Michelin has been a leading tire manufacturer for over 120 years, with operations spanning more than 170 countries. As with many global brands today, Michelin recognizes the urgent need to adapt to new consumer behaviors and connect with customers in relevant ways.
Kevin Maleterre, vice president of B2C marketing at Michelin in Northern Europe*, saw the need to develop new operational approaches as audiences and marketing practices evolve. His goal was to empower Michelin’s marketing organization to generate new interest in their products and drive brand engagement by sharing its mission for sustainability, performance and global mobility in a meaningful way.
Michelin found that 70% of its customers were discovering the brand via their website or through other online search (mainly dealer website), conducting research prior to making purchase decisions. To tap into these channels, Kevin wanted to work closely with influencers who had a strong online presence in the key markets as part of their go-to-market strategy.
“We noticed early on how important it was for Michelin to diversify our marketing efforts. As many of our customers research purchases online, we felt it was natural to grow our influencer efforts and capitalize on this emerging trend to remain competitive in the market,” explains Kevin.
Beginning in 2017, Michelin began integrating influencers into its marketing campaigns, inviting influencers to events and assessing activations on a case-by-case basis. In these first experiments, influencer marketing was handled ad hoc, with each country executing programs in isolation.
For each country in Northern Europe, Michelin had a designated social media manager responsible for mapping its influencer marketing strategy to local marketing campaigns. With no official program in place, the strategies and activations produced varied results. Kevin refers to this period as Michelin’s “discovery phase,” where the organization was learning what worked and didn’t work for influencer collaborations.
“While we had been working with influencers for some time, we lacked a programmatic approach to continuously identify relevant influencers with the power to drive long- term advocacy and overall brand awareness for Michelin,” says Kevin. “To create meaningful impact, we knew we had to streamline influencer marketing processes and leverage technology to scale our efforts and impact.”
By the end of 2017, Michelin was ready to move from pilot to program and began looking for the right technology partner to help scale influencer marketing across Europe.
Traackr was selected as the influencer marketing platform of reference to enable Michelin to centralize influencer relationship management, improve coordination across regions, vet influencers based on performance and audience insights, and unify campaign measurement.
Michelin began its Traackr rollout in 2018 with the German market, the largest tire market in Europe. The influencer marketing team used Traackr to segment relevant influencers for each product and brand. One of the top priorities was centralizing influencer management to streamline the day-to-day work required to identify and maintain influencer relationships. Shortly after, Traackr was implemented across additional countries, bringing the marketing organization into sync on all things influencer marketing including the following.
Since rolling out Traackr in early 2018, Michelin has evolved from piloting influencer marketing in isolated pockets of the organization to fully integrating the practice within its strategic marketing plan in Europe. What started with one market has now been implemented across seven countries, as the marketing team continues to improve brand awareness and drive consumer engagement.
Traackr allowed Michelin to standardize influencer marketing workflows and coordination across teams and regions, identify high performing influencers with the ability to increase engagement across consumer segments, and measure influencer performance, campaigns and cross-campaign results. The collective result has been significant wins across key influencer marketing KPIs.
These results demonstrate how technology supports scaling influencer marketing across a global organization. “Traackr allowed us to standardize influencer marketing workflows and coordination across teams and regions, identify high performing influencers with the ability to increase engagement across consumer segments, and measure influencer performance, campaigns and cross-campaign results,” said Kevin. “The results speak for themselves!”
In March 2019, Michelin organized an event in Lisbon for the Pilot Sport 4 SUV, a new summer tire developed for performance-focused crossovers and SUVs. It was the first time that Michelin organized an exclusive event for influencers to launch a new product. The team relied on Traackr’s influencer discovery and evaluation toolset to select influencers who were most aligned with their products, represented the different markets where the tires would be sold and were predicted to generate high engagement based on their previous content.
During the multi-day trip, influencers and Michelin staff spent time together driving in the historic old streets of Lisbon and along coastal roads. Michelin also organized cultural excursions for the influencers to experience Portugal’s culture including cooking classes with famous Portuguese chef, Henrique Sa Pessoa. The group was encouraged to share their perspective with social content using #mySUVoyage.
This launch trip generated 167 posts mentioning either the event or the new product, earning 237,169 engagements. The engagement rate for the content was a healthy 3.6 percent.
BEST INFLUENCER FOR ENGAGEMENT
TOP POST FOR ENGAGEMENT
TOP INFLUENCER FOR ENGAGEMENT RATE
“Traackr allowed us to standardize influencer marketing workflows and coordination across teams and regions, identify high performing influencers with the ability to increase engagement across consumer segments, and measure influencer performance, campaigns and cross- campaign results. The results speak for themselves!”
—Kevin Maleterre, vice president of B2C marketing at Michelin
For your reference, download a copy of Traackr's case study with Michelin.
* Austria, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland & Nordic countries.