PHD and Volkswagen roll out specialist unit for data-driven advertising

PHD has launched a specialist unit built for automotive brand Volkswagen, called "Engine". The unit was designed to capitalise on the volume of anonymous data being generated by consumers researching cars online and has plans for roll out in the last quarter of this year globally.

Based in the hub locations of Singapore, London, New York and Miami, Engine aims to deliver operational excellence for local markets and offer an end-to-end programmatic solution. This includes data collection and management, audience creation, dynamic creative, activation and measurement.

This approach also aims to ensure Volkswagen can deliver relevant content to consumers as they move through their digital journey to purchasing a vehicle. "Engine" pulls together technical experts from Omnicom Media Group (OMG) agencies PHD, Annalect and Adylic to support technical operations, audience building, dynamic creative and performance reporting. PHD will manage Engine experts across OMG and these teams will be housed in four regional hubs supporting relevant local Volkswagen and PHD programmatic buy optimisation teams who will manage their own local campaigns.  The collective hub and local focus aims to drive effectiveness and cost efficiency in delivering core digital consumer behavior KPIs.

Up to date, PHD has run test cases in Italy, France and Spain with Engine’s approach delivering increased effectiveness and efficiency of 30-300%, the press statement read.

“In today’s automotive path to purchase, the 'sale' is done online while the 'deal' is finalised in the dealership.  Consumers are researching automotive purchases online and thereby creating an explosion of data which gives us an unparalleled opportunity to offer them more relevant and engaging content to address their specific questions and/or needs during each stage of their purchase journey," Oliver Maletz, global head of communications and media VW-brand said.

"The support Engine will provide gives our local teams the expertise to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of paid data led marketing communications across online video, display, search and social. It essentially allows us to rapidly globally scale the results we have achieved in a few markets," he added.

“This is an exciting step forward for both PHD and Volkswagen. By creating these unique, hub-based teams with technical expertise, data analytics and creative, PHD and Volkswagen can fully leverage the programmatic media and technology landscape to drive improved results," Paul Hawkey, global business leader for Volkswagen at PHD said.

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