Marketing is changing rapidly at some of America’s major manufacturers and Scott Monty at Ford is a perfect example. Scott is the head of social media at Ford, and his company has embraced the new world of marketing wholeheartedly. Scott has his own blog. He is active on Twitter with over 20,000 followers. You’ll find his presentations on Slideshare. In addition, you can see his comments regarding Ford’s social media efforts on YouTube. In short, Scott Monty is wired into the social media world.
Due to the attention (and drubbing) American car manufacturers received recently during the congressional bailout hearings, many people have a sense that American companies like Ford are behind the times when it comes to product and marketing innovation. Scott Monty and Ford are doing their best to change that. Judging from this excellent story at Mashable – Why Ford is Winning on the Social Web – it appears their efforts are paying off.
As an example of an innovative social marketing strategy, Ford wanted to create attention (Wired: Ford Bets The Fiesta On Social Networking) about the Ford Fiesta that was being introduced in America. Consequently, Ford gave 100 people who were social media advocates the free use of a Fiesta for six months and invited them to freely share their experiences and opinions with others via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. This kind of openness and transparency is what scares the bejeezus out of traditional marketers, but this approach can be effective with today’s empowered consumer.
As a new generation of marketer takes the helm at American manufacturers, you can expect to see more innovation in the social realm. To be sure, these types of strategies don’t usurp the need for other paid media and public relations efforts, but there is no doubt that social media will become a requisite component to utilize if brands are to maintain and build their brand equity in the future.