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A Story of Customer Loyalty in the Automotive Sector: Salesforce & Formula 1

If you're curious about the partnership story between McLaren F1 and the global CRM leader Salesforce in terms of customer loyalty, then this content is just for you. Especially in recent years, the inevitable digitalization in most sectors has brought forth the necessity for businesses to use CRM platforms. The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is a cloud-based tool that, in its simplest definition, allows businesses to manage their relationship with customers, collect and analyze data. The active use of CRM platforms in the automotive sector, especially in the production and development processes of motor vehicles, provides great benefits to businesses.

We have listed the most important operations supported by CRM modules in the automotive sector below:

  • Customer Information and Communication Management

  • Sales Management

  • Customer Service and Support

  • Inventory Management

  • Customer Segmentation in Marketing

  • Collecting Feedback for Customer Satisfaction

  • Customer Loyalty Management

Customer Loyalty Collaboration between Salesforce and McLaren F1

Our story began with McLaren F1 announcing their partnership with Salesforce in an official press release in March 2023.

"We are excited to integrate Salesforce's capabilities into the McLaren Formula 1 Team. Salesforce will help us strengthen our connection with our passionate fans and partners worldwide. We look forward to creating special content that enhances our connection quality using Salesforce data. Our 60th anniversary is an exciting opportunity to connect and celebrate with our fans worldwide, and we couldn't think of a better time to initiate this exciting collaboration," said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, expressing his excitement and high motivation regarding this partnership.

As part of a long-term collaboration, Salesforce aimed to enable McLaren to offer new and enhanced digital experiences to its fans in all races and to support the expansion of its fan base. The first step was to correctly analyze and segment the constantly growing customer and fan data, making the customer the center of the F1 experience and establishing dynamic and instant communication. The first question facing the McLaren and Salesforce teams was how they could turn the F1, which only 1% of fans could physically experience, into a customer experience for the remaining 99%. A strategy was developed to offer personalized opportunities to fans, enriched and personalized advertisements to the changing and rejuvenating target audiences.

Salesforce, advocating that the formula for success is Data + AI + CRM, aimed to provide personalized ads for Formula 1 fans based on their locations, preferred content, and favorite drivers. Customer 360 was used to bring their data together accurately, and the real-time interactions made by users through different channels such as news channels or live broadcasts were combined with data such as location, age, shopping habits, and interests. To touch the customer on digital platforms, a unified communication language across channels was designed with all marketing tools provided by Marketing Cloud. Designing the customer journey in terms of marketing played an important role, with pop-ups sent via the app for fans to access special news and interviews about their favorite driver, personalized discount emails in stores based on their segment, and showing ads that would appeal to them the most among social media channels.

In addition to marketing channels, it was crucial to properly structure customer service operations for the success of the project. F1 TV, which broadcasts Formula 1 races globally, was watched by thousands of people through their memberships every weekend, and errors and disruptions in the broadcast flow, membership problems led to crises in the call center team every race day. By combining Sales and Service Cloud data, call center representatives were able to view a clear and comprehensive incident history of their communication with customers.

With the help of automated chatbots designed to maintain the consistency of representatives, the first-call resolution rate reached 86%. This enabled the brand to serve more fans in 2022 compared to the previous four years and even increase fan satisfaction from 70% in 2018 to 88% in the second half of the year.

Managing sales, customer service, and marketing operations simultaneously and from a single channel, F1 managed to offer personalized experiences to each of its fans within just 5 months. Thanks to Salesforce's capabilities, the number of interaction points where deeper relationships could be established with customers increased, reaching the key to lifelong customer loyalty.

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