It’s an age old question in marketing and brand communications: How do you convince potential customers to trust your company and consider buying your products? And how do you identify these potential customers to keep them engaged with messages that suit their personal preferences?

Audi’s long-time motto has been “Vorsprung durch Technik, so when it came to creating an engaging multi-channel campaign to introduce the new Audi A3 Sportback vehicle to audiences in Belgium in 2013, the auto giant chose to rely on a powerful blend of CRM database technology and personalized communications based on constantly enriched user profiles.

The roadmap for the campaign was clear from the start: Connect customers to the A3 Sportback on an emotional level, drive traffic to D’Ieteren’s Audi dealer network, and increase awareness for the Audi Connect on-board infotainment system. All the while building – and constantly updating – the prospect database with actionable data.  

And – with the all-important Brussels Motor Show (BMS) looming – creating and executing it all in a race against the clock so that the goal of a “date” between car and customer could be achieved at the event. With only 90 days to go, full-service digital agency Emakina took the lead in creating and executing an engaging campaign that built up speed and momentum all the way to the finish line.

A strong head start
Several weeks before the car became available in Belgium, the campaign was off to a head start with multi-channel activation via email, social media, television and radio. The goal: Invite prospects to take the A3 Sportback for a virtual “test drive” on the innovative microsite.

This first “online date” kicked off a six-step “love story” between the car and prospective customers, ultimately ending in “marriage” – purchasing the car. The website captured rich profile data, including contact information, gender, location, and current motorization, together with individual click behavior.

Powered by Selligent, this data allowed for advanced segmentation and targeted follow-ups, continuing the “courtship” of the customers with relevant emails, videos, and the next step: A physical date.

Kicking into high gear
Switching gears, the campaign mobilized the highest potential users for offline activities: “VIP” users were invited to a meet-and-greet with the car at the Brussels Motor Show, as well as “A3 Nights” at their nearest Audi dealership.

Data collection also kicked into high gear during these offline events: Behind the wheel of the A3 Sportback, users configured their ideal car on an iPad – further enriching their individual profiles with preferences and user photos – and took the A3 for a spin in a simulator app.

The Audi booth at the Brussels Motor Show was buzzing at full capacity during the entire event, as the love story between the A3 Sportback and potential suitors intensified.

Speeding to the finish line

Now that the campaign had gained ultimate traction with highly personalized user profiles, Audi and Emakina really put the pedal to the metal: As soon as the car arrived in showrooms at dealerships across the country, prospects received highly personalized emails based on their individual preferences and click behaviors.

This was the final stretch, time to seal the deal: The most promising prospects received a customized invite to take the A3 Sportback for a real-life test drive – and “marry” the car to live happily ever after.

And they did. The campaign soared beyond industry averages, powered by data-driven multistep dialogs, cross-channel coverage and tailored personalized content: During the five-month launch campaign for the A3 Sportback, the microsite recorded 100,000 visitors, and 19,000 views of the A3 product video. What’s more, the campaign’s open rate of 83% with a CTR of 60% generated thousands of leads.

It was the culmination of a perfectly orchestrated love story where constantly enriched user profiles had delivered the information required to create perfect matches. One where a series of “dates” had nurtured and strengthened the bond between potential customer and brand. And one where the commitment towards the car, was designed to be the natural next step in a blossoming relationship.

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