From Halifax to downtown Toronto, Mercedes-Benz Canada wants to drive home the message that its commercial vans are a viable option for small business.
A targeted and mainly digital marketing campaign from The Cargo Agency has rolled out nationwide, focusing solely on Mercedes-Benz’ Sprinter vans. The centre of the campaign is a microsite showcasing the van’s features inside and out, across a range of environments. The site allows users to find the make and model of Sprinter that best suits their needs, and provides a suite of online shopping tools that includes a fuel calculator, payment estimator and a cost of ownership calculator.
According to Cargo’s managing director Dan Gliatta, Mercedes is not known as a commercial brand in North America as it is in the rest of the world. The Mercedes-Benz Vans brand came into what is a highly competitive Canadian market just three years ago.
“This is about establishing the brand in Canada,” Gliatta said.
“We want to make it easier for small businesses to get information and make a decision. We want to tell them they can get a Mercedes van at a competitive price. You are getting everything you’d expect from Mercedes except the price. The brand is not just about luxury cars.”
Zeroing in on small businesses that need transportation, from construction workers to hotel owners, Cargo, which specializes in helping big brands speak to small business, takes a digital-first approach.
According to Gliatta, small business owners are mass consumers of online content, and they’re as emotional as anyone out there.
“We needed to resonate with them. These people are very digitally connected, so that’s at the core of the campaign. We are targeting them through search engines, trade publications and e-marketing.”
The campaign will run throughout 2014 and next year will feature new elements, one of which involves bringing the van to the people.
“People like to touch and feel the real product, so there will be a new content marketing strategy that sees the van being brought out for people to experience,” Gliatta said.
OMD executed the media buy, which according to Gliatta zones in on this niche segment of the 1.1 million-strong small business sector across Canada.
Early results of web analytics indicate the strategy is working, Cargo contends. After one month, the campaign has generated an increase of 16.4% of visitors to the new site.
“We believe the engaging, digital nature of this campaign will make a strong connection with Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s audience,” Canada’s Mercedes-Benz Vans manager Miki Velemirovich said.