BMW is undoubtedly famous around the world as a car manufacturer, with considerable brand equity and recognition. The company has been building its presence for more than 70 years and this has made BMW an instantly recognizable symbol, a luxurious brand, and, most importantly, has led to the business having more than 100 billion dollars in global revenue in 2021 alone.
That public impression would have been impossible without BMW’s in-depth advertising knowledge built up over many years. It uses an intricate mix of different strategies and campaigns, ranging from creative on-the-nose ads and guest stars in BMW campaigns to targeting affluent customers and using on-premise marketing materials.
But what exactly makes the BMW marketing strategy so successful? How is it different from other competitors in the automotive industry? What tools and approaches does it use, and which of these can be adopted? Let’s look deeper and find out more about BMW’s strategies and campaigns.
Marketing Strategy of BMW
When it comes to strategies, BMW takes several approaches to continue standing out and building their customer base. While these methods are universally well-received, the car manufacturer brings them to the next level with its massive marketing budget, which includes being one of the highest spenders on TV ads.
- Aggressive multi-channel advertising
It’s hard to overestimate the sheer number of channels BMW uses to promote its products. One of the most traditional and well-known mediums is television, where the company can not only utilize its creative department to its fullest but also showcase the product in all its glory. Since this is a perfect platform for local marketing as well, the spend on TV ads is more than understandable.
Speaking of the local market, the BMW Group also focuses on radio advertisements. Primarily listened to while commuting, radio has a monthly reach of over 90% in the USA – even more than TV. Hence, it fulfills every requirement for a perfect advertisement platform for any automotive industry.
Additionally, BMW makes great use of DOOH and other out-of-home digital marketing methods, including ads on the premises of their own dealerships and showrooms. More than anything, this serves as a great tool for constant real-world presence and massively helps brand recognition.
In recent years, BMW has been incorporating the idea of digital transformation. The pandemic played a huge role in this, forcing BMW sales channels to transform. Being one of the market leaders, the car manufacturer has rapidly adapted to digital marketing and is increasing its presence even further in the form of ads on social networks and websites. According to Pieter Nota, one of the board members of BMW Group, the company plans to invest several hundred million euros into digitalizing its sales and marketing.
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- Premium segment usage
For BMW branding, words like “luxury” and “premium” are fundamental to its image. Even the more entry-level products, aimed at sparking interest in potential new customers, come with a solid price tag.
However, this is exactly what the car manufacturer is striving for. With it’s main audience being the upper-middle classes, BMW cuts right to the chase, advertising luxurious, state-of-the-art products for those who can appreciate them. While this strategy has drawbacks in the form of missing out on the larger part of the population, it establishes an affluent narrative and avoids diluting the brand.
Appealing to such a demographic would be a difficult task without the technology to support it. Being one of the industry leaders in terms of innovation, BMW lacks that problem, providing customization, paid digital features, and add-ons to make each experience as unique as possible. This further solidifies the idea of a premium brand and attracts higher-paying customers.
With this in mind, the manufacturer’s major focus on TV and radio marketing, as well as DOOH mediums, seems understandable. As the target audience belongs in the 30-50 age bracket, it is more likely to catch consumers’ attention by using a traditional and established approach. However, we can expect gradual changes in the medium as the generations shift.
- Massive targeting with an individual approach
Tying-in with previous points, this strategy becomes beneficial for the brand by building personal experiences for each customer. As widespread multi-channel digital marketing has succeeded in sparking interest, BMW is securing the lead. To do this, it uses several tactics, among them on-premise marketing, which utilizes video screens, luxurious interiors, and a friendly attitude. Together with a fully-customizable product, it creates a personal link between the brand and the customer.
The link is maintained after the initial purchase as well. BMW uses large mail and-email campaigns, door drops, and other interpersonal means of communication to showcase the new features and offers. The modern models come with subscriptions and upgradeable elements, allowing for longer individual connections.
- Constant media presence
Through all of this, BMW is capitalizing on constantly being the center of attention. Using virtually every channel, it is ever-present in the media, helping to make the product an unconsciously more desirable choice over its competitors.
However, when it comes to presence, digital marketing is not the only field BMW is developing. Cooperation programs with local dealerships are allowing the car manufacturer to have greater authority and make more intricate offers without having to resort to direct promotion.
Additionally, its partnerships and sponsorship of various events give the company several solid platforms to advertise on, showcase, and even develop some of BMW’s best products. For instance, their partnership with Apple and its payment system is expanding their reach to new markets, while their partnership with Toyota may bring fuel cell vehicles to the market in the near future.
BMW Marketing Campaigns
Reach and quantity are important metrics, but when it comes to the promotion of a huge brand with affluent consumers in mind, quality matters. For that reason, BMW’s marketing campaigns must be at least as special as its products. The manufacturer is able to accomplish this task in several ways.
First comes the artistic approach. Every new feature and model gets the attention it deserves. High-end technology is meeting creative ways of using it, and BMW’s powerful high beams are suddenly becoming a part of an art installation. When presenting a brand like this, even the simple features can not be spoken of as just a matter of fact – but rather as a sophisticated tool.
While BMW generally sticks to traditional methods, it prefers to be at the top of the crop even when it comes to digital marketing. In 2016, the manufacturer released a 360-degree VR video to promote one of it’s new car models. For another stunt just one year later, BMW designed a 3D car model from scratch to showcase it through augmented reality technology on Snapchat.
Overall, BMW is trying to create attractive, memorable campaigns and often uses cutting edge technology to achieve that, which goes along with its image as an industry pioneer.
BidMind and Automotive Industry
BidMind is a programmatic advertising platform that is well able to extend its reach on multiple channels at once. It is a space for companies in the automotive industry to explore new markets, analyze audiences on a deeper level, and try out new advertising campaigns. Aside from the digital marketing opportunities it offers, BidMind also provides opportunities to utilize DOOH and audio platforms. Connected TVs are replacing traditional televisions and grow in number every year. Therefore, we are also inviting customers to dive into a comparatively new niche and explore our CTV marketing offers.
However, successful marketing campaigns should take into account the fact that advertisers need to keep an eye on various ongoing projects and their metrics. To allow for this, BidMind has developed several analytical tools to collect customer data, learn more about the advertisers’ target audience, and track their success in real-time.
The pinnacle of that approach is Footfall Attribution, designed to analyze behavioral patterns and interests of customers using geodata. With this tool, you can directly correlate store visits with the success of the campaign, making it a valuable tool for tracking your progress and optimizing the spend. The Intricate settings of Footfall Attribution allow it to analyze customers’ journeys minutes after ad exposure using opt-in location data.
If you are interested in trying out the demo or exploring more of our offers, let us know. For those seeking assistance for more comprehensive projects, BidMind also provides managed services.