Aston Martin CMO: Mass market brands could learn from luxury approach

By Rosie Baker | 9 October 2013
Aston Martin global chief marketing officer Markus Kramer.

Its products might be worlds apart in terms of price tags and target customer but Aston Martin’s global chief marketing officer believes mass market brands could learn from and apply the same highly personalised experiential marketing approach taken by high-end luxury brands.

Markus Kramer says mass market brands are too rooted in traditional advertising models and haven’t evolved a way to add the human touch to marketing activity.

The majority of marketing activity for brands such as Aston Martin is event based and focussed on highly personal experiential activities designed to show potential customers the lifestyle that is associated with the brand.

The brand spends a great deal less than mass market brands generally spend on traditional advertising methods and Kramer believes other sectors could get better conversion and better return on investment by putting their marketing budget in less traditional channels.

“The mass end of the market is highly commoditised, and the consequence is that these guys can’t differentiate so easily,” Kramer told AdNews. “Rather than pumping their money into traditional above-the-line and conventional awareness campaigns, I think if they could offer something really relevant and exciting that bonds consumers with their brand, it would be more effective.

“I haven’t explored it scientifically but it would be powerful. It’s what the luxury and premium sectors do very well, but you don’t see it on the mass market because the traditional way of thinking is so entrenched that this is always what they do.”

He adds that while brands have moved from TV advertising in the ‘50s towards digital as a way to interact with consumers, marketing in the mass market has not “evolved into the human dimension of creating the most relevant touchpoint with customers”.

“Experiential is not just about a promotion and putting a car in front of a shopping mall to get in front of customers, it’s a much more intimate way to engage. I think [mass market brands] should look at the luxury space and how they do it.”

Most mass market brands have a much greater marketing budget than brands such as Aston Martin and investing it in different channels could pay dividends. Kramer, who previously spent time in senior marketing roles at both Honda and Harley-Davidson, says the hyper-personal approach is more “transferable” between luxury and mass market than most marketers would expect.

For more insights about the luxury car market, check out Market Tracker on page 16 of the latest issue of AdNews, the first instalment in a new segment offering robust analysis of market sectors, the challenges and trends facing the market and spotlighting leading brand strategies.

This article first appeared in the 4 October 2013 edition of AdNews, in print and on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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