Digital opinion leaders accompany the new C-Class on its trip to the world premiere in Detroit
Stuttgart. The Mercedes-Benz Road Trip 2014, which is based on the motto “Guarding the new C-Class” and due to last five days, is set to get under way today. International opinion leaders and digital multipliers are accompanying the new C-Class from one of its global production locations in Tuscaloosa (Alabama, USA) to the world premiere at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which is taking place from 13 to 26 January 2014 in Detroit. Covering a distance of more than approximately 2500 kilometres, the trip will provide digital authors with the opportunity to become acquainted with the new C-Class before its official presentation, and to report on it with the aid of images, text and videos. Using the hashtag #mbrt14, fans will be able to follow the Mercedes-Benz Road Trip 2014 featuring the new C-Class on the social web. A compilation of the blog contributions will be published on the Mercedes-Benz Social Publish service as well as Tumblr (mercedesbenz.tumblr.com).
The Mercedes-Benz Road Trip is a joint idea devised by digital opinion leaders and Mercedes-Benz. It took place for the first time in the spring of 2012 on the occasion of the world premiere of the new A-Class. Now for the third time online journalists and bloggers in a variety of Mercedes-Benz models will be accompanying a new product on its way to the world premiere, and will be able to report on their impressions and experiences of everything there is to know about the new car. The Road Trip represents a key component in a comprehensive portfolio of pioneering measures which Mercedes-Benz has been using over the years to build up a close-knit network of professional contacts and relationships with all of the digital opinion leaders who are relevant to the brand. “As part of our ‘Best Customer Experience’ sales and marketing strategy, the growing digitalisation of marketing and communication channels is playing an increasingly important role. It is therefore essential for us to maintain regular dialogue not only with customers, but also with opinion leaders in the network. The Mercedes-Benz Road Trip represents an outstanding opportunity to do this,” explains Dr Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing Communications, Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars, commenting on the significance of digital communications for the Mercedes brand.
Mercedes-Benz on the social web – a story of success
Since 2007, in addition to digital marketing activities Mercedes-Benz has been undertaking professional journalistic networking as part of the growing sphere of influence being exerted by social networking. “Our goal is to bring digital multipliers – irrespective of their publishing channel – closer to the Mercedes‑Benz brand, its products and the people behind them as part of an open dialogue – and in return to get to know their requirements and wishes,” according to Christoph Horn, Head of Global Communications, Mercedes-Benz Cars. “To achieve this, we have prepared the resources – primarily in the form of human resources – to build up sustainable relationships within the social network and as a result successfully find new approaches to reaching young target audiences. We value the expertise and independence of digital multipliers and see them as additional opinion leaders who are as equally important alongside conventional journalists.” Currently Mercedes-Benz maintains professional, sustainable relationships with a host of international online opinion leaders from a variety of different fields – from the automotive and technology sectors through to the worlds of fashion and design and also lifestyle. They are invited not only to the company’s social media events and dialogue platforms, but also to “classic” press trial drive events, exhibitions, workshops or TecDays.
In the meantime, Mercedes-Benz has become one of the most successful brands on the social web. This has been proven in independent studies conducted by eBench and SocialBakers for example. The success has been measured not merely in terms of the sheer volume of fans and followers, but primarily by the high degree of interaction with people on a variety of different social networking platforms. As a result, on Instagram for example the Mercedes brand has the most dedicated fans of all of the automotive brands worldwide – this is also thanks to exceptional measures such as the Mercedes-Benz Instagram Shootout, in which car photographers are able to post images on a topic on the Mercedes-Benz channel. These can be rated by all users and the photographer with the most likes emerges as the winner. On Facebook and Twitter too, Mercedes-Benz is way ahead in the popularity stakes amongst fans. In 2014 new, innovative measures will be used to further reinforce the commitment of Mercedes to the digital world.