Ford

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Four examples of automotive brands that are innovating the customer experience

Disruption is a common theme these days and while it’s hard to create a list of industries that are being disrupted the most, there’s no doubt that the auto industry is a contender.

Consumers are redefining their relationship with cars, from the way they acquire them to how they use them, and that means automakers need to rethink their roles and how they operate in the market.

Why fintech could drive online car buying in the US

Years ago, the thought of buying clothes or shoes online seemed unlikely. After all, there are certain types of products that logic would dictate need to be purchased in person.

But today, there are few products that aren’t purchased online, and even big-ticket items like cars could soon be routinely purchased sight unseen through the web.

12 terrific Tumblrs for brand inspiration

A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to my 34 year-old self with the last high-five I’ll ever be legally allowed to give, and begrudgingly shook the age of 35 by the hand with a firm and mature grip.

It was a defining moment that also saw me exit the average user age of some of my favourite social networks (although for Snapchat I was already 15 years too late).

How can automotive brands use digital to appeal to car buyers?

With automotive purchase journeys increasingly taking place online, manufacturers and dealerships have a reason to place greater focus on digital channels to pick up customers in the early phases of their research.

An AutoTrader.com study from last year found that new and used buyers spend 75% of their car research time online, while Google stats suggest that these customers take an average of 2.7 months to decide on a purchase.

This presents a challenge for automotive marketers to grab the attention of these researchers and eventually move them offline for a test drive or a visit to a local dealership.

There’s also the challenge of measuring online marketing efforts when customers use so many channels, as tracking leads from website to dealership isn’t always simple.

In this article, I’ll look at the purchase journey, some examples of automotive brands online, and that tricky transition from web to dealership. 

14 best branded Instagram videos from August 2014

This month’s round-up of brilliant branded Instagram videos comes bearing an exciting new upgrade.

Last week Instagram introduced a new standalone time-lapse video tool called Hyperlapse, which is actually quite brilliant. I wrote about it in greater detail here: Instagram’s Hyperlapse: social video toy for brands

It’s very early days yet but it will be interesting to see how quickly brands begin using the tool and how many different creative ways time-lapse can be used.

In the meantime, here’s a breakneck Hyperlapse trip around the Econsultancy office…

Nine examples of search tools from automotive websites

I’ve looked at search and comparison tools on automotive sites in the past, and there was a lot of room for improvement. 

Some automotive brands, accustomed for so long to the dealership sales process, were slow to adapt to and take advantage of ecommerce. 

Now, with some stats suggesting that up to 94% of people are researching cars online before purchase, the online user experience is all important. 

Here are some examples from the major automotive brands. 

Six examples of automotive social media strategy

In a regular feature I’ll be taking a look at brands from a particular industry to see how they compare with one another on various social media channels.

Last month I wrote about why Ford’s social media strategy is so good, in which I took a look at the 110 year-old car manufacturer and how it’s managed to transform its digital presence through expertly tailoring its content and connecting to each social channel’s audience with authentic engagement and a suitable tone of voice.

Let’s take a look at how other brands compare in the world of automotive social media.

Q&A: Scott Monty on Ford’s social media strategy

Social media is a major part of Ford’s continued evolution in digital and in many cases features some of its most groundbreaking work.  

Ford was the first automobile manufacturer to reveal a vehicle on Facebook, it was the first brand on Google+ and it runs perhaps one of the most uniquely enjoyable and surprising Vine accounts.

Last month I wrote about why Ford’s social media strategy is so good, in which I discussed Ford’s various social channels and how it expertly tailors its output and connects to each channel’s audience with the right content and tone of voice.

At the helm of this strategy is Scott Monty, Ford’s global digital & multimedia communications manager. Within just a few years Scott has transformed the 110 year old car manufacturer into one of the most successful brands in digital and social.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Scott Monty for the blog and he had the following to say about Ford’s social media strategy, the challenges the company faces and Ford’s overall digital transformation.

Why is Ford’s social media strategy so good?

How does a 110 year old car manufacturer, the fifth largest in the world, remain relevant, engaging and remotely approachable in the digital age?

It seems like a fiction, but the venerable American corporation does some excellent work on many different social media channels, tailoring its output and connecting to each channel’s audience with the right content and tone of voice.

I’m writing this as someone who doesn’t have a particular interest in cars, either from a practical or aesthetic point of view.

However, as someone with a definite interest in great content, over the past few months Ford has definitely piqued my curiosity. Particularly when it comes to social video.

Top US buzz brands of 2013

Here are the top 25 US brands of 2013, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex.

This is based on brand perception, acquired by conducting approximately 2.5m interviews a year and asking the question “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

It seems the most popular brand of 2013 in terms of positive regard is Amazon.com, which has overtaken Ford as America’s corporate sweetheart.