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  1. johnakerson permalink
    February 18, 2010 1:53 pm

    I love Scott Monty’s quote – “If your customers are there you need to be there too” he also went on to say “You need to listen.. see how they behave and act similiarly”

    I think that this sums up social media:

    Social Media gives the very biggest companies the ability to listen to their customers.
    Listening to customers is the best way to tell what customers want.
    Knowing what customers want is essential in meeting customers needs.
    Meeting customers needs provides competitive advantage that is essential to success.


    Social media can be an essential element to developing unique competitive advantage, and can be an essential element to success, for any company.

  2. February 18, 2010 2:59 pm

    Thank you for the post. I focus more on the SMB and Social Media and there are great lessons to be learned from what Ford accomplished.

    Whenever a company can tie an offline brand experience to social media the better the success of the campaign. ” involved selecting 100 socially vibrant individuals who were provided with the European version of the Ford Fiesta 18 months prior to it being manufactured and released in the USA. These socially media aware fanatics were encourgaed to share their experience with the Ford Fiesta over the 6 months on their Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube channels.” – Brilliant!

    When brick and mortar business owners want to take advantage of social media to achieve their goals, finding a marriage between an offline product and social media interaction will go a long way toward success.

    I don’t think every company (especially the SMB) could afford to do what Ford did. A great place to start would be being present and active on several social media platforms then finding a creative way to interact with your audience.

    I am looking for creative ideas to tie a direct mail piece (snail mail) with a social media campaign. Any thoughts?

  3. February 18, 2010 3:53 pm

    Great post, Jeff. Ford is an organic marketing case study on how corporations big and small can succeed in the conversation space.

    One change I would make: move #7 on your list to #1. “Get on board the executive team and the board of directors” is the most powerful piece to their marketing success, in my opinion. Having hosted @ScottMonty here in Harrisburg last June for a social media for business seminar with @RichardEJordan2 and IABC Harrisburg, I know that a social media campaign goes nowhere without executive buy in.

    Ford’s significant investment of 25% of their budget in social media marketing is only possible because Ford CEO Alan Mulally blesses it. He sees the value and now they see the ROI. Mr. Mulally is the corporation’s consummate brand agent and conversationalist! He and Scott Monty make a powerful 1-2 marketing punch with cars, chemistry, conversation! As Alan Mulally has said many times, “Scott rocks!” I agree. Thanks for your insight.

    Anne Deeter Gallaher

  4. February 18, 2010 5:24 pm

    Indeed, social media provides an avenue to connect more personally with customers. As what I have come across in an article I’ve read somewhere, “People don’t talk to brands, they talk to people.” Engaging with people in a personal manner generates not only high marketing potential, boosting your power to influence, and builds a trusting relationship.

  5. robfitzpat permalink
    February 22, 2010 2:37 pm

    Hey Jeff, great article, thanks.

    Couldn’t agree more with #1 & 2 (enabling your evangelists to speak for you). Customer decisions rely so heavily on each other’s opinions… It’s a huge waste not to take full advantage of these unsolicited testimonials. We actually think it’s a big enough problem that we’ve recently launched, helping to re-broadcast the nice things people are saying so you get maximum effect.

    Ford’s doing really interesting work in social. Look forward to seeing more behind-the-scenes.

  6. March 2, 2010 5:05 am

    You have given me a great idea Jeff.

    I will make use of that spare room at the back of facility and get a functioning model of our latest super computer in there. Then invite a few of the socially active gamers from the Whirlpool forum in for a shoot-em-up test drive.

    That might get a few of the enthusiasts twitching and sharing.


    • March 2, 2010 5:10 am

      Great idea David..involving socially vibrant participants should increase awareness about your brand….sounds like the creative juices are starting to flow. 🙂

  7. March 3, 2010 1:12 pm

    Hi Jeff. This is really a brilliant idea. I’ve read a few social media strategies and so far this is probably one of the most succinct marketing plans that i’ve come across. It takes a little bit of ingenuity and decisiveness and this is exactly what filters the rocks from the sand. What my main concern right now is knowing, whether this has resulted into a cost benefit on ROI. That would surely be another milestone.

    • March 3, 2010 1:17 pm

      Hi Florante.. I think the ROI is a no brainer, several hundred million dollars to get a less than 38% awareness for one of Fords other products that has been out on the market for 2 years .. and the Ford Fiesta Project created 38% of Fiesta awareness without spending a dollar of high cost of traditional media.

  8. Scott permalink
    April 19, 2010 10:12 pm

    I learned a lot of your post here. Not just this one alone. You have some insighful posts. I am embarking on a new career in advertising and I have been assigned to help build up the Social Media department at a small firm, so you’re extremely helpful to those of us who are new to this world.
    In my reasearch I noticed that another worthy case study is Southwest. Have you ever looked at their social media model. It appeared, to me, that they have a sound model for any company; being what I would call a ‘standard’ approach (all the basics in a cohesive way). It’s worthy looking at: company blog, youtube channel, flikr account, twitter. In the travel industry it’s the most complete use of Social Media I’ve seen.
    Just a thought.
    Keep up the wonderful job!

  9. May 9, 2010 9:30 pm

    What glorious nonsense! Ford hasn’t sold a single Fiesta and its social experiment has willingly traded awareness of its vehicles for awareness of its consumers being aware of its vehicles…

    They jury is so NOT in on this yet Ford is quick to write its ‘must do’ lists? Come on, this isn’t marketing, it’s fantasy.

    • May 12, 2010 9:34 pm


      Greetings from rural Australia.

      It’s so refreshing to read your comment.

      The bottom line is always the ‘ker-ching’, ‘ker-ching’ of money going into the till.

      Marketing and sales is indeed about building relationships. And social media excels at that.

      But if the use of social media doesn’t translate into measurable sales, we’re all wasting our time. And the time of our followers and fans.

      I have a heightened awareness of what a Hermes bag is. Also a Porsche. And own neither.

      The Ford experiment reminds me of the days in retailing when ‘loss leaders’ reigned supreme. Until retailers started looking at their figures and discovered their loss leaders were exactly that. Products leading them into loss situations.

      Thank you for bursting the balloon. Someone has to do it.

      All the best and take care,


      Carol Jones
      Interface Pty Ltd
      Designers of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover


  10. May 10, 2010 1:42 pm

    An excellent case study – thank you.

  11. July 2, 2010 8:47 pm

    Nice initiative and interesting figures !

  12. July 12, 2010 2:06 pm

    Great post, a lot of good info, thanks.

  13. SJK permalink
    July 14, 2010 1:13 am

    Hi Jeff,

    Great article! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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  36. Wie Ford erfolgreich Social Networks nutzt | MANFRED MESSMER ¦ online relations
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