BERLIN - Volkswagen AG has unveiled a global Internet marketing offensive, aimed at developing a personal relationship with its customers.
VW plans to spend DM100 million (euro 50.6 million, $54.2 million) beyond its standard advertising budget 'in the next few years' to develop Internet communication strategies, media marketing director Rolf Kloss said in a speech at Berlin's Internet World Congress on 18 May.
The campaign will expand VW's existing Web pages to offer personal greetings for visitors, including special product offers and information tailored to each individual's interests.
'The trend is moving from mass marketing to specialized client marketing,' Kloss said. 'We're seeing a transformation from a focus on product quality to an interest in quality of life.'
Kloss showed sample Web pages in which clients were greeted by their first names after logging in, offered links to weather reports, horoscopes, service specials at local VW dealers and stock market tips.
'We aim to be the brand that treats its customers as individuals,' Kloss said.
The Internet initiative would cover all VW's brands and integrate direct marketing and call centers. Kloss said the company had no plans to sell cars directly over the Internet but aimed for more contact between local dealers and customers.
He added that VW could foresee expanding its upgraded home pages to include electronic commerce offers, but would only pursue deals with manufacturers that complemented its own brands.