Jaguar Land Rover has appointed Accenture Interactive to “join forces” with Spark44, its 10-year-old joint-venture agency, as the car brand aims to digitally transform its global marketing.
Accenture Interactive, the global consultancy’s marketing services arm, has been appointed to help JLR deliver a “more personalised customer experience, with creativity and technology at its core”.
JLR wants to create a new bespoke model in which Spark44 and Accenture Interactive work together, with the former leading on creative strategy and execution and the latter delivering customer experience strategy across different media platforms, as well as improve the purchasing journey and car-ownership experience.
This will include JLR making use of Accenture Operations’ SynOps platform, which will enable “AI-powered insights and highly automated production around the world”.
The move comes alongside a wider company strategy to become electric-first and significantly “digitise” its marketing communications, such as developing “connected services” that can enable deeper levels of intimacy and brand loyalty with customers.
JLR said they want to create a “new global marketing model which will play a central role in the company’s transformation to a modern luxury business with two distinct highly desirable brands” – Jaguar and Land Rover.
Spark44 was founded in 2011 as the industry’s first agency/client joint venture. It has since expanded to 19 offices around the world and works with other brands including Allianz and Harley-Davidson.
JLR denied rumours last year, reported by German media, that Spark44 was up for sale. Alex Buck was appointed chief executive of Spark44 in December 2019, having been made chairman the year before.
Felix Bräutigam, JLR’s chief commercial officer, said: “At the heart of our Reimagine strategy, we aim to transform Jaguar Land Rover into a truly customer-led modern luxury business. Therefore, having a highly engaging, personalised, connected customer journey is essential to further strengthening both Jaguar and Land Rover as unique and distinct brands.
“Customers expect a seamless interaction with their brand and car; their experience must fit into their lifestyle and the move towards an all-electric future.
"We will also see more varied ownership models and connected cars that are designed to fit with our individual ways of living. All of which requires a significant step change in our marketing approach, how we talk to our prospects and customers.”
Accenture has moved aggressively into agency services in the last five years and focused on offering to handle the whole customer experience, beyond advertising and marketing.
JLR and Accenture said the consulting firm was “chosen for its technology capabilities, data-led performance, and experience-led approach.”
Brian Whipple, group chief executive of Accenture Interactive, said, “Jaguar Land Rover has always been upheld as a pioneer within the automotive industry. We’re proud to team with these iconic brands as Jaguar Land Rover boldly transforms its business, marketing model and creates a reimagined experience for its customers.”
Dentsu International will continue to handle media buying duties for JLR.