We recently had the chance to sit down with Michael Wilcock, Digital Marketing Executive for BMW UK. Educated at the University of Manchester, Michael joined BMW Group in 2014 on the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars graduate programme where he was involved in sales planning and controlling. Michael took up his current position of Digital Marketing Executive at BMW UK in September 2016.
As Digital Marketing Executive for BMW UK, what is your primary focus?
My primary focus is on managing our national and retailer websites and ensuring that they are useful, engaging and represent the brand in the right way. We have content fed to us through BMW Group as well as locally-created content from our product and marketing teams at BMW UK, so the Digital Marketing team is challenged to stay connected with all areas of the business at all times.
What is it about the BMW brand that inspires you?
Firstly, it has a long-standing heritage in motorcar production. Any company that can remain profitable and exciting for as long as BMW have must be doing something right. Secondly, while BMW has an established brand presence and reputation, they refuse to slow down and rest on their laurels. By undertaking ambitious projects, such as the BMW VISION NEXT 100 and the BMW i Range, they are able to communicate this passion to the rest of the world. Finally, a lot of energy is focused on investing in its employees; I have personally had access to a great range of training and I’m constantly being pushed to learn more and improve myself.
BMW works with a number of external and in-house agencies. How does that affect the day-to-day of running of the BMW marketing department?
Working with agencies broadens BMW’s understanding of the wider marketplace. Having insight from different perspectives allows us to look at problems from more than one angle, hopefully finding multiple solutions.
What does a typical day at BMW entail for you?
What I like is that there is no "typical day". While no job is without its mundane tasks from time-to-time, I’m fortunate enough to be involved in a range of projects that differ in their design and scope. This keeps me on my toes and enables me to learn new things every day. I also travel around the country to visit some of the marketing agencies that we work with.
What have been your biggest highlights (and lowlights!) since taking on the role of Digital Marketing Executive last September?
My biggest highlight is that I had the opportunity to drive an M6 around the Goodwood Race Circuit at a recent track day. It was great to experience the product first-hand after spending so much time looking at it on the web page. My biggest lowlight is that we recently said goodbye to last year's interns as they all departed for their final year at university. While it’s very exciting to have a new cohort with new ideas and fresh perspectives, I made a lot of friends in the most recent group and they will definitely be missed.
You previously worked for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Goodwood. What was it like moving from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to BMW UK?
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was a great company to work for. I was on their graduate programme, which involved moving around several departments to give me a better understanding of how the wider business operated. My home department was sales planning where I ran analytics for global sales and created dashboards for use in presentations to the board of directors.
Coming to BMW UK was also a great experience for a number of reasons. Firstly, it gave me the opportunity to experience another brand within BMW Group and to see the similarities and differences in the way they operate. Secondly, changing to a digital marketing role allowed me to develop new skills and work in new environments. Marketing is such an exciting function to work in, so it would be difficult for me to go back to number-crunching. That being said, the analytics experience I received at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been really useful when looking at website performance metrics for BMW UK.
What's your personal ambition/goal in your current position?
My personal goal is to play a key role in improving the BMW websites. If I can contribute to making the customer experience as best as it can be, whether that is through content or usability, then I will be happy that I have done my job well.
Which is your favourite BMW, past or present?
I particularly like the old M3s. They have stood the test of time and for me, they epitomise BMW’s motorsport DNA. Looking to the present day, I also really like the BMW i8 because it shows just what BMW is capable of. The design is so original; it’s undeniably beautiful and the fact that it has a hybrid engine adds to the feeling that it is the first of its kind. Electric engines are the future and BMW is the first to try and merge this world with that of the supercar.
Thank you to Michael for taking the time to speak to us.
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