Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ford Accelerates Social Media Marketing

Ford is putting the pedal to the metal by testing lots of marketing ideas--and then taking immediate action when it finds a winner. "We test it, and if it works, we scale it right away," Ford's Jim Farley told the Masters of Marketing conference.

Social media marketing makes sense in this situation, because it can be updated quickly, with metrics to determine audience response day by day (or more frequently). How many people clicked to view a site or page? How long did each person stay on that site or page? Did the visitor click for more information or to configure a car?

True, it's very hard to determine whether a sticky site or popular page leads to a purchase. But Ford is taking the long view, thinking about its brand first. "We want to be the brand that the average person feels most engaged with. We don't want to be the fanciest company, we just want to engage people," Farley explains.

The "Random Acts of Fusion" campaign, for example, stars Ryan Seacrest and Joel McHale putting lucky consumers in the driver's seat of a newly redesigned Ford Fusion. Farley says that consumers seek out Ford because of technology, and this Fusion campaign reminds consumers that Ford is a very social brand.

Rather than segment by age and other demographics, Ford is providing social media content that appeals to a target market segmented by psychographic and behavioral elements.  

Farley said in an Advertising Age interview: "The days are over that digital media is dominated and consumed by younger males. Far over. The fastest growing group on Facebook is women in their 50s." Consider Ford a driven brand.

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