Audi’s app deepens brand loyalty while generating strong sales leads
Leading brands are increasingly turning to digital platforms to strengthen relationships with customers. Mobile apps created with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (now Adobe Experience Manager Mobile) provide a way for companies to establish a presence on consumer devices, build loyalty, create leads, and even drive sales. This is the approach the automotive brand Audi of America and its creative agency Designory took when faced with the challenge of publishing 15 model brochures per year in a consolidated and easily navigable way.
Since its launch in late 2013, 59 pieces of content have been added to the Audi library app. More than 30,000 unique users have accessed the app with average app visits lasting eight minutes. Overall, Audi of America is seeing a total of 41 minutes spent in the app per unique user.
We talked with Jessica Thor, Manager of Retail Marketing at Audi of America, and Ashley Watson, Director of Strategy on the Designory team, about their tablet app.
Adobe: Why did Audi of America choose the Adobe solution?
Thor: The Audi focus on revolutionary engineering and progressive design naturally appeals to a tech-savvy consumer audience. Instead of having individual apps to support each model cluttering the app store, we wanted to create a single access point for consumers to experience the world of Audi and avoid app store fatigue from having multiple, static product experiences as separate apps. The ability to consolidate Audi of America product stories was a huge factor and was one of the reasons Audi of America chose Adobe.
Adobe: What business impact has Audi of America seen from the app?
Watson: The app is just over a year and a half old and we’ve been constantly testing, optimizing, and adding fresh content. We’re now up to 59 pieces of content in a single app. We’ve included shopping links within the brochures so customers can click to locate a dealer, search inventory, request a quote, or build their vehicle. This makes the app not only a brand engagement tool, but also a way to drive people deeper into the purchase experience and ultimately get them closer to buying a car.
The purpose of the brochure content is to create motivation and move customers down funnel. The app helps turn that motivation into action. We’ve seen a more than 3% click through rate on links within the brochures and 91% of those customers are completing actions that are delivering leads to Audi of America. This elevates the importance of having this content on a digital platform because it turns branding into action.
Adobe: How many consumers have accessed the app?
Watson: There are currently more than 30,000 unique users and the overall time spent in the Audi library app per unique visitor is 41 minutes, equating to nearly 20,000 hours of brand engagement. On average, each user downloads more than four pieces of content and visits the content eight times over a span of five plus visits.
Adobe: Why did Audi want an app when there was already a website?
Thor: This is a question many OEMs and brands are asking themselves right now. The answer depends wholly on the content and experience.
A car is one of the most complex products a consumer will ever purchase in their lifetime, and therefore, the customer requires a lot of detailed information to make their final decision. The website is good exploratory tool. Customers have access to brand and model information and can self-direct though the experience. However, that information is largely high-level and may not provide the type of detail customers need to choose a vehicle. Audi library content is much more detailed and provides the user with a full, linear story on each model—thus educating them on every component of the vehicle and preparing them to take that next step in the purchase process. Because the content is detail-oriented, serving it on a tablet—where we know people enjoy a lean-back experience and tend to spend more time engaging—made the most sense at launch. We have also just completed integrating Audi library content within the website experience using the web viewer.
It was also a great way for us to organize all of our long form content (brochures, Audi magazine, etc.) into one location. This is diverse content that can often be hard to find on the website.
The app also creates a sense of ownership, so it becomes a personal commitment. It is the same with a physical brochure. Having the app on a tablet creates a permanence and valuable brand engagement.
Adobe: What are the benefits of investing in a highly interactive experience?
Watson: We’ve seen that content with interactivity definitely yields higher results. People come back three to four times per download when the content is interactive, compared to one to two times with static content. The factor that is most closely tied to engagement is interactivity. Having the knowledge in the back of your mind that there’s something else you can do on the next page keeps people engaged.
Thor: We’re focused on telling the story through action. Any time you involve the user in the story, it is a sticky experience, and features such as a slider or color picker make people engage more deeply with the story.
Adobe: How is the app marketed?
Thor: Designory is one of several marketing partners that work with Audi of America. They collaborate with other partners to get the word out about the app through multiple channels. The app is included in monthly newsletters, some email campaigns and social messaging, and there are download links on Audi of America’s website that help generate traffic to the App Stores. A short promotional video for Audi library can be found on Audi of America’s YouTube channel. We have provided dealerships with point-of-sale materials that help salespeople direct customers to the app.
Adobe: How is the Audi library app helping Audi of America save money?
Thor: When we talk to our customers and our dealer body and ask whether they prefer print or digital brochure content, the answer is consistently “both.” Some customers prefer to engage with us digitally and some like the tactile experience of our high-end print pieces. With the introduction of Audi library we are able to please both audiences, but it also allows us to optimize our print runs, saving time and money getting content to market.
If a situation arises during the year in which creative must be changed, content in the app can be updated easily. This saves the cost of reprinting brochures and keeps the content as up to date as possible.
In addition, there are some instances where a model has low sales volume, but a high fan base. Such is the case with Audi R8. The R8 is a limited production, high performance sports car, affordable by only a few. As a halo car for Audi, the R8 draws many aspiring customers into the brand. The app is a cost effective way of delivering content to R8 fans. In addition, we see that users are looking at multiple pieces of content in the app, resulting in exposure to other models in the Audi line up. With the Audi library app, we have created a tool to market the R8 that may also influence customers to purchase other Audi models.