Published on Tuesday, 5th December 2017, contributed by Zone

BMW Group UK has appointed digital agency Zone as its retained retail marketing services agency for its BMW, MINI and Motorrad brands in the UK and for Rolls-Royce globally.

Zone won the brief following a final five-way pitch initiated by The Observatory International.

The agency has been tasked with helping BMW Group UK support its 400+ UK and 137 global Rolls-Royce retailers in leading the market in 21st century customer experience.

Zone will be providing retailers with a lead generation and aftersales support programme by combining best in practice digital and customer-centred processes with classic marketing. The work will feature rapid development of tools for customers, as well as content marketing and localised insight and data tools for retailers to underline their relevance and expertise.

Over 90% of automotive customers do some kind of research online prior to a purchase, which largely still takes place at a physical retailer. Zone’s brief is to make the customer journey from research to purchase even more connected and holistic for BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce trade and consumer audiences.

BMW Group UK is one of the world’s leading premium manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles. The UK is the Group’s fourth largest sales market in the world.

Zone partnered with activation agency Splash on the pitch.

Paul Ferraiolo Marketing Director BMW UK explains: “BMW operates in a hyper-competitive market with ever-increasing sales demands and consumer expectations. That’s why we believe digital needs to be at the heart of our customer journey strategy.  Our relationship with our Retailer network is critically important and we feel that Zone demonstrated the ability to support our Retailers by positioning them as experts. They also showed us a unique blend of content, technology and strategy experience, combined with a customer-centred belief, meaning they are the ideal partner to help us and our Retailers achieve our ambitions.”

Jon Davie from Zone said: “Customers increasingly start their purchase journey online, before visiting a retailer; this behavioural change creates an opportunity for an ambitious brand to make that path to purchase easier, the customer experience even better, and, in doing so, outperform rival brands. BMW are already pioneering when it comes to buying cars online, and we’re looking forward to helping them make the car-buying experience even more innovative and customer centric. ”

Zone’s clients include Unilever, Lloyds Banking Group, Maersk, Barratt Homes and RSPB.

The agency was recently bought by leading global professional services consultancy  Cognizant, expanding its capacity to deliver mission critical digital solutions to global brands.