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5 Reasons Why Ford Continues to Kick Butt - clickz.com
By Liana Evans, ClickZ, Jul 28, 2010
...There are few companies that stand out in my mind as marketing behemoth's who understand that social media is a continual learning process like Ford does. Ford is constantly taking what they've done in past campaigns, applying the successes, tweaking its efforts, and tossing out what doesn't work. The company isn't married to one medium or relying on just one channel. If it did, its efforts wouldn't reach the masses as the Ford Explorer campaign has.

For a few years now, Scott Monty has headed up the social media marketing efforts at Ford with resounding success. Monty and his team do more than just "pimp" Ford's products in social media communities; they continually provide valuable content about Ford to engage enthusiastic fans of the brand.

Any company, big or small, can learn from Ford, especially with its latest reveal of the 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook. Here are just five reasons why Monty and his team continue to shine in the social media arena:

1_ They understand their audience:
Every car that Ford produces appeals to a different segment, audience, ethnographic, and demographic. No two campaigns that Ford has launched for a specific vehicle has been the same; each campaign appeals to the audience it's targeted for. The team seems to understand that while people might love "Ford," they love the car that they drive even more. Ford strives to understand that and engage people on the car level.

2_ They learn from past campaigns: The most notable of Ford's recent campaigns is the Ford Fiesta Movement where Monty's team worked with 100 social media evangelists to promote the newly reintroduced Ford Fiesta. The goals were set, measured, and reached, each at different rates of success. While video views weren't "viral" in numbers, one number stands out above the rest: 50,000 interested potential customers, 97 percent of which didn't currently own a Ford.

Learning from their Fiesta campaign, the team has taken the new Ford Explorer campaign to a whole new level. From Facebook and Twitter to Flickr and YouTube, Monty's team is engaging the fans of the old Explorer where they are most active.

3_ They set goals and measure: While we don't know what metrics and goals the campaign has privately set in place, there's at least one metric that was publicly announced for the Ford Explorer campaign: 30,000 fans before the reveal on Monday, July 26, 2010. They reached that metric and one lucky fan will be having a new Ford Explorer sitting in their driveway in a few months.

By setting goals and metrics, Monty's team consistently knows where to invest more time and resources to engage potential car buyers. They also know when to tweak and possibly end efforts in certain channels. If they didn't, they couldn't point to Ford's Q2 net income of $2.6 billion as proof that the company is on the right track.

4_ They integrate: For Monty and his team, it isn't just about Facebook and how many fans Ford acquires, it's about engaging potential car buyers on all levels - that's why they integrate on so many levels. Their PPC and paid media buys on sites like CNN and Yahoo work hand-in-hand with their YouTube videos, Flickr photos, and Facebook fan page. E-mail campaigns are integrated to appeal and engage as well.

The content that Ford's marketing team is presenting to the audience isn't just a commercial on YouTube, it's storytelling that captures and touches the viewer. They integrate their website in with their videos and photos, they encourage engagement, not just on Twitter but on Facebook and blogs. Monty's team truly understands that social media doesn't happen in a vacuum.

5_ They always look forward: If forgoing the typical auto show reveal for a newly redesigned, well-loved car on Facebook isn't looking forward, I can't really point to much else. Realizing that the future of marketing is getting people to engage, talk, and share their experiences is something that Ford has put to good use.

Sure, the press junket is going to miss out on the snazzy lights-and-cameras show at the yearly auto show, but Ford is looking to its future and realizing that it's a person's experiences with its brand and its cars that continue to sell the vehicles.


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note:
per their letterhead, Clickz is a site for
"News and expert advice for the digital marketer"
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note2:
this is the first time in nearly 30 hours I've been able to get my puter to stay connected long enough to post anything
 

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Ford has really developed a strategic and targeted marketing system. They have utilized the free media as well as any automaker and this allows them to build anticipation for a product; but this would fail if the product didn't EXCEED expectations, and this exceeding expectations is where Ford has delivered consistently. Just five years ago the perception of Ford was an average at best producer of trucks and SUV's and a mediocre producer of automobiles. I'm biased because I was raised in a "Ford Family" and like Ford products; but I must confess, few Ford automobiles were great in the past 20 years. Today I'm proud to be a Ford owner because the product is either close to class best or is clearly class best. Each successive product raises the bar and this delivering on product makes the marketing message gain even more credibility.

Looking at General Motors, I don't gain any sense of marketing competence. The message is muddled, the attempt at marketing is stuck in the 1980's, and the product is truly mediocre across the board - they still only deliver as good as they can get away with and there is no sense that they know what a class leader is and how it can deliver class best. There certainly is no mid cycle enhancement plan for any brand and when they do improve a product, it is HO HUM.

What will be a striking microcosm of the differences between Ford and GM will be the comparative launches of the new Focus and Cruze. You see already striking differences between the two products and this difference in effort is apparent in the final product. From exterior styling to interior cohesiveness and functionality, the Cruze delivers 1990 better than anyone did in 1990. Ford, however, brings a clear and contemporary product with a risky design and an interior that is simply a hands down class segment leader.

Ford quietly improves and refines; GM has no clue and acts like it knows everything - its arrogance is stunning when you look at its model lineup and see so many simply dreadful products and the new products have weaknesses that wouldn't exist is someone was truly demanding high standards of products at the leadership position.
 

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In the 21st century,autoshows will be useless for new cars reveals and will be for show concepts cars only. Decades ago, the new cars go to the dealers in trucks and covered until one especific day in autum for a reveal. Many years later, the autoshows had an important role in the new cars reveals, only during fall. After that, cars companies start to reveal the new products across the entire year, in diferents autoshows. Now , the social media web taked a determinat role in this advertising work. And Ford is doing a very good job here. Congratulations!
 
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