RAPP MENA builds an innovative central marketing hub, after the Mercedes-Benz account win

RAPP MENA, through ‘Team X,’ a specially created team of passionate automotive communications specialists, will now be streamlining marketing for Mercedes-Benz general distributors in over 45 countries globally.

Following the announcement of Omnicom winning the Mercedes-Benz account in November 2021, RAPP MENA, which leads the regional partnership, is creating a unique marketing solution for their new client.

Mercedes-Benz was looking for a central, bespoke, all-in-one solution to support their General Distributors’ (GD) marketing activities in creative, social media, PR and even media-buy, for all relevant Mercedes-Benz business units.

RAPP MENA had to identify a saleable base solution that could service the GDs in more than 45 countries, which needed to be cost-effective and efficient. The agency and the client set up an entirely new undertaking under the name ‘GD Marketing Excellence Centre’ (GDMEC), with a dedicated office in Dubai. Staff from Omnicom, tech and processes were ramped-up in only two months, in a deep start-up style of partnership with the client.

Team X GDMEC combines many operations: a creative team, social media, media strategy, data analytics, public relations, a GD live support desk, account management and more – all in the same place. In fact, all in the same office. The Mercedes-Benz marketing team also has several hot desks there, so they can simply walk over for a personal alignment with Team X. This makes it a very agile, fast-moving, coordinated operation.

Alexander Elsas, head of marketing and communications at Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East, said: “This level of integration is unprecedented. It’s the first time that we have brought all the relevant marketing services under one roof, which is the key enabler to work with such a large amount of markets with different local requirements. With the new set-up, we can not only ensure higher and more standardized quality, but the set-up also offers huge efficiencies in costs and capacity.

And with the tailored ‘GD marketing portal’, we are now able to automize several marketing processes, which has a significant financial impact for our GDs, as there is now a decreasing need for local agency scope. So we cut off the classical silo agency set-up and created a bespoke all-in-one solution, making it a win for all stakeholders.”

To support the broad scope of services Team X provides, a unique online marketing portal has been created, benefitting from the I.T. know-how of the parent Omnicom Group. The backbone for all marketing operations, this portal combines a planner tool, marketing assets, a library of resource material, a streamlined approval processes tool, and more. It’s from here that GDs can access the marketing assets they wish to use in their market. They can also call the support desk and speak to the experts at Team X on any aspect of Mercedes-Benz campaigns or assets. This greatly reduces the marketing workload and costs for GDs and their associated retailer network.

Team X is further developing the portal to offer an innovative content activation system. GDs will be able to adapt marketing content through automation. They can then distribute the content into their chosen media channels automatically.

Curtis Schmidt, president, and chief executive officer at RAPP MENA, added: “We support Mercedes-Benz’s global strategy as a luxury brand transforming and innovating with their new electric strategy. So we’re excited to be building a complete bespoke set-up with Team X, not only for Mercedes-Benz but also for their GDs, which have their own unique operational needs.”

“The new holistic set-up of Team X required a new mindset focused on how start-ups operate. We now have a team in place and are expanding rapidly based on a core set of operating principles. We’re also eager to implement our advanced marketing portal.”

Schmidt went on to talk more about the profile of staff for the new Team X.

“When fulfilling roles, we looked for ‘gear-heads,’ passionate about the industry. We’ve brought together automotive marketers who understand the business and the category. And with this new way of working, we can offer retailers consistency and quality of marketing materials, while being more efficient with costs and time.”