ŠKODA AUTO a.s.: How we survived the coronavirus crisis

26. May 2020

The coronavirus crisis has affected almost the entire Czech economy. How has ŠKODA AUTO a.s., one of the biggest employers in the Czech Republic and a client of Seznam.cz, managed this situation? In this interview you’ll find out if the marketing department had to change its media plans and whether the crisis also brought some upsides.

What did the coronavirus crisis take from you and what did it give you? What lessons did it teach you for the future?

The coronavirus pandemic broke during the introduction of our new key model ŠKODA OCTAVIA, and we had to adapt the publicity to the situation quickly. But the coronavirus crisis also propelled us forward in the process of digitizing our products and services. For example, we connected the instore cars of our traders to the skoda-online.cz portal. The cars are available immediately and the customer can purchase them under operative leasing terms from the comfort of home. On top of this, and as a result of the coronavirus crisis, we began to appreciate the car as a safe vehicle for our individual mobility.

Has your communication with customers changed in any way? Can you describe the strategy that you have chosen? Will you continue with it after the crisis?

We had to change our communication strategy significantly because our sales network was impacted by government regulations which temporarily limited the ways in which we could present our cars. That’s why we had to adapt to the situation, change our media plans and focus more on increasingly flexible platforms with clearly measurable performance. At the same time, we wanted to stay visible and maintain our communications because of our position on the market, and Czech customers expect Škoda Auto to communicate up-to-date information.

How did you cooperate with Seznam.cz during the pandemic? Have you tried new formats / approaches in terms of your campaigns?

We were rather conservative from the point of view of the new format, but we appreciated the flexibility in planning activities very much in terms of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent time it took to return to a, relatively, ‘business-as-usual’ state.

Filip Keresteš, the professional coordinator of digital communication at ŠKODA AUTO a.s., answered questions for Seznam.cz