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Product Development Strategy Volkswagen

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1.What led to Volkswagen’s past-orientated marketing campaign and to what extend did price play a part in the campaign?

2.What kind of quantitative and qualitative outcomes can be used to evaluate the success of campaign?

3.What were the impacts of the viral marketing activities used in this marketing strategy? To what extent do you think they may have had an impact in terms of pricing?

4.What role should marketing managers play in helping to formulate marketing strategies in line with business-level strategies in a large and diversified firm such as Volkswage?

5.How important do you think the social networking sites, such as facebook were in influencing the actions of Volkswagen’s past consumers in the Goodbye Citi Golf marketing campaign? Do you think these social networks did influence Volkswagen’s long term consumers in South Africa?



1. Volkswagen Citi Golf was launched by Volkswagen in South Africa in 1984. It was one of the best-selling cars in the history of South Africa. The concept to introduce a hatchback was to earn some extra money for Volkswagen. Citi Golf was a major success in Africa. The Citi Golf was one of iconic cars in South Africa and has been voted as The South Africa Motorist year on year. In 1994, this entry level car had only 4 models and by 2005 20 different models were offered to the customers. The market share was approximately 20% in this segment in 2005 (Claiborne & Joseph, 2015).

Citi Golf being one of the low prices segmented car. But the manufacturing of the car was not economically effective, due to which the production of the car has to be stopped. Apart from the economic factor, there were many other reasons which led to close the manufacturing of the car such as the safety standard were not as per standard and it was no longer satisfying. The production rules of Citi Golf were not longer as per the norms according to the South African Government. Due to these reasons, Volkswagen thought of replacing the car and bid goodbye for its service of 25years.

The marketing campaign was designed with a creative idea to take the last ever Citi Golf for its final Journey through South Africa giving the whole nation to chance to bid goodbye. The marketing campaign was developed with the unique idea using the full range of different communication. The route map designed to ensure the fans of Citi Golf an opportunity to remind the unique value of the entry level-priced car that served several families for long time. The consumers were given a chance to sign goodbye on Citi and follow the whole event live online on their homepage of Citi Golf official website. There was also the use of Social media, such as the profile of Golf Citi were created on Facebook to keep all the customers updated about the event virtually.

The Citi golf was more success due to certain reasons such as – Aggressive Pricing Strategy, contact innovations, high resale value and low cost of ownership/running costs. The cars entry level pricing strategy became a unique symbol to the iconic brand in South Africa. 

This car did not only solve the problem of mobility but also was very affordable for the people living in South Africa. 


The marketing campaign of Goodbye Citi Gold was huge a success. This campaign touched the emotions of lot of people. The City Golf tour reminded the memory of the car of lot of people.

There are certain measures through which one can measure the marketing activities in a quantitative and qualitative perspective.

The factors that come under Quantitative approach are:

  • Exposure
  • Awareness
  • Preference

The factors that come under Qualitative approach are:

  • Liking
  • Message Awareness
  • Intention to buy

The campaign has successfully used the above methods to measure the marketing campaign of Citi Golf.

Qualtatitive Approach:

Liking- Do the consumer liked the advertisement and the consumer relate to the advertisement. In the Citi Golf Campaign, the consumer not only but also realted to the advertisement emotionally.

 Message Awareness- The message that an advertisement was suppose to give should be clear to all its consumers.

Intention to Buy- After the advertisement any of the consumers among the targeted audience interested in buying the product.

Since, In Citi Gold Campaign, it was designed to bid the goodbye to all their consumers and to build their potential customers for their new launch car.

Quantitative Approach:

Exposure- The medium through which the campaign should reach out to all the target audience. This can be done through different ways of marketing such as print media, social media, blogs, viral marketing etc.

In Goodbye Citi Golf campaign, there were several marketing media were used so that all the people can bid goodbye to their long served car. There were blog introduced, the homepage was made for the people who weren’t able to attend the live event.


Awareness- The awareness is measured in terms of number of views that were increase through the campaign. In the campaign of Goodbye Citi Golf, there were lot of people who participated in the journey of Citi Golf. This campaign also earned the brand loyalty of the customers.

Preference- This measure means that through the campaign how many of views actually turned into a potential customer.

There no such tools that can measure the outcomes of the social media marketing apart from the how an customer gets attracted to any particular brands (Hoffman and Fodor, 2010).

3. Viral marketing is a marketing technique that induces websites or users to pass on the messages of marketing to other websites or users creating an exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effects. Viral marketing can be a stand- alone marketing or a part of a larger marketing campaign. This kind of marketing can be used for both large as well as the small firms. This type of marketing can be more effective for the smaller size companies as it can be more cost effective than the traditional marketing. The various social media tools that are available such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have helped the firms to create an effective viral marketing. With the number of users being increased day by day the amount of time spends on social media is also exceeding including time spent on emailing. This kind of marketing campaign can shift the focus of any product from the traditional email campaign to more creative social campaign.

There are various advantage and disadvantages of viral marketing. The advantage include that they have low advertising costs, faster growth and rapid lead generations.

The disadvantage of the viral marketing can be-currently, the exchange of emails is very high therefore the viral marketing messages can be viewed as a spam.  This type of marketing can be considered as the negative marketing buzz. There aren’t any quantitative tools to measure the success rate of viral marketing (Wilson, 2000).

Volkswagen’s long term objective was to be a global automotive leader by 2018. The unit sales of Volkswagen were increasing every year. Every year there were number of new cars were getting released from the group. There are nine different brands under the Volkswagen groups - they are Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Scania. The high standard that were maintained by the group were recognized globally which has led to create its brand image and reputation for quality. The pricing strategy of Volkswagen has also assisted Volkswagen to increase its high brand value. The Volkswagen’s global market campaign helps in consumer’s perception of good values.

Volkswagen launched Citi Golf in South Africa in the low budget car. The car was an entry level vehicle. However, being a low budget car it was getting difficult for Volkswagen economically manufacture this car. Due to which Volkswagen stopped it manufacture and stopped bringing these car in the market.  The company used all kind of marketing tools such as viral marketing as well as the social media marketing to make the marketing campaign successful of Goodbye Citi Golf. This campaign was very emotional campaign for all the people living in South African. Being one of the longest served cars for 25years, people were personally associated with this car. The campaign used all the mode of media to ensure that all the people around the country can view the journey of Citi Golf live or through the videos. There were videos posted on Youtube, blog were written about the car and its journey. The Marketing also made a website dedicated to this campaign to ensure that everyone can be a part of this campaign. This campaign helped Volkswagen in creating a brand loyalty among the people (Subramani and Rajagopalan, 2003).


A marketing manager looks after the marketing department of the organization. The marketing manager coordinates all the marketing activities for any product or service. They are one who identifies the potential customers, developing market research and designs all the marketing campaign. To design an effective marketing campaign of a product or a service, the manager needs to research demographics, various trends and execute the plan accordingly. All these kinds of advertisements online or offline print or verbal are the executed with the approval of the marketing manager. Every marketing plan should be different from other marketing plan, whether it is being designed for the existing user or for the new users. These marketing campaigns are the one which attracts the new customers to introduce any product or service. The manager need to use their experience of marketing and research as it directly affects the business in terms of sales (Moorman and Rust, 1999).

There are several roles that a marketing manager needs to fulfill. They are:

  • Managing all the marketing activities for the company.
  • Developing the marketing strategies for the company according to the company objectives and goals.
  • Create and publish all the marketing material according to the marketing plan.
  • The responsibility of sales and marketing of any product or service is of marketing manager.
  • To ensure that all the relevant company functions are informed about the marketing objectives of the company through an effective internal communication.
  • Analyzing the potential and strategic partner relationships for the company marketing.
  • Analyzing the competition in the market and their activities.

Preparing or planning the online and print marketing campaigns for the company.

Sales are also in scope of work of marketing manager. The manager along with his team needs to ensure that all the marketing plans should be effective enough achieve the sales targets of the organization (Richey, Kiessling,  Tokman, and Dalela, 2008)

In the larger firms such as a marketing manager along with their team would be segregated in their different line of cars. There would a marketing team who would be responsible for the marketing and sales of budgeted car, for medium ranged cars and one for luxury cars. Each team would be responsible for advertising the product in the marketing and ensuring that their product can stand out in the market among the products of competitors. The team also needs to check that the all the marketing plans are being executed as per the plan that was designed so that the sales rates can be increased (Williams, 2014).

In the Goodbye Citi Golf, The marketing was given to long time marketing partner of Volkswagen. The marketing manager had to ensure that the company’s objective of identifying its potential customer should be fulfilled with the marketing campaign that is designed for it (Anderson & He, 2015).  The team ensures that all mode of marketing are involved including the social media.


The car was one of the bestselling cars and the marketing team wanted that the whole country should get a chance to say goodbye. The car was specially designed for the South African people according to their demand and economic status.

Social media was used by Volkswagen’s team to communicate not only with all their past customers but also to their potential customers. Volkswagen wanted to increase the potential influence of social media marketing and proving it to be a unique marketing campaign. The marketing was done through social media were Facebook, twitter and Youtube. The entire journey of Goodbye Citi Golf was covered by few sites (Yong & Heng, 2013). The coverage of the event done through social media was a perfect chance to create a stronger brand image in the mindsets of potential customers (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012).

There are lots of benefits of social media marketing for a brand to build its image among their customers. As per research, there are more than 51% of facebook fans and 67% twitter followers get attracted towards the brand and are most likely to buy the brands that they follow. The social media platform helps the companies to build a trust among their customers. People only buy the things from the brand that they trust. Trust, perceived usefulness of a product and intend to buy are directly correlated to each other. The trust perceives the product as useful which indirectly influences the buyer to intend to buy. Social media marketing helps in increase in brand recognition and also in enhancing the image of brand through the strong marketing plan and review that are provided by the other related customers. It also influences the purchase decision of any product, as all the benefits are listed on the blogs that are easily available online. It can also help in increasing the customer engagement through various contests available and few related blog that are being posted by the companies (Scott, 2015).

With the same motive, the marketing through GoodBye Citi Golf was designed. This campaign is an example of how public relations can be used to create more or less publicity for free. There were several social media marketing tools were used to bring in the attention of all their existing and potential customers such facebook post, videos and blogs. These social media tools had the higher credibility in spreading the message loud and clear with no much of the cost that is needed.



Anderson, P.M. and He, X. Consumer behavior in East/West cultures: Implications for marketing a consumer durable. In Proceedings of the 1996 Multicultural Marketing Conference (pp. 3-8). (Springer International Publishing, 2015)

Claiborne, C. B., and M. Joseph Sirgy. "Self-image congruence as a model of consumer attitude formation and behavior: A conceptual review and guide for future research." In Proceedings of the 1990 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference, pp. 1-7. (Springer International Publishing, 2015).

Goh, Khim-Yong, Cheng-Suang Heng, and Zhijie Lin. "Social media brand community and consumer behavior: Quantifying the relative impact of user-and marketer-generated content." (Information Systems Research 24, no. 1: 88-107, 2013)

Helm, S. Viral marketing-establishing customer relationships by'word-of-mouse'. (Electronic markets, 10(3), pp.158-161, 2000)

Hoffman, D.L. and Fodor, M. Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing?. (MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(1), p.41, 2010)

Jurvetson, S.,. What exactly is viral marketing. (Red Herring, 78, pp.110-112, 2000)

Moorman, C. and Rust, R.T.. The role of marketing. (The Journal of Marketing, pp.180-197, 1999)

Richey, R.G., Kiessling, T.S., Tokman, M. and Dalela, V. Market growth through mergers and acquisitions: The role of the relationship marketing manager in sustaining performance. (Industrial Marketing Management, 37(4), pp.394-406, 2008)

Subramani, M.R. and Rajagopalan, B.,. Knowledge-sharing and influence in online social networks via viral marketing. (Communications of the ACM, 46(12), pp.300-307, 2003)

Scott, D.M. The new rules of marketing and PR: How to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. (John Wiley & Sons, 2015)

Saravanakumar, M. and SuganthaLakshmi, T. Social media marketing. (Life Science Journal, 9(4), pp.4444-4451, 2012)

Wilson, R.F. The six simple principles of viral marketing. (Web Marketing Today, 70(1), p.232, 2000)

Williams, P. "Emotions and consumer behavior." (Journal of Consumer Research 40, no. 5: viii-xi, 2104)

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