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

Brand management starts with management

As the world continues to grow and evolve, it’s more important than ever to build a strong brand that articulates your message clearly and consistently, stands out against the noise, and develops relevance with the people that matter. This makes managing your brand a key component to gaining cut-through and ultimately business success.

Dan Ratner

managing director, Uberbrand

Disrupting marketing as we know it

Call it digital disruption or the fourth industrial revolution, our rapidly evolving environment is affecting consumer perceptions, purchase behaviours and the way they consume information and products.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Should your disclaimer become your headline?

To avoid misleading customers, or simply through fear of legal backlash, advertising has evolved to hide the potential shortcomings of an offer in its disclaimer.

Sam Tatam

Head of behavioural science, OgilvyChange Australia

Very interesting article which touches on the importance of a feedback loop fuelled by customer and market insights. Ideally this scenari...

Andrew Reid

Building customer insights in the data and digital age

Read more

Very very good piece- very novel and innovative and very possibly- effective - way to look at one's communication headlines!

Patrick Dsouza

Should your disclaimer become your headline? - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Excellent post Rob, Mobile app users are growing day by day. Everyday lots of apps are launched in the market but not every app retains t...

Marcus Miller

Why app engagement must be personalised - Mobile strategy - CMO Australia

Read more

very informative blog. I really like the information given in this blog.http://gng.com.au/

Gajanand Choudhary

The evolving role of the CMO - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

It is true That’s the new read following up Deloitte Digital's Digital disruption - Short Fuse, blowup analysis series, that appearance t...

miller645645@mail.ru

Digital disruption about to impact health, education sectors

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in