It’s official: HZ will remain the Volkswagen After Sales agency of record (AOR) for an 11th straight year. And as a powerful partner to the main marketing team behind their Service, Parts, and Accessories business, our scope of responsibilities has only grown larger and broader with each passing year together.
From consumer-facing direct mail, email, digital, social, and in-dealership marketing to quarterly multi-channel national campaigns and a host of B2B communications and initiatives, HZ has been at the wheel of this account for over a decade. And we’ve helped take it to some pretty amazing places. So as we head into our fourth AOR contract with VW, we asked ourselves: What does it take to keep one of our longest-running client relationships so successful?
We’re subject matter experts.
While creative is the core of our agency, our team considers it just one of many strengths we bring to the VW After Sales account. In fact, we’ve expanded our expertise into virtually every aspect of the VW After Sales account over the years. By establishing ourselves in the behind-the-scenes operations, we’ve become more than a source of compelling creative—we’re a true partner at every turn. And as the years go by, we only grow more passionate about the work we do and the people we work with. In many ways, this is more than an account or client loyalty. It’s a family.
And in our goal to provide top-to-bottom service, we’ve found it just as important to build client relationships beyond the main team as well. There are over a dozen vendors involved with this account, each one a valuable link in the VW After Sales business. Our mission? To work well with each one and act as a central hub, helping to connect the dots and align all parties to the client’s overall business goals and KPIs. The result? An ability to interpret and anticipate the client’s needs every step of the way—sometimes before they even know those needs themselves.
Managing successful client relationships requires more than the anticipation of their needs. You need to be able to act on them with full confidence and capabilities.
It starts with staying on top of the most recent technology and industry trends, including the latest SEO rules and requirements. In recent years, we saw a ton of untapped SEO potential in the VW After Sales website, VWServiceandParts.com. So to reach customers more effectively and create a central point through which the complex After Sales ecosystem can flow, we chose to proactively audit the SEO health of their site. We then laid out a roadmap of the changes we wanted to make and prioritized them by both scope and impact. Those changes, and the ones we continue to make, helped evolve the site into the VW driver’s central informational hub for everything VW Service, Parts, Accessories, and more.
Of course, being proactive doesn’t stop with just one great idea. This is why we’ve adopted an internal system of checks and balances to help stay on top of the latest brand and legal requirements, eliminate several rounds of revisions, and alleviate our client’s workload—all before they even receive the files for review.
Simply put, our work is never done. Like the industry itself, we remain fluid, always looking to see how the latest development can help bolster our efforts and bring success to the After Sales account—from dynamic social posts to the latest SEO best practices. Check out some of our work here.
Beyond the latest trends, we often adapt our work to the internal feedback and requests from our clients. For example, VW came to us with a request from their dealers: They wanted more control over the audience targeting and messaging of their direct mail marketing. With this client feedback in mind, we went straight to work refining our creative to meet this nuance while remaining compliant to the brand and legal requirements. But as we began reflecting this same audience-segmented approach to their email marketing, we quickly realized just how many assets we would have to deliver to make it viable.
However, with this challenge came an excellent opportunity. Working with our vendor partners, we created a more streamlined process. Using conditional logic, we simplified the number of HTML versions per email from around a dozen down to just one, creating development, quality assurance, and testing efficiencies across the vendor network.
Sometimes, building relationships in business means never being satisfied with the status quo. Whether we’re pushing to deliver better creative or working to better meet difficult timelines, we know we are an important link in the long After Sales chain. And we owe it to the other links to not only meet expectations, but strive to exceed them whenever possible.
Here’s to another successful contract with the Volkswagen After Sales team. We have a lot of road behind us, but this ride is only beginning. And we can’t wait to see where it takes us next.