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Dynamic Segmentation with Next4biz CRM: Kia Turkey

Intense competition has occurred in the automotive industry in recent years. While every brand is struggling to minimize the impact of the chip crisis and the pandemic, they must also continuously update their production lines to reflect developments in technology and increasing consumer demands.


The following is a summary of the webinar we held with Kia Turkey’s customer relationship manager Savaş Sancak, who has made a significant difference in customer experience management in these challenging times.

Kia Turkey recently decided to use next4biz CRM in their digital marketing and sales activities. Following this decision, Mr. Sancak attended next4biz’s adaptation and design training session in person. Now, he is adapting next4biz to his organization for all sales and marketing activities without requiring any technical support and strengthening the organization’s bond with its customers every day by organizing campaigns based on micro-segmentation in next4biz CRM.

What marketing strategy does Kia Turkey use to differentiate itself from the industry?

Kia has embarked on a rapid transformation journey with its new logo. It plans to become a pioneer in the electric vehicle market by making meticulously planned investments between now and 2025. Kia Turkey’s main marketing strategy consists of improving its image, brand awareness, and customer perception. Consistently expanding its market share with a wide range of products, Kia continues to offer innovative solutions to its customers at both physical and digital touchpoints and tries to develop sustainable customer relations.

What do customers mean to Kia? Who are Kia’s customers? Which customers comprise Kia’s target audience?

Kia puts our customers and their needs at the center of all its processes. With our wide range of models, we appeal to a broad spectrum of people — from a young and dynamic audience eager to seize the special features we offer to those who desire comfortable travel and a larger interior. Generally speaking, Kia’s customers are people who seek comfort and a unique experience made possible by state-of-the-art technology and services.

What does Kia Turkey do to gain, satisfy, and retain customers?

In the fiercely competitive automotive industry, customers’ purchasing preferences are shaped by their experiences at touchpoints such as showrooms, digital channels, or call centers. According to one study, one out of every six customers in Turkey go with a different brand due to negative experiences at touchpoints. Considering current vehicle prices, companies cannot afford to lose customers due to such reasons.

At Kia Turkey, we consider customer satisfaction to be the most significant performance indicator in all processes, from pre-sales to sales and after-sales. We also consider all customer life cycles and experiences at touchpoints on an end-to-end basis and track our performance with a sustainable improvement and excellence approach. The customer is the first consideration in all of Kia’s decision-making processes. We also provide our customers with loyalty advantages, such as 30 percent discounts, in collaboration with more than 80 brands. Our customer loyalty program currently has more than 100,000 members. We have gained significant momentum by including two out of every three 10-year-old vehicles in this program. Our customers can also manage all of their Kia-related processes on the Kia Fan Mobile app, which we developed to meet the trends of digitalization and mobility. The app enables customers to call roadside assistance to their location with a single click or have video calls with sales consultants at any showroom.

Which technological solutions does Kia Turkey use for marketing activities?

In terms of technological solutions, we are currently using SAP for dealership screens and DMS systems and have recently started using next4biz CRM for campaign management. We also have a machine learning system operating in the background. This application offers suggestions about which products customers might buy and when, based on customer movements. This helps us better understand our customers and offer the right product to the right customer at the right time, as well as predict our customers’ next moves. The location-based marketing project facilitates the creation of specialized customer offers with predictions based on user movements. Additionally, customers’ movements on the mobile app are analyzed with the Net Mirror solution.

The pandemic has required brands to make new technological investments in a very short span, both in Turkey and around the world. Kia Turkey has invested in four areas: mobile app, video calling, online dealership, and chatbot applications.

Why did Kia choose next4biz for their CRM solution?

We were in search of a CRM solution for many reasons, including segmentation processes, the increasing importance of CRM campaigns and the ability to provide meaningful outputs with customer-related data. We were already using another product for the interfaces and DMS systems used by the dealerships, but we needed an effective solution for our marketing activities. During that time, we had the opportunity to examine various applications. We chose next4biz because of its flexible structure, which can be shaped according to user demands; its no code design; ease of use; integration management; easy integration with different email service providers; and centralized “all-in-one” structure.
We’re able to receive assistance from the next4biz team when necessary; however, most of the time, we design and implement all marketing activities ourselves.

What was the adaptation and transition process like?

Kia Turkey stores the data of over 1.5 million customers. There are dozens of different types of data for each customer. In addition to basic customer data, we needed to consider transaction data (e.g., in the sales and after-sales processes). Exporting and transferring all the master data with web services required an extensive planning process. First, we defined the data architecture and the data to be transferred. We documented the entire process and created a data flow chart. The next4biz integration team helped us along the way with very useful suggestions. The adaptation and transition process was successful. By copying our current marketing data to next4biz, we have created an environment where we can work faster and more freely.

The DMS and dealership screens used to be a single built-in solution, which did not provide much convenience in terms of creating the desired segmentation, reporting, and measuring different touchpoints in end-to-end processes. For instance, accessing data often took a while, and creating special customer segments by unifying different types of data and combining data sets required a new consultant and creating a new reporting system each time.

With next4biz, we can now operate on a single master data point and provide healthier results, segments, and process designs with quick access thanks to the drag-and-drop function.

Did the organization experience any issues during the transition?

IT resources are limited for every company. Additionally, many different business units may have different requests for the same IT resource. Our only challenge in this project was receiving support from the IT department for next4biz in the midst of ongoing projects. Procuring this resource during integration and adaptation prolonged the process for Kia. However, this was the only issue of note.

How were things before next4biz? What changed after next4biz?

Before next4biz came along, we were using different campaign automation solutions for Kia. We even integrated and adapted these products. next4biz offers us two major benefits:

  1. Decreased IT dependency and costs in processes such as customer segmentation and reporting;
  2. The speed advantages that came with these changes.

While obtaining independent data once took hours or required a consultant, we can now access data and reports quickly thanks to next4biz. With the reduced need for consultants, the IT costs of the marketing department have decreased significantly.

Additionally, while we used to manage different types of posts on different, unconnected systems, we can now run them all on the centralized, all-in-one structure of next4biz.
You said that you created a customer scorecard with next4biz…

How did you create it, and what data types were included in it?

The scorecard is based on the value created by the customer in the Kia ecosystem in addition to the customer’s vehicle, service turnover, and interaction. We defined three criteria (vehicle type, service, and interaction data) on next4biz. We previously had many types of scorecards on SAP, but we occasionally encountered performance issues. Thus, we felt the need to create a new one on next4biz.

We plan to use this scorecard data in our campaigns for customers. In particular, we want to measure the value created by the customer in the Kia world, plan various campaigns based on that value, and revisit it following the campaign to measure the impact on the customer scorecard.

“We have been offering campaigns with next4biz for about two months. Campaigns in the automotive industry have an average open rate of 10 percent. Although we are still learning the ins and outs of next4biz, we already have an open rate of over 20 percent. We still have a long way to go, but our goal is to exceed 30 percent.”

What are Kia’s predictions for marketing? What does it plan to do next?

Developing sensory and experiential marketing strategies by transforming all customer processes into experiences will be key in the future. Kia customers will also benefit from widespread mobility and the continuous interaction brands can establish with their consumers by adopting the One-Click-Ahead approach. We are focused on making sustainable progress in these areas.

It will also be critical to analyze the growing digital footprints of customers in the Kia ecosystem and to effectively use new data types and deep learning networks on big data with car-connected IoT systems.

Catching up with today’s consumers is not an easy task. Following digital footprints and turning them into meaningful results is even more challenging. Under the leadership of Savaş Sancak, the entire Kia Turkey CRM team has succeeded in producing these successful results through the use of next4biz CRM technology.
Contact us now to write a success story of your own.

Gürkan Platin
Gürkan Platin, a graduate of Hacettepe University Management and Organization, worked as a manager in various positions at Mensan, Citibank, Garanti Bank and Credit Registration Bureau, respectively. Platin has been blogging since 1996 and his articles are published in various national and international publications.
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