1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Audi is launching the new A6 in the United States in late 2012. This marketing plan is designed to create awareness and impact around the A6 launch also to increase the market share by selling new cars. With this campaign, Audi will focus on affecting the target audience, driving quality user generated content, leveraging social media platforms and having a high impact launch that will generate buzz around “Audi Envy” The creative and media strategy is designed to position A6 as the most modern, innovative and luxury product in the marketplace.
Media budget part will provide A6 dominance especially in Q3 around product launch. 2. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS Audi is a manufacturer of exquisite cars: attractive, sophisticated and technically perfect. The history of Audi is one of the most multi-faceted stories ever told in the history of the automobile in general. The Audi emblem with its four rings identifies one of Germany’s oldest-established automobile manufacturers. It symbolizes the union in 1932 of four previously independent motor-vehicle manufacturers: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer.
These companies form the roots of what is today AUDI AG. Source: AudiUSA. com web site) Audi was the winner of multiple awards in 2011:
• New Audi A6 won prestigious Eyes On Design Award at Detroit Auto Show 2011
• Audi Q7 was the winner of the Mid-size Premium SUV Comparison Test U. S. Luxury Auto Marketplace: Premium auto brands sold 119,405 vehicles in April 2011 in the United States. Seven luxury automakers held more than 7% market share in April. Mercedes-Benz led the way with 16%, down from 17% in March.
Audi, BMW, and Cadillac all grew their portions of the premium market. Audi owned 8. 39% of the overall market share in April 2011. Source: Good Car Bad Car Blog, Luxury Auto Market Share in America – April 2011, May 5th 2011) [pic] External Factors: After the 2009 – 2011 economic crisis in the U. S. , economic conditions and the purchasing power of middle and upper class have started to increase again. People are spending money and the luxury market is growing. This provides Audi an opportunity to increase market share in this geography. In China Audi is still the official choice of government. All autos of China government are Audi especially A6 and A4 models. Audi remains strong in the European markets.
Customers in luxury segment are searching for new and innovative, stylish and different looking cars. BMW and Mercedes don`t change the style of their cars just make little stylish changes. Audi can take advantage of this by making more evolutionary changes with the new outlook of A6 and future models. Technology changes in cars are updated rapidly and Audi is one of the leader brands in technology. Wheels, diesel options, clean technology, usage of different materials except steel, acceleration, control panels and inside design of cars are having more quality day by day.
Audi should continue to innovate and be the leader in new car technology. Customer Analysis: Overall Audi appeals to an affluent car buyer at all demographics based on the model. Current and potential customers of A6 are M35-54 who have income over $150,000 and also women who can influence the buying process. Younger people and women tend to choose models such as Audi TT, A3 or A4. Internal Factors: The Audi advertising is very creative plus they have an excellent service quality after the sales. The missing point for the company is the budget difference on promotion when compared to BMW, the biggest target rival of Audi now.
Another missing part is the website of Audi USA. The information, options and design are not as strong as its rival`s websites. For example, Audi doesn`t have membership option. On the other hand BMW created this option for the potential users of future and now. Audi needs more involvement from fans not only on their web site but also their social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Audi’s “Urban Future Initiative” and “Award” outlines the vision for 2030’s world, technology and car. With this initiative Audi really positions itself as the leader in the next generation auto space.
Vide can be watched at: http://www. audi-urban-future-initiative. com/index. php/en/component/artikel/category/konzept and more information can be found at http://www. audi-urban-future-initiative. com/index. php/en. [pic] 3. SWOT ANALYSIS Weaknesses & Strengths: Strength: Although Audi does have strong competitors in the luxury auto space, they have high brand recognition in the U. S. People perceive Audi as an innovative and high-tech company which is a very strong strength against competition. Strength: Audi automobiles are extremely strong from a design and technology standpoint.
The cars are tested in various conditions and environments, and provide luxury and a great driving fun to users. Audi A6 has still big dimensions for midsize. 194 inches long auto is an inch longer than 5 series and 2 inch longer than Mercedes E-Class which is a strong advantage. The extensive use of aluminum has helped to reduce the weight of the car. Now A6 is lighter than 5 series (3,836 pounds, versus 3,880 pounds) and only small difference left with Strength: One of Audi’s strengths is the top quality. Quality as has been documented time and time again by surveys, competitions and analyses.
Quality starts with the selection of materials, surfaces and continues with the technology that Audi brings to the table. Strength: Pricing is one of the biggest strengths for Audi. Even though there is a small increase in A6`price in 2012, it will still be cheaper than competitors. Strength: Audi has eye-catchy and creative advertising executions. Audi’s advertising helped Audi to increase market share in the U. S. the last 5 years. Weakness: Audi is leader in China and Europe but 3rd in U. S. There is a big market share difference with BMW and Mercedes. Opportunities & Threats:
Threat: Audi faces intense competition in the luxury automotive sector. BMW and Mercedes still have very strong brand recognition for customers in the United States, especially for wealthy customers. These two brand names are enough to buy the product for a lot of people. Threat: The observable increase of Mercedes in China, where the Audi is leader, is threating Audi`s market share. While Audi is trying to expand its share in U. S, leadership position in Asia must go on. Opportunity: Luxury market share and investment has started to increase again after the crisis in the United States.
Increase in luxury product consumption will give Audi an opportunity to increase market share in the U. S. Opportunity: People are becoming more and more sensitive to environment and green technology. The clean diesel technology of Audi`s models will bring advantage to company in the future. There is a big opportunity for Audi to bring forward the clean and environment friendly technology. Opportunity: From a social media standpoint, none of the competitors are active enough and providing the users to contribute.
Audi has an opportunity here to leverage the power of Audi enthusiastic fans to have a strong voice and opinion in the social media space. 4. MARKETING OBJECTIVES o Drive awareness and create impact of Audi A6 launch in the US market in late 2012 o Increase market share by 2% in the US market for Audi A6 5. STRATEGY I. Target Audience Primary target audience for the Audi A6 is males 35-54 with a household income over $150,000. Secondary target audience is women who are also the key influencer in the purchase process of the A6.
Based on MRI and Nielsen syndicated research, primary target audience media consumption is analyzed across interest areas, relevant programming and internet media usage. (Detailed charts are provided in the appendix) Affluent M35-54 audience watches TV, uses the Internet and Mobile, iPad and Xbox platforms. M35-54 is less likely to read a newspaper, magazine or listen to radio. Based on syndicated research, media budget allocation is determined with an emphasis on TV as well as emerging media. II. Product [pic][pic] Overall design of Audi A6 is evolutionary.
From a design standpoint, the edges have been softened a bit which gives the car a clear, sharp and futuristic look and feel. It is designed to provide a great and luxurious driving experience for city and highway driving. The interior is designed to provide luxury and comfort to the A6 driver. (Source: Edmunds inside Line by Ed Hellwig, Editor, Published Aug 26, 2010) 2012 Audi A6 will consist of a conventional steel chassis that uses numerous aluminum parts to keep the overall weight down. The standard suspension will use traditional steel coil springs, while an optional air suspension will also be available.
Audi’s Drive Select system will also be part of the offerings, so even if you don’t opt for the air suspension you’ll still be able to adjust the steering, throttle and damper settings. (Source: Edmunds inside Line by Ed Hellwig, Editor, Published Aug 26, 2010) Auto Express has gotten their hands on the all-new 2012 Audi A6 and put it up against the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-class in this test Auto Express compares the Audi A6 2. 0 TDI to the BMW 520d and Mercedes-Benz E220 CDI. Auto Express concludes that while the BMW 520d is still the best option for driving enthusiasts, it’s the Audi A6 2. TDI that provides the best overall combination of highway and city driving, fuel efficiency, luxury and performance. The Mercedes-Benz E220 provides a solid option but it can’t match the driving dynamics of the BMW or the style and interior luxury of the Audi. (Source: Auto Express News, http://www. autospies. com/news/AutoExpress-Showdown-2012-Audi-A6-Defeats-BMW-5-series-and-Mercedes-Benz-E-class-63598/) [pic] III. Price: The current Audi A6 is priced between $45,000 to $60,000 based on the accessories and interior selection. 2012 A6 will be priced just a little higher starting at $47,500 to $62,500.
There will be buy and lease options at all dealers. There will be a special discount for current BMW and Mercedes owners like 1%-2% to convert them to the new Audi A6. IV. Place/Distribution: Audi A6 will be sold through all Audi dealerships across United States. Test drive opportunities will be available by appointment and walk in. The marketing strategy only focuses on the Audi A6 launch in the United States. V. Advertising/Promotional Strategy: a. Creative Strategy: Audi A6 creative strategy will align with the Audi tagline “Truth in Engineering” and demonstrate the technology, inspiring design, luxury and pleasure of driving an A6.
The creative will help to generate “Audi Envy” amongst the target audience. TV commercials (15, 30 and 60 seconds), Out of Home (Outdoor) placements, community web site, banners, and online video, mobile and iPad applications/placements will be created as a part of the creative strategy. $2 million budget is allocated to do all production expenses. b. Media Strategy:
• Pre-launch Strategy: Create buzz around the product with minimal media investment by using the power of social media. Pre-launch media strategy will focus on maximizing user generated content by enabling user generated content. 5 carefully chosen Audi fans (auto and social media enthusiastic drivers) within A6’s target audience will be given the new A6 six months before the product launch. These twenty five drivers will be asked to drive around US, record and post videos on an A6 community page. Drivers will talk about A6 features, technology and why they love their A6. User generated content will also be heavily used in social media through Audi’s Facebook page and YouTube.
• Launch Strategy: High impact media plan will surround the target audience on multimedia channels. These channels will be TV, Outdoor and Internet.
Relevant and high-profile TV shows, web sites and key out of home placements will be used. Two key product placements, Bourne Legacy and James Bond 23 will generate buzz among the target audience in 2012. Sports content (NFL, Golf, and Tennis) will also be targeted to reach extra customers. c. Geographic Allocation: A national media strategy will primarily be utilized at 80% of budget allocation with 20% focus in richest US cities including New York, Los Angles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC, Houston, Phoenix and Detroit. . Advertising Budget: $22,000,000 (Production: $2,000,000; Media: $20,000,000) Budget allocation is showed below: [pic] e. Media Weight: The new A6 is expected to come out in late 2012. The promotional activity will start in Q1 2012 with a pre-launch campaign and the majority of the media budget will be invested in Q3 and Q4 2012. The media weight is described below:
• Q1/Q2 2012: Pre-launch media promotion; Spend Allocation: 15%
• Q3 2012: Launch; Spend Allocation: 55%
• Q4 2012: Maintenance; Spend Allocation: 30% f.
Media Channel Selection: Based on primary and secondary target audience media consumption, here are the selected media channels:
• Pre-Launch: 1. Social Media: User Generated Content, Facebook, You Tube, Twitter 2. Search: Google, Bing, Yahoo! 3. Online Media: Websites about Auto
• Launch: 1. Product Placement: A6 product placement will appear in two action movies in 2012. Audi will also sponsor these movies to complete the product placements.
• Bourne Legacy, August 2012
• James Bond 23, November 2012 2. Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter . Online Media: Auto, Sports, Luxury, Business and Life Style web sites. Minimum lifestyle inventory against the secondary target audience (women, influencers) will be utilized. 4. Search: Google, Bing, Yahoo! 5. Television: Relevant and high reach TV Shows and Sports Programming (NFL, Golf, Tennis, and Car Racing) as outlined in the MRI research pulls. Minimum lifestyle TV inventory for the secondary target audience (women influencers) will be utilized. 6. Emerging Media: iPhone and iPad applications will be created to demonstrate the modern technology of A6.
Mobile media will be used to drive users to the iPhone and iPad applications. In addition, a small part of the media budget will be allocated to Xbox Live to appeal to the M34-45 group who is active on this platform. 7. Outdoor: Selected out of home placements will be used in important cities including New York, Los Angles and Chicago. In flight business class commercials will help to target business executives. 8. Events: Special parties will be held at 2012 Detroit and New York auto shows. 9. Public Relations: PR will be positioned to drive buzz and excitement around the product launch. Print (magazines/newspapers) and direct mail channels are not recommended based on target audience’s reduced consumption habits. g. Sales Strategy: Audi sales teams around the United States will receive hard training about A6 features and technology also will be trained against key competitive products including BMW and Mercedes. During the test drive, sales representatives will communicate the luxury, prestige and comfort that the new A6 will bring into the potential buyer’s life. 6. ACTION PROGRAM Following activities will be schedule to execute the pre-launch and launch campaigns:
Activity 1: Create a community/web site for Audi A6 and refresh content through 2012. Manage the user generated content coming in to the community site Person Responsible: Marketing/IT Departments Budget: $60,000 Completion Date: January 2012 Activity 2: Maintain an ongoing social activation around the new A6 before and after launch. (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) Person Responsible: Marketing/PR Departments Budget: $250,000 Completion Date: February 2012 Activity 3: Create mobile/iPhone and iPad applications for Audi A6. Person Responsible: Budget: $90,000
Completion Date: April 2012 Activity 4: Develop creative for the 2012 A6 campaign (TV commercials, Outdoor, banners, mobile banners, etc. ) Person Responsible: Marketing Department, Creative Agency Budget: $1,850,000 Completion Date: May 2012 Activity 5: Develop and execute a media plan for the 2012 A6 ad campaign Person Responsible: Marketing Department, Media Agency Budget: $13,750,000 Completion Date: April 2012 Activity 5: Give training all sales representatives about A6 features and differentiators Person Responsible: Sales/HR Departments Budget: $200,000
Completion Date: Activity 6: Work with the movie production companies for product placements in the selected movies Person Responsible: Marketing Department Budget: $4,000,000 Completion Date: November 2011 7. FINANCIAL FORECAST In 2010 financial year 1,092,411 Audi cars have been sold; the mark income has been at 35. 4 billion Euros, with an operational profit of 3. 34 billion euro and profitability of sales at 9. 4%. The cash flow from primary activity has considerably exceeded previous year indicators in 4. 9 million Euros and has made 5. 797 million Euros.
The forecast for 2011 is delivery over 1. 2 million cars in general. At the end of the A6 promotion, the market share in the U. S will grow 2% in U. S and 4% in the whole world. The old model of Audi A6 sold 10,016 in 2010 in the United States. With the growth of sales and market share, I predict that the new evolutionary A6 will sell 11,272 units/cars in U. S. The profit will increase from 72 million dollars to 81 million dollars after the successful marketing plan for Audi A6 in the U. S. The income also will develop from 700 million dollars to 826 million dollars. 8.
SUMMARY The new Audi A6 design is evolutionary and provides e a great and luxurious driving experience for city and highway driving. The marketing plan around the new A6 is designed to activate social media and generate buzz around the product. Innovative creative strategy and focus in emerging media will position the new A6 as the most modern and luxury car of the year. High impact product launch will dominate television and internet in relevant placements and programming, As a result, increase in A6 awareness and 2% market share in the United States is targeted in 2012.