Michael Stein, Volkswagen Group Denmark
Michael has been setting the pace for Volkswagen Group Denmark initially as Head of Marketing for Volkswagen DK before becoming Head of Marketing for SEAT, ŠKODA, Audi and Volkswagen. Through continuous innovative thinking, integrated communication and use of technology platforms, he has successfully managed to position the brand portfolio more solidly than ever before.
With an innovative mindset, solid digital skills and a natural curiosity and flair for new trends, Michael represents the CMO of tomorrow.
A McKinsey & Company study about Automotive retail from 2014, found that the average number of store visits has declined from 5 to just 1 from 2006-2013. Google supports this in the study ‘Measuring the full Automotive Journey – Fast & Digital 2017’ who found that there were only 1,6 dealer visits before purchase in 2017 compared to 5 in 2005. This trend reflects massive digitisation throughout the Danish population, where the predominantly part of the consumer journey now is digital — a migration that Volkswagen group has observed and which has been directional for their transformation of marketing.
According to Michael Stein, consumer expectations to great digital brand interaction are higher than ever before – “…Prospects want at any time to be able to access and engage with relevant and value-added content that helps clarify the choice of car. Volkswagen Group DK believes mobile first and integrates technology and content distribution to provide a superior digital marketing experience consistent across channels. Campaigns are recency planned and executed from an always-on perspective by the support of marketing automation platforms.”
DENSOU and Volkswagen Group DK have collaborated for the past two years in the co-development of the Local platform. A self-service solution that empowers local dealerships with control and easy usability to run display campaigns across the largest publishers targeting prospects within local districts.
Here is a recap of the key preliminary reflections, observations and outcomes of the collaboration process with DENSOU seen from Michael Stein’s perspective:
Objectives and obstacles
- Initiating a digital maturation process across internal marketing entities that reflects and encapsulate a more predominantly digital consumer behaviour.
- To transform the organisation to think and act digital first in all marketing aspects.
- To manage and execute a brand portfolio strategy based on recency planning and always on
. Theneed to find a digital development partner, that understands our marketing and business objectives and has the capabilities and skills to co-develop a self serve media buying platform.
- DENSOU immediately understood our technical and business pains and effectively converted them to relievers and gains in the co-development of the customised solution.
- We quickly realised that this was not a transactional relationship, but a strategic partnership.
- DENSOU’s approach to the partnership included a tremendous amount of humbleness, accessibility and curiosity to learn and develop from our shared experience.
- The Local platform has been adopted across all brands and supports our digital transformation process across marketing as performance delivering artefact.
- So far we have automatically executed more than 2000 display campaigns with success.
- Our sales modelling data shows that campaign executed through the local platform drives sales far more efficiently than local print advertising
. Car dealerships with limited marketing experience can run campaigns themselves, and they observe a significant uplift in sales and aftermarket conversations.
- We are doing dynamic display campaigns for our used car portfolio through the integration of internal systems and XML-feeds which hold all used cars in stock.
- The local platform contributes to a vast increase in qualified traffic to dealerships and landing pages. A more significant proportion of this traffic constitutes a larger share of unique landing page visits and store visits.