Ford Motor Company was founded almost 106 years ago and it's been through its fair share of ups and downs over the years. But like other auto manufacturers, it's currently in a battle to survive one of the toughest economic environments ever seen.
So it's doing what other great companies have done throughout the years when faced with a great challenge: it's taking a risk. In this case, it's turning to social media.
What do people do when times are tough? History suggests they look for escapes. Some go to the movies, some eat candy and some indulge in sin. And some play video games.
The healthy growth in the video game market has not been dented by the recession according to Nielsen's newly-released 'State of the Video Gamer' report, which looked at console and PC video game usage in the United States for Q4 2008.
With all of the talk about social media and Marketing 2.0, it's easy to overlook less exciting marketing tools. Like coupons.
But make no mistake about it: coupons are in vogue as consumers look for every opportunity to save money. That means business is good for players in the online coupon industry.
The recession is hitting publishers hard. This is true online and offline as advertisers aren't limiting what gets put on the chopping block.
Many believe that the trackability and accountability will keep online publishers in good stead and despite declining online ad spend, it's easy as an online publisher to look at the woes of the newspaper industry and feel pretty confident about the future.
Social media has given brands a new medium in which consumers can be engaged. Most agree: there's something really important about this, even if we disagree on just what that is.
At the same time, social media has given consumers a powerful new tool for interacting with brands. It's now possible to provide feedback, issue praise and voice complaints in a manner that can have a real impact very quickly.
If you're looking for some good news beyond social media, check out ecommerce. Internet Retailer’s forthcoming 2009 Top 500 Guide reports that sales for the 245 retailers reporting actual 2008 numbers have grown by 15 percent to $55.6 billion from $48.3 billion in 2007.
Before getting too excited, understand that Amazon's $19 billion in 2008 sales wrecks the curve a little bit. Without Amazon online sales, the remaining retailers increased by 8.82 percent to $36.47 billion last year from $33.52 billion in the prior year. During a year when overall retail sales are expected to decline substantially when the numbers are all in, even an 8 percent increase shows that consumers will spend money online.
Last week, research showed that SME’s were quickly taking up Twitter and adapting its many uses to suit their businesses. However, worrying research from ntl:Telewest Business has been released today that reveals more than 80% of the UK’s top 100 tech companies don’t appear to be using it for business communication purposes.
The research report
comes from a study of the FTSE techMARK 100 and found that workers from
eight of the top ten companies are not embracing Twitter, despite the
recent surge in interest across the media, commercial organisations and
the general public.
It would make perfect sense for some big box retailers to curl up, lick, their wounds from the devastation of the 2008 holiday season, and plan for the next move. After all, reports Retail Forward today, anything that resembles improvement at retail will wait until the fourth quarter of this year.
It would also make perfect sense to take this opportunity to step it up online. The good questions to ask would regard web site experience, email marketing, customer engagement via social networks, and online marketing plans for the fall. But what we see lately is a focus on public relations, a lot of spending on in-store technology, and mobile commerce.
Blackcircles.com is an online tyre retailer which allows customers to buy tyres online and arrange to have them fitted at a local independent garage.
Having launched in 2001, Blackcircles.com now has 300,000 customers and a turnover of £10m. I've been talking to founder and MD Mike Welch about how he built a successful e-commerce business from scratch.
His fans know him as "Fitty." Call him whatever you want, but the ex-con turned rapper and pitchman has established a brand among the 15-to-35 year-old internet content user. Two of 50 Cent's allied brands are claiming to have scored big numbers by attaching his name to peer-to-peer (P2P) related content.
The brands were Glaceau's Vitaminwater Formula 50 and Right Guard's Pure 50, a deodorant. Both brands worked with Brand Asset in 2008 to attach search results to branded content which could then be shared with other users. The results were reported at Wednesday's P2P Market Conference in New York City. Both campaigns generated click-through rates over 4 percent and post-click engagement times of more than two minutes. Better yet, the campaigns were tied to legit content, linked from paid keywords. No illegal file sharing issues, which so often go along with P2P shared content, and no intellectual property disputes.