Why Audi of Korea is spending a quarter of its marketing budget on mobile

Audi of Korea head of marketing, Jorg Dietzel, says marketers should be embracing the same media used by their consumers

Audi of Korea head of marketing, Jorg Dietzel
Audi of Korea head of marketing, Jorg Dietzel

It makes sense to embrace the same media used by the people you are trying to reach. For German carmaker Audi’s push into the Korean market, that has meant a very high investment in one of the newest marketing channels – mobile.

According to Google, 73 per cent of the South Korean population owned at least one smartphone in 2013, ranking it second globally behind the United Arab Emirates. Hence the head of marketing for Audi Korea, Jorg Dietzel, says his company spends between 25 and 28 per cent of its overall media budget on mobile media – much higher than in any other market it operates.

“Everybody is using their mobile devices to access the Internet, so it is important for us to use that as a channel,” he tells CMO. “The challenge is that every [other advertiser] is also using it. You need to be clever in how you do it. Just pushing out your message and having a banner somewhere is not enough.”

Dietzel says the key to reaching consumers effectively via mobile is to offer them some form of benefit. To do this, Audi has invested in mobile apps that assist customers both before and after they buy its cars. An Audi owner app, for instance, helps drivers find the nearest parking space or the nearest petrol station with the cheapest price.

Related: Mobile marketing is about content, not advertising, says Intel's regional creative director

“That is something that gives us permission to invade that personal space,” Dietzel says. “And if they don’t have an Audi, they can still use our app.”

Another app used by dealers in Audi showrooms enables a potential customer to configure their ideal car and have that emailed to them.

Dietzel says the heavy emphasis placed on mobile marketing in Korea means Audi needs to ensure it does not behave in a way likely to annoy consumers.

“Because it is such a popular platform, everyone is trying to use it,” he says. “There is so much spam – SMS and even automated calls – and people become very allergic to that. And what happens is, if they receive that from a specific brand, it is not just that they ignore that message, it also turns them against that brand.

“Korean consumers are extremely vocal, and the press is extremely critical and easily picks up cases. Most companies would be very careful about the channels they are using and the service they offer. If anything, people are probably over-serviced, rather than under-serviced or annoyed.”

The high mobile penetration rate in Korea means it is also effective for reaching a broad segment of the population – not just younger people who are the more prominent users of mobile in western markets.

Yet despite the high focus on mobile, Audi continues to spend in traditional media, including television advertisements that show its cars in Korean settings. Dietzel will be speaking on the brand's integrated marketing approach at ADMA's Global Forum in Sydney this year.

“People really appreciate that it was shot in Korea, whereas the local brands will go overseas to shoot commercials because they want to position their brands with some sort of western imagery,” Dietzel says.

The company is also investing heavily in cultural marketing, through promoting music events signing local celebrities such as K-pop stars up as brand ambassadors.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Is your customer experience program suffering bright shiny object syndrome?

You may have heard of ‘bright shiny object syndrome’. The term is used to describe new initiatives undertaken by organisations that either lack a strategic approach, or suffer from a failure to effectively implement.

Leveraging technology to stand out in the sea of sameness

The technology I'm talking about here is data and marketing automation. Current digital marketing methodology, much as it is practiced at Bluewolf, dictates the need for a strategy that does four things: Finds the right audience, uses the right channel, delivers the right content, and does all of that at the right time.

Eric Berridge

CEO and co-founder of Bluewolf, an IBM Company

Lead Management is very important part of the process. For anyone running Facebook Lead Ads I would recommend using this service.Get your...

Dirk Lo

How this fintech startup is improving content marketing and lead generation

Read more

I am agreeing with Mr. Tyron Hayes that a measured test-and-learn approach could be missing opportunities to not only better engage custo...

rush essay reviews

CMO interview: How Curtin University’s marketing chief is using test and learn to cope with complexity

Read more

Excellent!

Dr Sadasivan,US

Shakespeare shows data and creativity aren’t Montagues and Capulets

Read more

Great article! Agreed with all... Matthew Lerner, Deeps De Silva... When a company has a great product that solves customers needs, a gre...

James Tyler

Why marketers are embracing growth hacking techniques

Read more

Very good article, Social media analytics helps in problem identification. They can serve as an early warning system for negative custome...

BizVinu

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in