Train operating company London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has expanded its relationship with Dentsu Aegis Network agency Merkle after briefing it to handle all its data-driven marketing and CRM programme.
Merkle already works with LNER, which operates the East Coast Main Line franchise from London to north-east England and Scotland, managing its customer database. It has previously also helped LNER to develop data-led customer engagement.
LNER has chosen Merkle to also run digital marcomms and direct customer experience marketing, building and executing customer-centric marketing strategies.
It has also appointed M&C Saatchi to lead on strategic and creative marketing campaigns.
In January, TMW Unlimited was appointed to develop LNER’s future loyalty proposition following a competitive pitch. It is understood that Merkle will now move this brief forward.
LNER commerical director Suzanne Donnelly said: “We have ambitious plans to transform rail travel, breaking out of the pack to deliver a fantastic customer experience right across our business. 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.
“M&C Saatchi and Merkle 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.”
Merkle EMEA vice-president of client services Mark Jones added: “The team’s ambition to create hyper-personalised, omnichannel customer experiences, underpinned by customer insight and in real-time, 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 Department for Transport intends for LNER to provide services until a new public-private partnership can be established next year.
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