Ford’s Digital Snippets: Good Social Media Idea or Bad?

My previous post when I was first contacted by test drive campaign.
Here’s the link to Ford’s Digital Snippets

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  • http://www.jugularnyc.com/ Scott Lackey

    By and large…if you're given a car I think you'll be predisposed to Ford…provided you're treated well.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Good point. I have previously had bad experiences with the company, as seems to be the case with a number of people I know, but it looks like they're turning the corner.

  • http://scottmonty.com scottmonty

    Why? What if we gave him a car that didn't meet his needs, or if we had a poor quality product? By that reasoning, every long-term test drive given to automotive reviewers would predispose them to the OEMs that gave them to them, and we'd end up with all positive reviews.

    At Ford, we select bloggers on a number of criteria, including their honesty and inherent believability with their readers. We're confident in our vehicles and know that a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised at what they discover.

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company
    @ScottMonty

  • http://paolojr.blogspot.com/ Paolo

    Disclaimer: I only know about this program through people talking about it online, so I don't know all the program details. At the same time, that makes me a good candidate for opinion considering the objective of the program, right?

    From an ROI perspective, it's probably a good idea. I mean, the ROI will be very little, but I also don't think it costs Ford much to do this. The barriers are low. These cars would probably be sitting in a warehouse otherwise, so it doesn't cost Ford much more than paperwork to equip the social media guinea pigs (SMGPs).

    However, I'm skeptical that Ford will sell anymore cars through the program or by way of recommendation from the SMGPs. Too many other factors go into a car purchase, and the SMGPs are probably distant, online-only contacts for most people who read them for something other than their car knowledge. I think first-person recommendations are powerful, but considering the purchase size of a car vs. say an iPhone, I think most people would defer to recommendations from people they really know offline with a knack for cars… not just a good Twitter following.

    Overall, I think it'll be a win for Ford because they can say, “We're hip,” and have a good case study to point to. The idea of localizing promotions is great, but long-term campaigns are necessary for long-term, tangible results. I'll be curious to see if Ford is committed to that strategy or if this is just another stunt to chalk up to the corporate gods.

  • http://paolojr.blogspot.com/ Paolo

    Disclaimer: I only know about this program through people talking about it online, so I don't know all the program details. At the same time, that makes me a good candidate for opinion considering the objective of the program, right?

    From an ROI perspective, it's probably a good idea. I mean, the ROI will be very little, but I also don't think it costs Ford much to do this. The barriers are low. These cars would probably be sitting in a warehouse otherwise, so it doesn't cost Ford much more than paperwork to equip the social media guinea pigs (SMGPs).

    However, I'm skeptical that Ford will sell anymore cars through the program or by way of recommendation from the SMGPs. Too many other factors go into a car purchase, and the SMGPs are probably distant, online-only contacts for most people who read them for something other than their car knowledge. I think first-person recommendations are powerful, but considering the purchase size of a car vs. say an iPhone, I think most people would defer to recommendations from people they really know offline with a knack for cars… not just a good Twitter following.

    Overall, I think it'll be a win for Ford because they can say, “We're hip,” and have a good case study to point to. The idea of localizing promotions is great, but long-term campaigns are necessary for long-term, tangible results. I'll be curious to see if Ford is committed to that strategy or if this is just another stunt to chalk up to the corporate gods.

  • http://ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Very good points, Scott. I was actually at lunch yesterday with the folks from Tatango . The CEO Derek Johnson has been part of the #fiestamovement, and I thought it was very refreshing to hear that he had both good and bad things to say about the Fiesta, but honestly, everything he said was level-headed and came from a point of reason.

    During this whole process, the only time posting anything online was mentioned to me was when everything was finalized, and I was told , “If you tweet or blog about this, please let us know.” Imho, that was awesome. I was contacted as a blogger, and it can reasonably be assumed that I will post about this, but there was no pressure for a good or bad review, and as you point out, I doubt that any other reviewer (whether for print, TV, whatever) would be moved to have to say positive things. Ford probably wouldn’t let reviewers touch their cars if they A) were worried about an abundance of bad reviews and/or B) did not feel like they could learn something from the reviews.

    It just so happens that I am fascinated by what Ford is doing because I work in social media, so I can learn a lot from this. Plus, I was happy to be selected :-) Now, when my Fusion Hybrid reviews is posted (probably Monday) we’ll see how I liked the car.

    Thanks a million for commenting, Scott.

  • http://ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Very good points, Scott. I was actually at lunch yesterday with the folks from Tatango . The CEO Derek Johnson has been part of the #fiestamovement, and I thought it was very refreshing to hear that he had both good and bad things to say about the Fiesta, but honestly, everything he said was level-headed and came from a point of reason.

    During this whole process, the only time posting anything online was mentioned to me was when everything was finalized, and I was told , “If you tweet or blog about this, please let us know.” Imho, that was awesome. I was contacted as a blogger, and it can reasonably be assumed that I will post about this, but there was no pressure for a good or bad review, and as you point out, I doubt that any other reviewer (whether for print, TV, whatever) would be moved to have to say positive things. Ford probably wouldn’t let reviewers touch their cars if they A) were worried about an abundance of bad reviews and/or B) did not feel like they could learn something from the reviews.

    It just so happens that I am fascinated by what Ford is doing because I work in social media, so I can learn a lot from this. Plus, I was happy to be selected :-) Now, when my Fusion Hybrid reviews is posted (probably Monday) we’ll see how I liked the car.

    Thanks a million for commenting, Scott.

  • http://ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    @Paolo You have a very good argument that had not been previously addressed here. Online contacts are more than likely less influential (especially if they’re SM contacts) than ‘real world’ contacts. While Ford will likely not be able to connect this campaign to a change in sales, they should be able to learn a lot about how this affects brand perception. At work, I do a ton of brand perception measurement, and it is amazing how launching a hip campaign can change perception permanently for some and only momentarily for others, because as you suggest, there are so many other factors that are vastly more important than what people say online.

    As always, you have one of the most well thought out and interesting comments. Thanks, Paolo.

  • http://ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    @Paolo You have a very good argument that had not been previously addressed here. Online contacts are more than likely less influential (especially if they’re SM contacts) than ‘real world’ contacts. While Ford will likely not be able to connect this campaign to a change in sales, they should be able to learn a lot about how this affects brand perception. At work, I do a ton of brand perception measurement, and it is amazing how launching a hip campaign can change perception permanently for some and only momentarily for others, because as you suggest, there are so many other factors that are vastly more important than what people say online.

    As always, you have one of the most well thought out and interesting comments. Thanks, Paolo.

  • http://paolojr.blogspot.com Paolo

    You know how I do!

  • http://paolojr.blogspot.com Paolo

    You know how I do!

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