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.

Read More:

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Three killer strategies for data-driven audience targeting

Audience targeting is becoming an increasingly sophisticated art through data. Here, we look at three ways you can drive better engagement through different types of data assets and sources.

Michael Bird

CEO, Social Garden

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and the science of customer engagement

There is no let up for today’s CMO who needs to be the master of an ever-increasing variety of trades. Digital changed the game years ago, and now the CMO must be a skilled publisher, technologist and data analyst.

Growing skills shortage could hold our industry back

Every few weeks, I see an article about the gaps and talent shortages across our industry, particularly in digital strategy and analytics skills.

Social media has become common ground where brands and customers meet and greet and due to its increasing popularity users becomes demand...

Alex Martin

Marketers struggle to provide an enriching and engaging experience

Read more

is this a joke?

andre veerhuis

Ticketek: Modern marketing strategy is about treating people as people

Read more

can you provide Top 10 public relations agencies in Australia

Ethan437

6 ways marketers are using technology in content marketing

Read more

Very true about start-ups changing the mentality of marketing. Ultimately, being quick, and adaptive is a great way to get ahead.

Estia

Are startups disrupting the traditional business model?

Read more

Nice work James!

Marc Peston

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and the science of customer engagment

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in