↑ 150%


50% to 70%


↓ 1/2 FTE


European Motor Distributors is the licensed importer and distributor for the VW Group brands—Audi, VW, Skoda, Porsche, and Seat—in New Zealand. A subsidiary of the Giltrap Group, it is New Zealand’s largest automotive retail group. A critical success factor for the group and its subsidiaries is an intense focus on the customer experience before, during, and after the sale. 

Matt Tohill, European Motor Distributors’ general manager of digital, believes that keeping the experience front and center will be the key to the company’s continuing success as customer expectations change and the automotive industry becomes less product centric and more customer centric.

To maintain customer centricity, Matt and his team have carefully mapped out the customer journey and developed a plan to engage people with relevant and personalised content at each stage of the car ownership cycle, from presales through onboarding to ownership. It’s an ambitious plan that requires a sophisticated marketing automation platform. After a robust review process that included input from the company’s media agency, the team selected Marketo Engage. The top reasons include Marketo Engage’s lead scoring, data management, and usability.



  • Increase personalisation across all channels to become supremely relevant to customers
  • Improve customer loyalty and retention in sales and in aftersales
  • Provide brand marketing teams with the data, systems, and capabilities they need to run effective campaigns for their brand

Fast time to value

Marketo Engage’s usability, tight integration with the CRM system, and the initial campaign design helped the team get to market quickly. The marketing team is delighted with the results.

Engagement, as measured by deliverability, open, and click rates, rose dramatically. Lead generation is 150% higher since the Marketo Engage implementation. And, using first-party data from Marketo Engage, the cost per action (CPA) has improved 50% to 70%, depending on the brand/campaign. Improved data quality, easy integration with CRM and other tools, and end-to-end campaign design are yielding measurable results in such efforts as reactivating cold or lost leads. Moreover, automation has increased productivity, enabling the company to save one-half of a full-time equivalent (FTE) of effort by an already lean team.

"Marketo Engage’s ease of use is driving marketing team engagement,” Matt says. “And the review of content and templates that the switch to Marketo Engage forced us to do has led to improved deliverability and open and click rates across our business. The improvements have helped focus our brand marketing teams on the continued optimisation of programs through considered template design, test and learn, split test, and detailed post-campaign reviews. We’ve come a long way from the batch-and-blast, job-done, days of old.” - Matt Tohill, General Manager of Digital

"Usability is one of Marketo Engage’s strongest assets for our business. The setup and use is straightforward, meaning adoption for new users is fast. Our marketers love it!” - Matt Tohill, General Manager of Digital

An unexpected benefit

Matt found the Marketo Engage community to be a surprising bonus. With Marketo Engage’s help, marketers at European Motor Distributors have formed strong relationships with their counterparts at other companies that use Marketo. The Marketing Nation community exposes the team to best practices and innovative uses of Marketo Engage across various industries.

Through interactions with other community members Matt and his team have gained advice on optimising the team’s organisational structure and obtained guidance on how to assess the business impact of marketing activities. In addition, the benchmarks provided by other businesses offer insight into the best ways to gauge, demonstrate, and celebrate successes. That’s vital to the team’s job satisfaction and it has resulted in wider organisational buy-in at European Motor Distributors.

"Marketo Engage’s emphasis on helping us develop our people through connections with other Marketing Nation members, combined with the Marketo Engage certification pathways, is helping us engage and retain the best people in our team,” Matt says.

Continuing the journey

Marketo Engage has given Matt’s team a head start on its transformation from a product-driven to a customer-driven approach to business. Continuing on that journey, Matt sees highly connected customers and cars informing more marketing programs. Ultimately, he believes that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will drive smarter forecasting and better propensity modeling. He sees Marketo Engage as being the “pointy end” of the engine driving the journey.

"Our vision is to be the best automotive importer in the world,” Matt concludes. “Marketo Engage is helping us make that vision a reality by enabling us to create the best, most customer-centric marketing and engagement programs in the industry. We want to be the benchmark in New Zealand for automotive.” - Matt Tohill, General Manager of Digital