BMW Group New Zealand has been recognised globally for digital marketing excellence, securing a finalist position in this year’s Oracle Markie Awards. It comes less than 12 months into their digital transformation journey.

The awards represent the highest standards in marketing innovation and customer experience, and bring together some of the biggest brands worldwide. BMW Group New Zealand is in contention for the Rapid Transformation award which honours fast starters for their superb planning, execution and results.

So, how did they do it? What positions a business for rapid transformation vs operational paralysis?

With over a hundred implementations under Marketing Cube’s belt, we’ve seen a number of organisations fly. So, we wanted to share the tips and tricks to make sure you’re one of them when it comes to leveraging the full investment of the Oracle Marketing Cloud.

1. Obtain buy-in across the organisation early, via a committed, senior sponsor

Like any major transformative tool, the Oracle Marketing Cloud requires cross-functional alignment to work best. Your customer journeys will have touch-points across a wide range of internal departments, so it’s important that the person ultimately sponsoring the implementation project has a voice at a senior level to obtain buy-in from across Technology, Sales, Service and Finance (to name just a few).

BMW Group NZ had clear objectives from the outset around how Oracle Eloqua would help them streamline their customer experience while reducing cost. The business sponsors had the authority to push approval through quickly and communicate results just as fast across the senior leadership team. Implementation took less than two months and the training program included launching an internal campaign that everyone in HQ could experience. This created an internal buzz around the capabilities and generated momentum for the marketing teams.

2. Dedicate resources who are inquisitive and keen to learn new technical skills

Let’s face it, you’re busy and your teams already have more than enough to do without having to learn a new skill and manage another platform. While marketing automation sounds like you should be able to set and forget, it’s really about doing more with less – more effective targeting, more personalisation, more insights for future decision making. This however, doesn’t mean you have more time.

Today’s Modern Marketer needs to be a multi-tasker. While it’s important Marketing Managers and Directors understand the capabilities of your marketing platforms, execution is often best left to those in a digital excellence capacity. When Marketing Managers and Directors have the time and head-space to design campaign strategies they can then hand across to agencies or centres of excellence to deliver, CX is often far superior than if they were expected to do it all.

With marketing automation expertise fairly scarce in Australian and NZ markets, hiring digital natives that aren’t afraid to trial new technologies and nurturing an environment of constant learning is key. Those smart and inquisitive enough to jump into a tool and learn ‘on the job’ are the ones we’ve seen flourish.

3. Create a culture of constant improvement – start small, deliver it and improve over time

It’s a matter of being practical. What BMW Group NZ did really well from the outset, was to plan simple campaigns that could be improved over time. The first launch campaign was for BMW X3. The campaign achieved leads that represented ~15% of NZ’s premium car market through online registrations and social lead ad connectors, and it significantly outperformed industry benchmarks for open and click-through rates. And yet, when it came to the X2 campaign, BMW asked “what should we change this time to achieve even better results?”.

Creating a culture of constant innovation and improvement is only achieved if you’re actively measuring results. By knowing how well your campaigns perform – from the best/worst performing messages to the number of unsubscribes – you’ll be able to optimise your campaigns mid-flow and take learnings into future campaigns.

4. Align your agencies

Just as important as internal alignment, is the ability to have your agencies speaking the same language. With marketing automation a relatively new field in NZ, we work closely with BMW and MINI’s media and creative agencies to ensure that messages flow seamlessly throughout the journeys and that required assets are communicated and produced in time. Through mutual respect, we’ve built solid partnerships with these agencies and ultimately that makes life a whole lot easier for our clients.

5. Be realistic about support in the first 12-24 months – don’t be afraid to ask for help

Once implemented, we built a 15-month roadmap with BMW Group NZ and each quarter we review our progress. Over time, the reliance on us to deliver campaigns reduces as we work together to build capability in-house. But, to build that requires an open and honest discussion around your marketing structure and capabilities. Accountability for training sits on both sides – BMW Group NZ were able to learn and adapt quickly because they weren’t afraid to ask for help, but they also took responsibility for retaining the information provided so they could develop their own sophistication over time.

While achieving an award for rapid transformation may not be your first objective, making a real commitment to embed the Oracle Marketing Cloud in the first 12 months of the investment should be. While we’re here to help, preparing your organisation in terms of buy-in and alignment, and being realistic and practical about your resourcing will stand you in good stead to follow in BMW Group NZ’s footsteps.

Congratulations again to the team at BMW Group New Zealand!

You can watch a video of their Oracle Eloqua journey here and then please vote for the People’s Choice video submission here.