Ilhee Han Overview Research & Development Organization, Law & Communication IT & Telecommunications Supply Chain Management Production Procurement Finance & Controlling Corporate planning/strategy Marketing & Sales

Creating custom-tailored digital marketing campaigns.

As a member of the product marketing team at Mercedes-Benz in South Korea, Ilhee Han is analysing the data collected from customers. With this information, he identifies and derives findings that help him plan digital marketing campaigns. Eventually, appropriate targeting is the key to marketing and sales success. In his interview, Ilhee tells us what's most important when it comes to analysing data and what aspects make the biggest difference in digital marketing.

Ilhee, as a member of the product marketing team at Mercedes-Benz in Seoul, South Korea, you are responsible for "data-driven digital marketing". What does that mean exactly?

To ensure that digital campaigns find the right audience at the right time with the right message, we have to better understand our customers and their needs. For this, the anonymized data that they have provided us voluntarily with consent, is the key to success here. Data protection is a high priority for Mercedes-Benz.

"My job gives me the opportunity to gain experience in the field of data-driven digital marketing."
"My job gives me the opportunity to gain experience in the field of data-driven digital marketing."

Can you give us an example?

One very recent example is the Mercedes-Benz EQ models campaign. We have used the data from people who responded to the digital ads for various campaigns over the past few years. If the same people responded to SUV and electric vehicle related campaigns, we can filter out specific groups of people and then, with consent, target this group with appropriate EQS SUV messaging. After all, as the data tells us, we know that these digital ads could potentially be of real interest to the customers.

How do you go about this?

Every day, I look at the key performance indicators – or KPIs for short – that are especially important for online marketing. The KPIs are the figures that I can use to measure the progress of crucial objectives. The top priority is always to keep on optimising our media performance. This involves measuring things like the number of clicks on ads or the view-through rate, which measures the percentage of viewers who watched a video all the way through. I also analyse previous campaigns. I keep my eyes on an ever-changing environment. My aim is always to deploy exactly the right kind of advertising and use messages and images that our customers find interesting.

What helps you to find the right configuration of adverts?

One thing I do is test our customers' preferences is for example using the "AB" test. So I'll use the colour blue in ad A and yellow for the images in ad B; otherwise, everything's the same. The customer might prefer very bright colours to dark ones. I consolidate the test results and then choose the “winning”, meaning the more effective media configuration.

When analysing data, have you ever revealed any surprising results regarding the target groups?

I was surprised by the usage analysis of our digital sales channel. If you visit our Mercedes-Benz website, you can also pay digitally after configuring a vehicle and set the delivery. I thought this was a sales channel that appealed primarily to the younger generation. However, reality shows that this is not true. We reach customers of almost all generations with online advertising.

"What makes me really happy are the people I work with on a daily basis. They are fantastic, and there are lots of things we can learn from each other."
"What makes me really happy are the people I work with on a daily basis. They are fantastic, and there are lots of things we can learn from each other."

How is your department organised?

My team is responsible for content, experiential, and retail marketing. Most of us studied business administration and then specialised in marketing, while others have more artistic backgrounds. The most exciting thing about our team is that everyone can contribute their own ideas and turn them into reality.

In your opinion, what is the key to successful teamwork?

It's a little bit like with our customers: you have to understand the needs of others and find compromises to bring about a win-win situation. I think listening is the most important skill.

You studied business administration in Canada. How did this come about?

When I was 17, I moved to Canada to make new experiences. I had to get used to a whole new way of learning. Unlike in Korea, I had to spend a lot of time going to the library, reading books and writing essays. It was where I learnt how to self-organise. After my high school graduation, I stayed to study in Canada because I loved it there. But after seven years, I missed my family so badly that I returned to Korea.

Since 2022 you work in marketing at Mercedes-Benz. What experiences have you gained over the past year?

I took part in countless learning sessions for digital platforms and online advertising. In the digital realm, I have to be very careful about the message because a campaign encompasses myriad different ads in all sorts of different formats and each with different messages. Despite this, each individual message has to be aligned towards specific key phrases and the individual target groups. In the digital world, tiny things can make a really big difference.

How would you rate Mercedes-Benz as an employer?

Mercedes-Benz is a great and modern place to work. What makes me really happy are the people I work with on a daily basis. They are fantastic, and there are lots of things we can learn from each other.

When Ilhee Han left South Korea for Canada to go to High School and university, he improved his English by reading car magazines – and quickly developed a passion for cars. Today, he is equally passionate about the transformation of the automotive industry. As a fan of classic cars, he would love to drive a Mercedes-Benz SL– when he's not riding his bicycle. Cycling gives him a sense of freedom and helps him to clear his head. In Seoul, the city to which South Korea-born Ilhee returned after finishing his studies in Ontario, Canada, he often takes bike rides along the Hangang River. Ilhee advises visitors of Seoul to visit the riverside park especially in spring and autumn. Additionally, the seasonally illuminated Gyeongbokgung Palace is a place Ilhee recommends visiting.