Mercedes-Benz is investing massively in the development of its digital competence as part of its 'best customer experience' sales and marketing initiative. The aim is to quickly set up a 'digital unit' headed by Sabine Scheunert, as part of a cross-departmental joint initiative between marketing and IT.
This unit will pool and strengthen the personnel and digital infrastructure for the customer dialogue of tomorrow. To this end, more than 100 newly created jobs are to be filled by experts in the coming months. With this spend, Mercedes-Benz above all wants to further develop and strengthen its 'Mercedes me' which offers customers exciting products, services and experiences and links up with them, wherever they happen to be. This, the automaker said, is its next step in transition from automotive manufacturer to mobility and service provider.
"To meet the challenges of digitalisation as effectively as possible, we are adopting new approaches in terms of our organisation and our processes. We will be fundamentally changing the structure and modus operandi of our digital sales activities. We want to become faster and more agile, working in small teams with flat hierarchies, and considerably increase our own digital real net output ratio," said Jens Thiemer, head of marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars. "This move sees us implementing a true change in culture, which will make us even fitter for the digital age."
Jan Brecht, CIO at Daimler, added: "We have devised a new structure for our digital sales activities, which strengthens the already adopted measures in terms of structure and personnel. To this end, we will ensure that the new positions are filled by people who possess the required key skills over the coming months. Our new structure creates an attractive work environment which satisfies the requirements of an agile start-up, promotes creativity and innovation, and appeals to digital talents."
More digitisation for customer dialogue and personalisation
With its current initiative, Mercedes-Benz is responding to the growing need for a specifically personalised customer approach. Be it in sales or after-sales, today customers increasingly want personalised advice and support. Mercedes responded to these requirements in 2014 by establishing the ideal ecosystem, Mercedes me, which pools and fully customises the innovative and customer-oriented services, products and lifestyle offers. Over the coming months, more than 100 new jobs will be created to bring on board the required key skills in the areas of personalisation, customer-focused digital services and offers, data analytics, digital content creation, and customer relationship management. The jobs are predominantly based in Stuttgart, although other locations are also envisaged.
The new digital unit is to make innovative and digital products come alive for customers and pool the associated sales activities, including personalised sales and after-sales offers, further development of Mercedes me, and the implementation of apps for the likes of a holistic mobility and service package. The unit has an agile culture that promotes innovative work and allows motivating and efficient cooperation. Key features of the new unit include aspects such as autonomy and self-organisation, end-to-end product responsibility, teamwork, and equal partnerships in a modern work environment.
The person in charge of executing the new tasks is Sabine Scheunert who was appointed head of digital and IT for marketing & sales Mercedes-Benz Cars on 1 July 2016, on the back of many years of experience in the field. She has worked in the automotive industry since 1998 and was formerly general manager marketing central eastern Europe at BMW. In 2010 she moved to the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group, where she was head of worldwide customer relationship management for all the PSA brands. More recently, in early 2015 Scheunert assumed responsibility for the Citroën brand's business in China, making her the country's first female CEO.