased a Mercedes vehicle before. Luxury car manufacturers are aggressively engaging with fans, customers and potential customers on various social networking sites as they have to constantly engage with above set of people, build brand reputation and increase the aspiration to own the brand’s products.  


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