Volkswagen has concluded its creative pitch as Cheil retains the brand in China, while the Omnicom Group will be responsible for Europe and South America, and WPP for North America. This comes as Volkswagen is said to pool its marketing activities in these regions in four new powerhouses in 2019, which are to be established in Beijing, Berlin, New York and São Paulo.
Jürgen Stackmann, board member responsible for sales of the Volkswagen brand said that the brand will be managed in a leaner and more centralised way. This comes following the automotive brand’s plans to improve its marketing efficiency by about 30% by 2020, while looking to keep its marketing budget approximately stable at €1.5 billion. The digital share of the media mix is to grow to almost 50% by 2020, while in 2015, the share was about 25%. Against the backdrop of an increasingly personalised way of addressing customers, the number of campaign elements such as films or advertisements will increase about five-fold, a statement read.
The changes in marketing will focus on four main areas, namely product, digital, brand platforms and brand design.
Product: In the product area, the key topics in 2019 will be the eighth-generation Golf and the ID. Both cars will be fully connected, also allowing direct digital services for the customers in the car.
Digital: In addition, Volkswagen intends to set up new digital platforms such as the new online sales platform for the digital “We” services and the digital delivery service “We Deliver”.
Brand platforms and brand design: Meanwhile, Volkswagen and German service provider, diconium are developing a sales platform to allow customers to purchase and manage on-demand functions for the connected vehicle in the future. The brand expects about 360 million visitors to its global website in 2020 alone, 70% more than in 2015. Partnerships with German Football Association and UEFA, also aims to call for new approaches in marketing. A new brand design to rejuvenate and modernise the presentation of the brand is expected to be presented next year.
Volkswagen aims to accomplish these tasks mainly with the new approach, as the networks bring in its creative people together under one roof. In each case, between 100 and 200 employees will work on campaigns in an integrated, cross-functional approach and develop content from strategy through to implementation and distribution. This approach looks to make global campaigns possible.
In future, direct communications between Volkswagen and customers will be managed via a personal customer ID which is to be introduced with the new brand sales system from 2020 onwards. This will also allow the creation of a holistic, individualised customer experience via all points of contact with Volkswagen, as well as in marketing. The analysis and utilisation of market and consumer data as well as the deployment of highly advanced digital tools and artificial intelligence will play a key role.
“With the new partnerships, we will reach an unprecedented level of innovative power in marketing. Thanks to our more focused agency landscape and the expansion of our digital activities, we will become significantly more efficient. The far-reaching transformation of Volkswagen, which will also become evident to our customers next year with the world premiere of our ID., will fundamentally change our marketing,” he added.
Jochen Sengpiehl, chief marketing officer (CMO) of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand said that through its new sales model, the company will be in a position to communicate direct with the customer in the future. “In the past, direct contacts were largely a matter for the dealers. In future, we will personalise our offering to a far greater extent than has previously been the case,” he added.