Updated: Jan 3
Written by: Megan McDowell
When a luxury car company experiments with a technology to help gather market research and continues to expand year after year with that technology, you must conclude that it is paying off. That is what happened with Mercedes-Benz who first began using market research online communities in 2008 with Generation Benz. Generation Benz was created to engage Generation Y customers. The research community was created as an invite-only forum and allowed members to gather around their love for the brand. Generation Benz also collected insight into the thoughts, and lifestyle of this particular demographic allowing the brand to help position the company to market more effectively to this age group. The luxury car brand has since began implementing MROC’s around the world.
In 2011, Mercedes-Benz created Stars Insight which used an market research online community software combined with social media to research Mercedes’ target market of compact car drivers from the ages of 20 - 45. The site used different surveys, forums, chat, moderated discussions, all in an attempt to gain a better understanding into the compact car market. The online research community was also used to test marketing materials, commercials and advertisements to its target market. The head of Mercedes-Benz Communication Insights stated, “The continuity of the online community and the interactive integration of its members provide numerous benefits for us: We can get to know a broad section of this target market, we are completely flexible in the content, various methods can be combined, and we can validate our results directly with the community itself.” From both 2008, 2011, to now, Mercedes-Benz has been expanding their use of the software.
Fast forward to March 2015 and Mercedes-Benz launches an online community named Mercedes me. If you purchase a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle it comes with online connectivity which can be accessed through a portal. This portal allows the car user to check to see where their car is, whether the car is locked, and see how much fuel the car has. The owner is able to access all of this information through their COMAND Online multimedia system. A new Mercedes owner is not just connected to their car through technology but also to a Mercedes Inspire me Community. This online research community allows members to connect through an online forum, for members to discuss all things Mercedes together. This forum has existed for some time, but now the community is rebranded from the Mercedes-Benz Clubs International to the new Mercedes Me world. Mercedes-Benz has shown us that online research communities are here to stay, and can be adapted over time and geographical locations to provide greater knowledge of your customer and how to better meet their needs.
If you would like to know more about how an online community might suit your company, feel free to contact us at Insightrix Communities.
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