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Mercedes-Benz gains market insights from community Web site

TNS, a large market research and consulting company headquartered in London, has built a community website for Mercedes-Benz using Acquia Commons social business software.

Called Stars Insight, the Mercedes-Benz community site uses social media and Web 2.0 dynamics to conduct consumer market research on Mercedes’ target market of drivers of compact cars between the ages of 20 and 45. The site includes questionnaires, moderated discussions and forums, chat, a media gallery, creative competitions, ratings and comment areas. Stars Insight is said to be the first online market research community in the German auto industry.

With the site, Mercedes can now pilot-test marketing materials, commercials and advertisements to its target community, so the company can react to the needs of its market more quickly.

Christian Bauer, head of Mercedes-Benz Communication Insights, says, “The continuity of the online community and the interactive integration of its members provide numerous benefits for us: We can get to know a broad section of this target market, we are completely flexible in the content, various methods can be combined, and we can validate our results directly with the community itself.”

Thomas Wachter, TNS senior consultant and automotive market research team leader, says, “Acquia Commons allowed us to quickly build this website while adhering to Mercedes’ strict brand guidelines and maintaining the flexibility needed to support TNS’ strategic requirements.”

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