Mercedes-Benz sustainably consolidating its agency landscape
OMD EMEA
30 September 2021

Originally published by Daimler.

Mercedes-Benz is sustainably consolidating its agency landscape, and awarding the international mandate for marketing communication to Omnicom Group. 

  • Global pitch decision in favour of Omnicom Group, with a long-term partnership planned to launch under the name ‘Team X’ beginning January 2022
  • Mercedes-Benz is bundling its global media, brand and performance marketing activities across all phases of the customer journey in an international agency network
  • After the merger of the new, fully integrated PR & Marketing unit under the leadership of Bettina Fetzer, the next step for strengthening the brand presence will follow with the further development of the agency network
  • Creating globally consistent brand experiences across all customer touchpoints

After merging the communication and marketing departments within the company, Mercedes-Benz is now taking the next step and fundamentally repositioning itself on the agency side as well, consolidating its global marketing communication scope with ‘Team X’ from Omnicom. This arrangement, which is unique in the industry, will create a fully integrated, global agency model – from performance content development to media playout and success measurement – which can serve interested parties and customers with relevant information at all contact points of the customer journey. This consolidation on the agency side is to follow the internal consolidation of performance marketing activities into international hubs in the four regions of the United States, Europe, China and Overseas. As a basis for content production, an efficient process for digital image and moving image production is being established which can present the required communication content and formats for personalised communication with the customer on a large scale.

Prior to the six-month selection process, the areas of responsibility of the two agency groups that are currently enjoying a very successful working relationship with Mercedes-Benz were redefined and re-evaluated in a multi-stage selection process, with the aim of consolidating into one partner. The focus of the tender was primarily on the further development of digital and data-based media, as well as brand and performance marketing activities, which assure the customer-centric approach to all target groups along the customer journey – online and offline. In addition to the processes of change in marketing and sales driven by the digital transformation, the aim for the new agency set-up is also to simplify marketing operations. In order to consistently increase marketing effectiveness and efficiency, the intelligent use of data along the customer journey should also be accelerated.

As the budget holder of global media activities, Omnicom Group was convincing in this selection process, and as the new holistic partner, will ensure seamless development and playout process both on- and off-site for the corporate and product brands of Mercedes-Benz, on a global basis. The new agency unit will commence operations under the name ‘Team X’ in January 2022, and will have cross-divisional responsibility for a large number of Mercedes-Benz business units in more than 40 markets worldwide. A long-term partnership is planned.

“With this decision, Mercedes-Benz is setting the next milestone in consistent customer communication on all channels – online and offline. By bringing together a new, fully integrated unit, Mercedes-Benz is re-orchestrating all of its communication content across all channels to deliver a data-driven, personalised and seamless brand experience for customers at all touchpoints worldwide. This is where ‘Team X’ will act as our holistic, fully networked agency partner for globally sustainable, efficient and effective communication,” says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for Sales. “Our goal is to build the most desirable cars in the world – we also want to convey the desirability of our products as well as our esteem for our customers in every contact with our brand,” says Seeger.

“We share the importance of this moment and feel privileged to partner with Mercedes-Benz as they transform and merge their Global Marketing and Communication activities”, says John Wren, Chairman and CEO of Omnicom Group. “Mercedes-Benz was looking for a holistic agency partner that could help deploy a sustainable and globally consistent luxury experience for the company’s brand promise around the world for the first time. Our newly formed ‘Team X’ delivers on that goal, creating a streamlined global structure with clear single points of contact as well as innovative data and analytics connected in every layer. We look forward to supporting Mercedes-Benz in a long-term partnership to further increase the desirability of its brand portfolio and pioneer the creation of personalized and highly effective customer communications.”

Globally consistent and brand defining experiences

To further develop the brand’s luxury positioning, Mercedes-Benz is also focusing even more on generating brand-defining experiences that lie outside the classic campaign – from events to collaborations. To this end, both agency groups involved in the pitch were additionally asked for a concept for a fully integrated global creative agency. This is intended not only create a globally consistent brand presence, but also consider the special cultural and social characteristics in the relevant regions.

To this end, Omnicom Group presented a compelling approach, envisioning an integrated and tailor-made agency solution unlocking a holistic view of the consumer across every brand-defining touchpoint, experience and moment along the customer journey. The model combines the ability to further augment desirability for our brand portfolio while using powerful data to identify and capture future demand potentials. Working closely with the Mercedes team, Omnicom Group plans to further refine the model, bringing together best-in-class specialists across disciplines within their existing agency network in the United States, Europe and China – as well as from long-standing Mercedes-Benz agency partners antoni und OSK.

“The creative unit with hubs in the US, Europe and Asia will take local needs into account early into the strategy and creative work, and adapt global brand presences in a regionally nuanced way. In addition, together with all regions, we want to significantly strengthen the communicative and experience-oriented proportion of brand communication. In parallel, we will work as a team on continuous brand development and the design of our style-defining appearance across touchpoints and audiences – in all regions and markets. One presence, one brand experience – one “Mercedes look and feel” for all brand-defining activities worldwide – that is our goal,” says Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Communications & Marketing
Mercedes-Benz AG.

Fair and transparent selection process with commitment to sustainability

Selection of the new agency was based on a standardised procedure involving all participating regions and Mercedes-Benz business units. In order to guarantee a fair and transparent process, the agency services presented were assessed according to uniform criteria and collated to form an overall result using a predetermined weighting key. Evidence of and commitment to a sustainable business strategy was a relevant part of the selection criteria. Throughout the process, Mercedes-Benz also followed the common guidelines of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) on conducting pitches.

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