Mini Electric - An electrifying launch for an iconic British car brand

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The background

The background

Delivering the unknown – driving sales of MINI’s first electric car.

As the BMW Group’s Retailer marketing agency, Zone works across the BMW, Rolls-Royce, MINI and Motorrad brands and its network of 280 third-party Retailers.

National campaigns drive awareness and demand, but when it comes to converting attention into sales, it’s Zone’s job to make sure Retailers have all the support and materials they need. This involves intelligent use of data at a local level and constant dialogue with the Retailers themselves.

As MINI prepared for the launch of the MINI Electric in March 2020 – its biggest model launch in 19 years – it was faced with a new set of barriers such as range anxiety, technological trepidation and audience definition.

The challenge

It’s a guessing game – the appeal of Electric is so broad that we don’t know how to reach the right audience.

~Retail Marketing Manager, MINI

The electric vehicle market is crowded. All major car brands had launched, or were in the process of launching, electric models within the first six months of 2020. In this highly competitive landscape it was essential that MINI Retailers fully understood how to sell the new Electric model and how to overcome the main barriers to purchase for potential buyers.

Different retailers were at varying levels of maturity in understanding their customers and knowing the right sales techniques for the Electric model.

The solution

Navigating the new world of electric car sales

Zone had already developed ENGINE, a bespoke platform that provides assets, services and tools to support individual Retailers with the marketing challenges they face. So we used this platform to deliver end-to-end marketing campaign management for this exciting new car – from asset creation through to analytics and reporting.

First, we analysed the network to understand their different audiences’ needs and concerns. We then provided each Retailer with a data-driven add-on to the DADI award-winning Audience Insight Tool that Zone had already created. It gave them access to information about how to reach their target audience, the type of content that was most likely to appeal, and assets designed specifically to target them.

We needed to ensure Retailers became experts in the complex, fast-moving electric vehicle market. We created ‘The Spark’ – a microsite within ENGINE that provided up-to-date content on the MINI Electric. It included competitor analysis, customer surveys, success stories, campaign assets and, most importantly, guidance.

Our strategy and creative team worked to create campaign assets that spoke to the various audiences throughout their buying journey and at key points in the campaign: pre-launch, launch and post-launch. These assets included social media posts and videos, direct mail, editable email templates, email signatures and on-site sales videos.

The outcome

A one-stop digital shop to electrify Retailer marketing campaigns

Zone’s solutions helped MINI Retailers across the UK to vastly exceed their targets for leads and pre-orders, with 1,181 made before Christmas – still nearly three months until anyone could test drive the car! It helped MINI outperform the market in terms of new car sales. Electric also assisted MINI in outperforming the likes of Spotify, Tiffany & Co and Burberry on Interbrand’s list of most valuable brands for 2019.

Our highly dynamic and personalised marketing strategy ensured the right customer got the right message at the right time.