Starcar Car Rental, UK
Founded in 1987, Starcar Car Rental (Hamburg, Germany) is now one of the largest car rental companies in Germany and is known for its high quality of service. With around 60 branches and over 500 partner stations for the parent company Starcar Europa Service Group AG, Starcar is a strong force in the car rental market.
Before implementing display technology, all marketing campaigns in the stations across Germany involved brochures, posters, flyers, window stickers, etc. It was extremely challenging for the marketing team to keep track of campaigns and the different locations in which they were happening. It was also difficult when individual campaign motifs had to be changed or exchanged on short notice, more so if prices had to be changed!
“We needed a lot more flexibility,” stated Melanie Lammers, Marketing Manager at Starcar. “Marketing finally wanted to be able to centrally control which poster was shown or which video was played in any of our locations.” The marketing team observed that digital signage and digital infotainment systems had found their way into the service sector and retail. This is not surprising since they are versatile and can be conveniently controlled online. These advantages convinced Starcar to step onto this marketing path.
The Starcar switch to digital advertising space began in March 2021 with a new station concept that brought modern designs for the new branches. The plan was to purchase and install digital displays by May 2021. When it came to selecting the digital display to best meet their marketing needs and vision, the Starcar team took their time to compare features, ease of use, and price. Justine Voogd-Thieß, Starcar marketing project manager, said, “We took our time to make the selection, obtained extensive information, and spoke intensively with four suppliers. It was particularly important for us that the (digital display and its applications) work as simply as possible because we are all not IT professionals. (We) wanted to be able to display the advertising material at the push of a button.”
After a thorough search, Clevertouch® Technologies had the digital signage technology that met their requirements, including a good price-performance ratio score over the competition.
Today, professional non-touch large format displays from Clevertouch with integrated digital signage hang in seven Starcar stations. The CM series impresses with brilliant 4K UHD image reproduction, easy control, and an extensive, innovative range of functions.
In seven of its car rental stations spread across Germany, Starcar has replaced the classic poster advertising space with large-format digital display solutions from Clevertouch – the CM-series digital display - and is now benefiting from flexible, individually adaptable advertising campaigns including high-profile moving image components. These screens give the stations a modern look and feel and can also be controlled centrally and regardless of location.
The functionality that the company was looking for such as centralized control and management was made possible with these innovative and dynamic CMseries displays. Multiple digital displays can be managed conveniently and online via just one central content management platform. “The aim was to digitize the advertising and display it in a targeted manner. And that is now possible - we develop an advertisement centrally and can immediately adapt it to the format with a click of the mouse in all seven or just one station,” stated Voogd-Thieß. “For example, it is now also possible to start holiday campaigns at a different time in accordance with the start of the holiday in the respective station region.”
“The Clevertouch (displays) are installed in our rental stations in the customer corner or in the waiting area - as an infotainment terminal,” explained Melanie Lammers, Marketing Manager at Starcar. “Our new station concept should stand for an innovative, modern flair, and after we have already handled the vehicle handover purely digitally via iPad, the modernization of our advertising and information areas was the next logical step for us. We are already consistently implementing this with our new openings and will soon be pulling the existing stations too.”
Starcar believes there is a big advantage with the dynamic functionality of the CM-series digital displays. Voogd-Thieß commented, “For example, we wanted to have a blank film for a poster in which we could manually insert elements. We were immediately assured that this was not a problem, and it worked perfectly.”
Currently, advertising campaigns and advertising videos are being displayed on the screens, which previously was not possible. Starcar understands that moving images attract significantly more attention than static flyers and are better remembered by customers. The infotainment offer, which is shown on the screens, is to be expanded in the future with location-specific weather report information as well as individual offers and discount campaigns.
“The aim was to digitize the advertising and display it in a targeted manner. That is now possible - we develop an advertisement centrally and can immediately adapt it to the format with a click of the mouse in all or just one station.”
Justine Voogd-Thieß, Marketing Project Manager Starcar Car Renta
As the most important argument in favor of Clevertouch, however, Voogd-Thieß named the support, which in their opinion is outstanding - “This is really a USP compared to other providers. Support is always available, and so are we feel very well looked after. No matter what requests or questions we have, personal contact is always established immediately and a solution is always found very quickly.” For example, when there was a problem with one of the screens, the support team took care of it immediately and made a replacement screen available within 48 hours. Customer feedback is also taken very seriously and individual adjustments are always possible.
Even before the installation, it turned out that the digital signage solution is very user-friendly and easy to operate. “From the first discussions to the installation and also now in support, everything went really well,” commented Voogd-Thieß. Starcar was shown the control and design software in the first meeting with Clevertouch and the specialist dealer LCD Media in Hamburg. “We noticed how good the software is and how easy it is to use.” A training followed in which the new users were able to get to know the software in detail. With guest access to the program, the Starcar team was also able to test application areas themselves and clarify any questions.
At Starcar, they are more than satisfied with the new solution. “The screens are very popular with customers, the stations look modern, that just fits the brand perfectly,” said Lammers. In addition, the team benefits internally from the central, digital control of the campaigns and from the fact that the entire process is significantly leaner. The classic production of advertising material or printing and sending of the materials is completely eliminated. “This not only relieves the station managers and employees on site, but also saves material costs and is more environmentally friendly than the analog campaigns,” Lammers continued.
As the next stage of digitization, Starcar wants to involve customers more and is planning to incorporate interactive elements into the screens. “We are thinking in the direction of gamification and want to achieve more interaction with the screens - for example via elements with which customers can earn discounts,” explained Lammers.
As a result of the positive experience with the solution, Starcar is now planning to expand its digital display operations and wants to convert all of its 60-plus locations to digital campaigns with the digital signage solution from Clevertouch by the end of 2022.