Brands are slowly but surely allocating a greater percentage of their marketing budgets to online initiatives. Even in a tough economy, when marketing budgets are shrinking across the board, a larger percentage of those budgets is going to online campaigns such as viral videos, short form marketing videos, web site and online video sponsorships, social media widgets, search engine marketing, iphone applications, and online game sponsorships, among others.
Brands that started by dipping a toe in the water are now jumping in the deep end of online marketing with confidence. The opportunities available to brands are so varied online, which presents a challenge, as new opportunities pop up on a monthly basis that must be evaluated, tested and mastered. New metrics have to be defined and put into place to measure the relative success of, for example, a facebook widget campaign versus a search engine marketing campaign.
One brand that is allocating more of their budget to online initiatives is Audi. And as a brand that has fared relatively well compared to the competition, Audi is doubling down on their marketing efforts to gain market share from their struggling competitors.
I first took note of Audi’s online efforts during the Presidential inauguration. At the time, I was clicking from news site to news site, such as NYtimes.com, MSNBC.com, WashingtonPost.com, CNN.com, and noticing that many of them were streaming the inauguration live to their home pages.
More often than not, I noticed that Audio was the sponsor, not just on one site, but on multiple sites.
Intrigued, I called up Jeri Ward, General Manager of Marketing and Strategy, Audi of America to talk about their online strategy.