2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards Gold Winner – VOK DAMS China
Company: VOK DAMS China, Beijing, China
Category: Award for Innovation in Internal (Corporate) Events
Entry Title: MBFS Dealer Dialogue 2015
In May 2015, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services China launched the brand’s first MBFS Dealer Dialogue, a two-way engagement platform that inspires an ongoing dialogue between MBFS and Mercedes-Benz China dealers.
1. To gain the engagement from key personnel of dealers who impact the performance of MBFS
2. To interact with dealer partners and listen to their feedback on further improvement on MBFS products, services and processes
3. To present the MBFS China value proposition to dealer partners and win commitment to the brand
The MBFS Dealer Dialogue represents the brand’s belief that strong partnership is based on shared experience. “We’re very passionate about creating inspiration, collaboration and value creation for Mercedes-Benz dealers, who essentially are our customers,” said James Shepheard, Director of Sales & Marketing MBFS China. “And the MBFS Dealer Dialogue is a key annual platform for demonstrating our commitment to genuine two-way engagement.”
In 2015, guests were taken on a remarkable brand experience to scenic Lijiang, China, in the shadows of one of China’s three ancient trade routes – The Tea Horse Road. More than 600 guests participated in the event, yielding an unprecedented amount of feedback, market insights and engagement between MBFS and client-facing staff of China dealers. Per Cindy Zhang, Director, Brand Liaison MBFS China, “We went to great lengths to ensure that guests felt like part of the MBFS China community and to demonstrate that we are listening to their feedback. At the end of the day, our success is measured by more than numbers. It’s measured by the level of dedication and trust that we build in our dealer relationships.”
In order to make more powerful connections with guests, the business meeting eschewed the traditional top-down “download” method of content delivery of dealer conferences and focused on creating impactful two-way engagement with guests. Our approach was to put the event in the guests’ hands as much as possible, and to ensure that the dialogue extended to every touch point – live and digital.
The digital footprint of the event added a great deal of value to the live brand experience with three digital solutions:
1. Event App: integrated throughout the event process using WeChat, the most widely used mobile device social media platform in China, the event app extended the guest live experience with a digital brand experience and created an ongoing MBFS Dealer Dialogue community accessible on the social media platform most preferred by guests.
2. Interactive Media Wall: A market first, Pinterest-inspired design accessed via tablet devices; enabled guests to browse, select, “pin” images and feedback on MBFS marketing promotions in real-time on an LED screen.
3. Interactive Voting: guests were able to use their own mobile phones to rate MBFS China on core MBFS processes with results relayed to screen in real-time.
Following the business meeting, guests were shuttled to an offsite location where a “base camp” with locally-inspired music, performance, food & beverage, gifts and horse-riding activities awaited them. After leaving their own footprints on the historic Tea Horse Road, guests were invited to celebrate the successes of the day with MBFS executives and staff at a outdoor party experience.
Overall, business relationships were strengthened by the day’s experience sharing and shared experiences. And after the event guests were able to stay connected to the MBFS Dealer Dialogue community through the WeChat app as well as existing MBFS communication channels.
Most importantly, the event had an impacting on both business revenues – by contributing to the MBFS China 49% YOY increase in its overall portfolio in 2015 – and business processes – by tagging 79 pieces of feedback gained from the business meeting for follow-up and creating action items on the MBFS China action plan for the second half of 2015 and beyond.