However, every channel has its pros and cons. E-marketing poses certain structural barriers as business models that succeed in one country may not work well in another:
The first barrier that Audi will face is language difference. Majority of the content on the Internet is English, and it is deemed as the common language in business. However, there is still a large part of users who are not proficient in that. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to purchase products on sites that speak their native tongue (Encyclopedia 2014). Even so, attempts to localize web content achieve partial success due to wholesale usage of translation software that lack recognition.
Another common barrier will be culture. To be familiarized with the local market through the Internet is highly unlikely. In high-context societies, such as economically advanced Japan, physical personal transactions and business relationships contribute greatly to transactions and production loyalty. Moreover, although Timberlake is famous and credible in US, this is not the case in other countries. Hence, customer satisfaction in those countries cannot rely on online viral campaigns, rational evaluation or testimonials. Additionally, colors, symbols and contexts can vary greatly in each culture hence marketers should be sensitive and attentive. Lastly, in certain countries, credit card for online shopping penetration is low, unlike United States (Encyclopedia 2014). Therefore, when tackling certain markets, Audi has to be flexible and adaptive to the various markets.
Lastly, infrastructure is another barrier. Internet access in some countries is limited by low computer penetration, high charge to access Internet, restrictions on usage, and government attempts to control content and ownership, amongst other reasons (Encyclopedia 2014). Hence a good approach for Audi is to also support their campaign through traditional channels.
4. Can the marketing campaign be considered successful? If yes, can you name indicators for your decision?
According to The European Marketing Confederation the success of a marketing campaign is determined ‘in terms of consumers’ attitude, awareness, purchasing intention, etc.’ Also, to gauge a campaign’s effectiveness is when the objectives and quantifiable key performance indicators (KPIs), that were established prior to campaign launch, are met. Thus after evaluating Audi’s campaign ‘The Next Big Thing’, it is considered as a successful campaign that has contributed to corporate vision and strategy.
One of Audi’s main objectives was to generate strong awareness and for that they had 185,000 registered potential buyers, over 5.9 million website visitors and 30,000 fans gained on Facebook (Ame Awards 2011). The next main objective was to create greater desire for the product, especially amongst new customers. This was also met with 16,000 pre-orders, exceeding their expectation of 10,000. They have also succeeded in capturing new market shares as 90% of pre-orders were from new consumers.
Next, Audi’s secondary goal was to reposition itself against the MINI series. After the campaign was launched, more than 28,000 A1s were sold, which was 3,000 more when MINI’s new car was launched. On average, customers were willing to pay more for the A1 as well, which indicated success in positioning itself as a premium car brand against its competitors. This also indicated that A1s were purchased not because of the cost but effects of its fruitful brand position. Another secondary goal was to reduce cost of advertising per car by 33%, to which they did not only meet that but exceeded by 8%.
Later publications by Audi showed that they were forced to increase production by 20%, and in the first half of 2011, thriving in sales continued when 63,105 A1s were delivered. Hence, ‘The Next Big Thing’ marketing campaign was a successful sell-out.
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