New A3 Launch & Social Media effectivenes
Date: Sunday, September 16, 2012 @ 08:18:43 BST
Topic: A3 & S3

A3 Test DriveSome of you will have read our test drive of the new A3 we were fortunate to drive at the end of July in Denmark & Sweden; today is the day that customers in the UK finally get to see the car "up close and personal", as the today is the day the car is launched to the UK public (Some actually received theirs this weekend!).

Since we wrote the article, the A3 has managed to achieve  the maximum five-star rating for passive crash safety from the Euro NCAP consortium. The results for adult occupant protection in a frontal, rear, and side impact as well as child safety and pedestrian protection make the new Audi A3 one of the safest cars in its class.

The test engineers awarded the A3 the best rating for driver and passenger in the frontal and side impact collisions. Children are also afforded very good protection in the new Audi A3. Euro NCAP also singled out the seat belt reminder for the front and, in particular, the rear seats. The Audi A3 comes as standard with both systems.

The question is, how are the dealers managing the promotion through Social Media? This is not just a "facelifted" model- it's "all new", from the chassis up, and has some features not currently found in other cars in this segment.

Some are doing pretty well- after all this is a "bread & butter" car- not the fewer numbers, higher value (margins?) "more" desirable S/ RS models. (As well as the R8)

Some have social media- twitter & Facebook; Those that do, some have used it effectively to engage customers & potential customers (M25 Audi are worthy of a mention here). If I was in the market for one- would it sway my choice of dealership?

Within reason, yes. (Obviously some are simply too far away to make it worth the 200 mile journey), but a dealership that engages and effectively communicates with owners and enthusiast's in a two way conversation, as opposed to "this is us- this is what we do" are effectively using social media as "just another advertising medium"- our own experiences in the last 3 months have showed social media to be so much more than just another promotional platform. It can be a VERY effective communication platform.

This site does upwards of 50,000 page views per day, but a lot of that is "one way"- visitors read the information and don't discuss/ offer view points (excluding the forums)- Facebook, Twitter & Instagram have expanded the realms so much more.

So, if a dealership is effectively utilising and engaging others (customers, potential customers), then that removes barriers; This in turn makes the dealerships more "approachable" making you feel more "comfortable".

Lets be honest, a car is not necessarily something you buy "on a whim"- research and gut feeling, as well as the obvious cost implications play a huge factor, along with the biggest- customer service. If I was spending £20k+ on a car, I'd rather deal with someone that didn't treat me just "as a customer" (or a number on a sales sheet)- it's a lot of money to hand over for something you are going to own for some time- possibly second only to purchasing a house in terms of expense (for most owners)

So, how have the dealerships done?

Some effectively- as well as announcing the fact they have the new A3 launch this weekend (some have missed it completely and mentioned Golf Championships instead!)- others have gone that little bit further with photos, competitions (test drives at 2 circuits come to mind), teasers and other offers, as well as musicians to keep you entertained.

Sure the new A3 is a car that could almost sell itself- stronger, lighter, faster & more economical. But a little more effort to entice potential into the dealerships can't help, surely? (Considering at least three cars I know of were sold within an hour of the launch)

Below are a few "snippets" pulled from twitter (with links), and in no particular order. If I've missed any off, this could be either because they are not effectively using social media (if at all) - see previous note about using social media as just another advertising platform, or they are "not on our radar" (we follow as many UK dealerships as we know about)

A special mention, though, goes to Audi City London- teaser photos as well as trying to entice me to their showroom. (Thanks, but a tad far for a "quick jaunt")- but they would get my business over my local dealership (if there was currently any to have)- purely because they've engaged me personally.

Lessons to be learned by many (including ourselves) is it's all about engagement.

Below are some of the photo's we saw (in no particular order); if I missed any off, apologies- and as we've said on twitter and Facebook- get down to your local Audi centre to find out what the fuss is about. Although try not to be too disappointed if you do order one if you have to wait until next year for delivery.... (as we've heard is the case)

Details Dealership Link (Twitter)
Bradford Audi A3 Launch on Twitter 01Bradford Audi A3 Launch - twitter -02

Bradford Audi on Twitter

Also had an S7 available for Test Drive

linked to a road test of the A3

Hatfield Audi A3 Launch Promo

Hatfield Audi on twitter

"Test Drive the new and Win a B&O A3 Worth £449! Every Pre-Booked Test Drive is Automatically Entered:

Audi City LondonAudi City London Audi City London
 Audi City London Audi London City Audi City London

Audi City London on Twitter

Lots of build up- various "sneak peek" photos before the event, and a couple during the event- complete with Jazz Band later on. They also configured their own A3 and publicised the link so you can see on Audi UK's Website the specification

The last photo of the phantom black 1.8 s-tronic that could be booked for test dives...

North East Audi North East Audi

NorthEast Audi on Twitter

had build up photo/ teaser plus the display car.

Prior promotional activities:

Everything you need, nothing you don’t. The new Audi A3 launches this Saturday. Why not reserve your test drive today?

SouthEast Audi

Southend Audi on Twitter

Preview Teaser photo, prior build up included a link to an A3 Test Drive report:

Vindis Group

Vindis Group on Twitter

Build up before hand...

The new Audi A3 launches this Saturday 15th at our Audi Centres. Fancy test driving one? Call today!


Pentraeth Audi

No photos, but they did engage with us and others about the launch. Also had build up tweets in English and Welsh promoting the launch event.

M25 Audi are worthy of a mention here; their marketing department does marketing for several centres at once (Whetstone Audi, Watford Audi, Hatfield Audi and Finchley Road Audi) and have been actively promoting this event (and many other things Audi related) for a while; they actively engage their followers- both in the UK & Abroad, and actually give the impression of

a. being enthusiastic about the brand

b. actually giving a damn about their customers. (Note to their MD: congratulate your marketing team- they don't just do it 9-5!)

My own local dealership? I'm not going to name them; and I feel anything I say may not be "unbiased" or effective. (And they are part of a big group)

So, all in all not bad. You may wonder what the hell this article is about; I really like the new A3 (and the A1), and have also been watching social media (twitter in particular, due to its ease of access & the ability to engage on the phone). Take from this what you will.

What we will say though (and we've said it before)- get yourself into an Audi dealership and see what all the fuss is about regarding the new A3- you won't be disappointed.

Auto Express Test Drive

Audi UK new A3 mini site

Audi UK A3 online configurator

++Photos above (excluding our own) are supplied by the respective Audi centres through twitter- Copyright is their own.

++updated 16.9.12 @ 20:08 to correct a typo and include the fact that somebody has already received their new A3++

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