The importance of establishing your brand in the digital world cannot be overstated. Customers are increasingly connected, informed and, ultimately, empowered, and, as a result, their expectations are at an all-time high. They demand an engaging and consistent experience, whatever channel they are using to connect with you.
Creating a strong digital brand in today’s omnichannel world is one achievement, but taking this to the next level, and making it work globally, is another. For many businesses, maintaining control and consistency of their brand in multiple countries is one of their biggest challenges.
A few years ago there was a creeping misconception that, to achieve consistency in the digital landscape, organisations must give up on locally tailored marketing in favour of a more unified approach. Thankfully, we are more sophisticated than that now and appreciate the importance of maintaining
a local identity.
The most successful organisations will manage brand consistency worldwide, while still allowing for flexibility and innovation from market to market, using a powerful content management system. Managing online content at a global level, but still giving local web teams and editors an appropriate
level of input, will mean that audiences are best served, and subtle differences in tastes and demands across multiple markets are catered for.
Websites are often the first point of contact for consumers, so striking the right balance between global consistency and local appeal – to achieve a premium brand experience – starts here.
Creating a complete brand experience
One brand that understands the importance of establishing a strong digital presence is automotive leader Audi AG in Germany. One of the world’s best-known and most-sought-after luxury brands, its vehicles are renowned for innovative engineering, outstanding performance and progressive design. Staying true to its motto, "Vorsprung durch Technik", which translates to "Advancement through technology", Audi continuously develops and delivers automotive breakthroughs that inspire millions of car enthusiasts.
The innovation doesn’t stop there for Audi; it continues on its website, a destination for long-time fans and new consumers. It goes far beyond a place to simply communicate corporate information. Instead, it offers visitors a complete brand experience with news, links to dealers, vehicle guides and the most popular feature of the site – the Audi Configurator. This is an interactive application that enables customers to design their own cars, and remains one of the keys to driving interest in Audi vehicles. In fact, 90% of Audi customers configure their ideal car in this way before ever visiting a showroom.
The Audi marketing team knows how important a first-class site experience is, with more than 156m people visiting www.audi.de and its siblings in other markets each year. To foster more engagement with the brand and excitement about its vehicles, Audi uses web-content and digital asset-management capabilities in Adobe Experience Manager.
One example of the way this solution has enhanced the site experience for consumers is the integration of the Audi Configurator. The application previously opened in a separate window, interrupting the flow of the online experience. Now it is integrated directly with the website, meaning consumers can read about features as they change their options; a final configuration can even be sent directly to the dealer.
Engaging diverse audiences worldwide
Enhanced with geotargeting capabilities, Audi automatically redirects visitors to one of 93 local homepages, offered in 40 languages, so consumers’ experiences are more relevant and personalised.
With so many sites, one challenge for Audi is maintaining control over the brand worldwide. At the same time, it is important for international teams to maintain a level of creative freedom to present content in ways best suited to local audiences.
If regional teams lack easy access to branded content, they may produce marketing copy or images of vehicles independent of Audi headquarters. Not only does this increase production time and costs, but product accuracy is critical and the resulting assets may not comply with Audi branding standards.
With web-content and digital asset-management capabilities in Adobe Experience Manager, Audi can create and manage a central repository of approved assets to enable high-quality brand experiences across regions. In addition to product images and videos, Adobe Experience Manager enables the central marketing team in Germany to produce and distribute a wide variety of assets, including rendered model images produced on the fly, marketing copy and master pages.
Managing marketing materials
While the overall experience is essential for consumers, wholesalers need a solution that is easy to use and provides access to central marketing materials. Robust search functions in Adobe Experience Manager help wholesalers and local marketing teams find assets fast, while drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy for teams to edit and arrange assets without coding. The result is greater productivity and faster time-to-market for new vehicle information.
The speed and ease of creating and publishing web content with Adobe Experience Manager is especially beneficial when Audi launches new cars at events or motor shows. It can upload press releases, marketing information, specifications and imagery to Adobe Experience Manager, making the content instantly available to all parties and websites worldwide.
Unlike the bigger wholesale markets, dealers are independent enterprises that often pay close attention to their bottom line, making cost-effective solutions essential. Reusable assets and integrated modules help dealers expend fewer resources managing websites.
By using Adobe Analytics in combination with Adobe Experience Manager, the Audi team can continually check and compare the performance of websites. For example, looking at entry and exit pages, Audi can determine what people are looking for on a website and develop ways to best guide them in their journeys.
Audi is also currently using Adobe Analytics to look at data from multiple sources to gain deeper insights across business areas. In a recent research project, Audi discovered a method to analyse car-configurator data to help better predict what vehicles will be ordered in a region over the next few months. With further analysis, Audi hopes to use these insights and other analytics approaches to further improve the availability of vehicle styles and parts to customers in markets worldwide.
Audi continues to expand its use of Adobe Marketing Cloud across all its websites, taking advantage of excellent scalability to roll out solutions. For Audi, the high adoption rate of Adobe solutions is a testament to the overall effectiveness of its approach.
Websites were standardised on Adobe Marketing Cloud, including Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Analytics solutions, to provide customers with a consistent brand experience on any Audi website worldwide.