Jensen said the dynamics of the UK market and the advanced consumer behaviour in the UK meant the automotive brand was already allocating half of its budget to digital, well ahead of other European territories where the company was far from allocating even 40%.

He said the key to the company’s success online was the creation of specialist expertise within the company.

“We don’t have normal marketers just doing online ads, or just putting our TV ads online,” he said. “We have a whole department, for example, at our headquarters in Germany just doing digital marketing.”

However, Jensen said one of the main problems with online marketing remained the industry’s tendency towards hype.

“For instance two years ago there was so much hype around Second Life and where is that today?” he said. “The hype can make it hard to see what really is great and where to invest online.”

Jensen’s comments came at a debate entitled Digital Leads the Future? at the DMexco digital marketing conference in Germany.

At the debate, P&G’s outgoing VP global media and communications, Bernhard Glock, warned brands that failure to respect consumers’ privacy when using digital media, such as social media, could lead to a regulatory clampdown.

“There are many areas where digital can lead the way. But there are also areas where it can be very dangerous,” said Glock. “Experiment but be very careful. Of all media in our research digital is the least trusted and word of mouth the most trusted.”

“Even though social media is word of mouth, it is dangerous if you don’t respect people’s privacy, especially kids. We need to be very, very careful otherwise we’ll be beaten by the regulator,” he added.

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