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Jardine Motors Group is driving the digital journey, guest opinion

Jardine Motors Group's head of digital marketing and transformation, Alex Brown

Jardine Motors Group has been on a journey that has seen the group implement systems that allow retailers operating across a multiplicity of brands, locations and customer segments to gain a holistic view of their customers and use data in a smarter, more proactive manner.

It claims that its new software solution - developed over the past 12 months - puts the customer "at the heart of everything they do", allowing dealerships to track a customer’s online journey and create a bespoke experience when buying a car.

Here, Jardine Motors Group's head of digital marketing and transformation, Alex Brown, outlines this new digital focus.

Across Jardine Motors Group we work in partnership with 19 brands, have 65 dealerships and six separate divisions.

Our sales and marketing operations generate vast amounts of data and each business has a different view on their ideal customer.

The challenge for us with implementing any digital marketing strategy at scale is we can have many different groups pulling in separate directions.

Our vision was to collate all our data together in one place and implement a system that would allow our teams to track, communicate with and have a holistic view on all of the 1.5 million customers within our database.

This would allow us to zero in on each customer, providing them with personalized, relevant communications and ensuring that their needs are met when they enter one of our dealerships. 

This was a vital move because, as the online sales of vehicles becomes more prevalent, communicating effectively and seamlessly across the physical and digital channel becomes essential.

We have integrated our existing systems - such as dealership DMS, email activity and social media check ins – allowing us to know our customers better, and understand what they’re interested in.

The big challenge here was integrating huge amounts of data into the single space.

We chose Salesforce for our single view, in part for its flexibility and openness; but we also employed some of the best-in-class middleware available.

However, despite all this amazing technology, our biggest challenge was making the necessary cultural and organisational changes.

To achieve this, we took the team for an in-depth training session at Salesforce World Tour, which was a huge eye-opener, allowing them to explore the extent of how a digital eco-system can benefit their sales and marketing efforts.

From day one, the team were able to build strong relationships with the development team that they would be working with.

Ultimately, we had to make this evolution so that we could keep moving forward as a business.

We’re living in an era where digital companies who don’t embrace the opportunities presented to them to help make a customer’s journey easier, run the risk of getting left behind.

Now that we have everything in one place, we are starting to see the benefits, and have other areas of the business knocking on the door to utilise our single customer view in new and unexpected ways; for example around auditing and compliance.

By empowering our 3,500 staff with digital tools and skills, we’re future proofing the business; moving forward, developing our employees and laying the foundations for the future transformation of the business.

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