Anders Sundt Jensen
Vice President Brand Communications
In this “age of responsibility” how do you see your customer changing?
We are seeing that issues of corporate responsibility and the impact upon the environment are becoming increasingly important to our customers. This trend is reflected in the demand for efficient, economical and innovative vehicles. For example, our customers know that driving a hybrid car is a statement about being environmentally conscious and socially responsible.
As the company that invented the modern automobile, Mercedes-Benz has a special obligation to play a leading role in developing the cars of tomorrow. For years now we have accepted this responsibility and have dedicated our full strength to helping shape the future. And thus far, we have played a vital role. For example, we developed the smart electric drive and the fuel cell-powered B-Class F-CELL, two automobiles that are in mass production and are being delivered to select customers. In September, we will introduce the Mercedes-Benz A-Class with an electric engine at the Paris Auto Show.
How do you see the marketing of brands changing in the next five to 10 years?
Brands remain a strong factor in individual consumers' buying decisions. However, the sheer multitude of choices favors those brands that manage to establish an intrinsic, emotional bond with their customers. Real-life, personal brand experiences will be vital to success in this realm. While personal experience is key, so is the opinion of those we trust – this is why word-of-mouth advertising is so effective. Consequently, successful brands will not only have to shape the firsthand experience, but also manage secondhand hearsay.
How have you adapted to the impact of technology and social media?
Social media is nothing new for us. It constitutes as an important communication tool and is part of our media mix. We were already offering mixtapes on Web 2.0 back in 2004, and since then we have continually expanded our presence. For example, our brand is represented on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Asmallworld and MOTOR-TALK, among others. What’s important for us is providing users with tailor-made content that has real added value. We keep an eye on current developments and optimize our offerings for various devices such as the iPad. We even extended our advertising campaign for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to include new technologies like a SLS blog, a SLS Social Media Newsroom and other sharing functions. Open dialogue is ultimately what’s important to us and for our brand. We can use social media to contact our customers directly and to engage in two-way communication with them. Social media enables us to listen closely and carefully to what our customers have to say, and in turn, learn firsthand about new impulses and trends.
Anders Sundt Jensen has been Vice President Brand Communications at Mercedes-Benz Cars since November 2008.
Jensen studied economics at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and began his career in 1989 at AEG in Frankfurt am Main. In 1994 joined Mercedes-Benz as the head of the “Sprinter South America” project in Argentina. He was responsible for various sub-projects including development, production planning, controlling, marketing and sales, and oversaw the market introduction of the new vehicle.
From 1996 to 2000 Jensen served as the head of sales strategy for Mercedes-Benz automobiles at DaimlerChrysler in Stuttgart, where he was also responsible for product management of the A- and C-class vehicles. From 2000 to 2004 he was president and CEO of the DaimlerChrysler sales organizations in Denmark and Sweden. In 2005 Anders Sundt Jensen assumed responsibility for the sales and marketing of the smart automobile, and oversaw the brand management of the new car from the beginning of 2007 onward.