Mini marketing chief shares the thinking behind its Connected efforts

National marketing manager talks to CMO about the reasons behind the car company's latest brand campaign and how it's working to better engage and educate customers

Mini's latest OOH campaign
Mini's latest OOH campaign

Mini Australia’s latest advertising campaign to showcase its new Connected intelligence services and apps is part of a wider lifecycle-oriented approach to educating and engaging customers with the brand, its national marketing manager says.

The fresh campaign, which kicked off in July, sees Mini using out-of-home creative that taps into a combination of geographic and contextual data sets in order to deliver dynamically targeted content to Australian consumers. The integrated marketing media effort centres around the key benefits of Mini’s new Connected technology.

“While we’re an iconic looking vehicle, the design doesn’t change all that much, but the capabilities of the car do,” Mini Australia national marketing manager, Alex McLean, told CMO. “Rather than a traditional product launch, we looked at the key USP, which is Mini Connected. We’re the first car producer to bring this technology into this segment.

“It’s easy to understand once you know about it. The challenge for us is to educate greater consumers about the technology and how it benefits them.”  

What’s more, McLean said the marketing team is constantly working to tackle public perception the Mini brand is sub-premium in terms of features and innovation.

“We’re BMW but with a different logo - we have the German technology and engineering, with a fine British brand. So we have to tackle those perceptions and educate people about the quality of the product,” he said.  

At the same time, it’s important to differentiate Mini Connected from BMW’s ConnectedDrive, a similar technology launched in Australia in early 2017. “We learnt from these projects, particularly on the retail side, and knew we had to make it as simple as we could,” McLean said.  

The marketing team’s efforts are focusing on three areas of Mini Connected: In-car, in-app, and third-party technology. From there, McLean said creative and content focused on three capabilities: Real-time traffic, car to app integration, and concierge services, which allow users to connect directly to concierge services to book flights, hotels and more.

Data insights

Using geolocation and contextual data as part of the campaign is just one way Mini is striving to tap data and consumer insight to inform its marketing activities. Across digital media, Mini is also using Google Affinity audiences and its own database to test creative and optimise campaigns. One way creative is being tailored is via the visual material used, such as showing a family versus a couple.

“Over the last 3-5 years, there has been significant change in how we better use our first-party data to have more tailored messaging,” McLean commented. “We’ve worked well as a group with BMW and our CRM colleagues to review the technology stack, look at what to introduce to get better targeted digital inventory, and get to a single view of customer.

“Every brand is talking about the DSP challenge. We’re also looking at a customer data platform, plus how we better visualise data to use it in a more targeted way.”

The emphasis on how features benefit customers is also a change in tack from the traditional product launch-focused media approach automotive manufacturers have taken historically.

“Previously, we’ve focused on the new launch of a car product model. But people don’t buy cars just when they are launched. We wanted to focus on the USP and features of the car more so than the car itself,” McLean said.

Over the last three years, he pointed out the path to purchase for vehicles has dropped from six months to under three months.

“That’s a short period of time to catch lightning,” McLean commented. “That means we need consumers to be educated even when they are not currently in market. That’s a key focus with the out-of-home and digital campaign.”

These broad segments of in-market and not in-market require distinct media and marketing approaches, he said. “If you’re not in market, I need to distract you in a positive way to grab attention. So we’re producing content to cultivate partnership and association,” McLean said.

As an example, he pointed to Mini’s partnership with Movember, and also noted investments into content across social media channels.

Customers as advocates

With its Connected marketing strategy, meanwhile, McLean explained Mini is working to service three target customer segments: Those not yet in market and prospective audiences; its own dealer network; and new vehicle owners.

The latter is about ensuring new car owners understand the latest technology, download the app and use it. More broadly, Mini has a wider three-year lifecycle approach to new owner engagement. Initiatives have included giving customers the ability to custom design driving gloves and badges for the front of their vehicles, to serving content specifically around features and functionality within their new car.

“Eighty per cent of owners don’t know 80 per cent of what their car can do. With all cars and vehicles, Connected give us an ability to share and talk about our brand,” McLean added. “New owners are our best advocates.”   

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

This journey would identify all your future life aspects!

Maryann Humphrey

Open Colleges: one-to-one journeys is the goal

Read more

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

ok. so no RCS support? by the way, RCS is a lot bigger than 5G in terms of marketing and monetisation so y'all should be covering it.

DragoCubed

Optus goes for education with 5G network campaign

Read more

Many companies and individual merchants have shifted their major part of marketing to web marketing services Portland as it weighs fewer ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

This is a unique experience! Will be interesting to talk to their managers.

Joyce Harris

​How Krispy Kreme revitalised its brand in a saturated market

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in