LNER appoints M&C Saatchi and Merkle for marketing services

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by Mark Johnson

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has confirmed the appointment of M&C Saatchi and Merkle to provide creative, digital and data-led marketing services over the next three years. 

M&C Saatchi was chosen due to its commitment to delivering best in class, inspirational and transformational marketing services across a range of channels, the company said. 

It will lead on LNER’s strategic and creative marketing campaigns.

Merkle has an existing relationship with LNER, currently managing the customer database, and has previously also helped LNER to develop data-led customer engagement. 

The process was also supported by London agency Creativebrief.

Customer centric focus 

The rail operator has chosen Merkle to also run digital marcomms and direct customer experience marketing, building and executing customer-centric marketing strategies. 

“LNER is one of the newest brands in the industry and we have ambitious plans to transform rail travel, breaking out of the pack to deliver a fantastic customer experience right across our business”, Suzanne Donnelly, Commercial Director at LNER, said. 

“We’ve made a strong start with the launch of the LNER brand and the introduction of our new Azuma trains which are helping us enhance our service and the customer experience.“

“To continue this journey, it’s important for us to be innovative, relevant and inspirational in our marketing, which is why we are excited to bring on-board both M&C Saatchi and Merkle. 

“They both impressed us with their strategic, customer and data-led approach, and will help us cement LNER as one of the leading brands in transport.” 

Tom Firth, M&C Saatchi Managing Director, said: “LNER is a dream client. It is an ambitious company looking to make the brand and marketing as sophisticated as their new fleet of stunning Azuma trains. 

“We’re thrilled to be working on one of the most beautiful train routes in the UK, and one with which many of us have strong personal connections.” 

Mark Jones, Vice President Client Services, Merkle EMEA, commented: “It is an incredibly exciting time to be working with LNER on its mission of adopting a data-driven approach across every aspect of the business. 

“The team’s ambition to create hyper-personalised, omni-channel customer experiences, underpinned completely by customer insight and real-time decisioning, certainly plays to Merkle’s strengths and dovetails perfectly with our People-Based Marketing ethos. 

“By being at the data heart of LNER’s move away from channel to customer-led creative strategy and marketing, we are confident we can help the business drive increased digital interactions, find new head-room and ultimately deliver long-term growth for their business.” 

The new agencies start work in October 2019. 

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