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Long-term marketing strategy rolled out at Lexus

Lexus has completed the rollout of a global marketing unit that it hopes will cut media costs, encourage a consistent brand identity and set it apart from Toyota’s marketing.

The revamp means global marketers will gather a year before a vehicle’s scheduled release date to plan product messaging, identify key communication channels and influencers as well as pick the best creative content. Further meetings are conducted once a quarter to hone the strategy until launch.

Each member of the global hub will relay the strategy to their regional teams as way of speeding up best-practice transferred within the company. Regional teams will still be able to create local marketing strategies but the changes aim to ensure localised efforts promote the same brand message.

The new Beyond Utility campaign for its NX range, which has been split into two core concepts to target younger buyers when traditionally there would have been one campaign for each region, is the first launch under the strategy.

Previously, those responsible for marketing in each country would have developed their own advertising and media plans as Toyota treated the Lexus business more like a sales channel than a brand. The process created a "disparate" brand premise across markets that could be "jarring" to consumers, Lexus said.

"This year you’ll start to see better consistency in the brand as the rest of the world becomes front and centre to our business’s growth," a spokesman added.

Lexus also plans to use the global marketing hub to thrash out a stronger social media strategy as it seeks to overcome the implications of it being harder to surface organic content on Facebook and declining engagement rates on Twitter.

The spokesman added: "The change will allow us to enter emerging channels in a quicker and more innovative way. With the upcoming changes to the way Facebook treats content through its Edgerank system and interaction levels of Twitter dropping, we’ll look at the role both play in the armoury of our social media channels. looking at whether we keep Facebook as more of a traditional advertising channel or become more visual in our content, which would mean a bigger role for Instagram."

Lexus has focused on the US because the volume and spend has been there, the spokesman said.

He added: "With the creation of Lexus International, we’ve moved away from being an adjunct of Toyota. Having a consistent brand premise across the world is important to communicating that premise."

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