Ford has many objectives that they are working towards. Some of them involve coming up with new ways to increase mobility and another is having safer vehicles and how to drive better (Barry, K. (n.d.)). With the surveys that we are giving to our target market, we are asking what is important to them as drivers of a ford. How they interact and like the Sync 3 app (Goals and Progress. (n.d.)). We are also focusing on what the customer wants with the trends revolving around technology and having a safer vehicle to drive. Using Ford’s long term brand recognition we can really dive into how the customer likes Sync 3 and from what they have seen with the new Service Integration we are adding to it.
Knowing that most of our target market is within the SUV line which is becoming more fuel efficient. We are also learning more into how our Millenials and baby boomers are interacting with Ford and what they really want out of a Ford vehicle. Since Technology is such a huge trend and ways to make the vehicle more efficient and safer, the Service Integration will have a way to do this for buyers (Technavio, & Technavio. (2018)). Much more than just a smarter way to handle repairs and what is wrong with your car, but a way to see how you are driving and ways to become a better driver.
With the technology trend that is pushing, there is also a large push for a more eco-friendly option. We would be working on a way to understand emissions and use it to help educate the driver over it. But something that we are going to learn within our Target location is that they are really pushing for a better way to utilize public transportation (Fewer drivers.. (2017)). Which is why that we have expanded outside of just the Metro D.C. area and going to the surrounding counties. Autonomous and electric vehicles have been on the rise as an eco-friendly option, so by focusing on releasing this with our SUV line, Ford does have their hybrid and EcoBoost options to help cater to that trend. Innovation, ford loves and has always valued innovation
We found that there are some areas that we need to be aware of when marketing the new Service Integration. Knowing that this tool is meant to allow the drivers to become smarter drivers and understanding the health of their vehicle more. We will need to be sure that the customer is aware that these are suggestions and that some items should always be checked out by a professional mechanic. The Service integration will assist with getting quotes with mechanics because you can know before you go, but there could also be another issue that may have caused the reason why you are going into a mechanic. We also need to be wary when dealing with emissions and reporting the emissions within that car. We do not want to report a different number and run into how Volkswagen had with then producing over the limit emissions (Hotten, R. (2015)).
Because we picked D.C. are and the surrounding counties, we are hitting a very diverse and very opinionated market. This market has more graduate degrees and has a higher average household income (District Of Columbia Population 2019. (n.d.)). Where we are missing as we scale further, is the middle to lower income range, who also knows more about fixing up their vehicle. We are not sure if this added feature is truly worth it to them if it’s worth getting a newer car. So we will need to do more research to see if a dongle like the Verizon Hum is something that we can offer to those with an older car. Or set up a partnership with another brand/app that is doing something similar to offer to the older vehicles and the market that cannot or does not want a newer car.
This type of marketing has been on a rise for quite some time now. It is a quick engagement type of marketing that really focuses on the number of likes and engagements. I do feel that this type of marketing spurred a large push in vanity metrics by worrying about the number of likes the post gets in hopes that it would reach more people.
The typical strategies for influence marketing are pretty vague and vary based on the audience. If you do something funny or can be relatable to the target audience then you could be used for this type of marketing. Some revolve around a quick short video about the product. Or it would be a pretty image with the person using the product and talking about it in the caption. The best strategy is making something go viral where millions of people get to see your post and therefore could make you a lot of money based on how the brand judged the pricing structure. Another strategy if a brand can do it is finding someone who is already has gone viral or a celebrity like Kim Kardashian. Whom has such a large following who tend to try what she tries just so they can be like her (Influencers. (n.d.)).
If it is more of a sponsored ad, there has been a legal push to up a #ad somewhere in the post so people know that you were paid to write the post. It allows for some level of integrity within the post. Using people to post about your products adds a personal touch to marketing. Especially if the person is very relatable to the target market. This allows someone to look at a post and think that they should buy this because we are like that person who is talking about it. Therefore adding something that says #sponsored or #ad to the post helps with knowing that the post was a paid post, but you still might buy the product.
What the brand is looking for is the metrics. They are able to review how many people have watched the video or liked the post. Then they track the level of engagement by seeing what people comment, how many times they have shared the post. Most of this is done as said above by having the item or product within the photo or video. One influencer wore Jimmy John’s swag and because that was in a lot of his videos he made over $300,000 (Influencers. (n.d.)).
Marketing is looking to grow in ways that reach more markets, which the influencer world is by far some of the most successful. Depending on how you want to go about it, even just having your product within the video or the photo helps in letting someone know that the person they follow uses or likes that product. When you are choosing someone that people want to be or be like, it’s easy to encourage your product within them because of its relatable. It doesn’t feel like a big corporate company posted an ad, but someone who is like me or who I inspire to be, use this product and they seem to like it. I will try this because it could be good for me.
When a little boy lost his tiger, an operations manager at Tampa International Airport decided to turn it into a fun story of where the tiger went. When the family returned to TPA to get the tiger, the manager was able to create a book to give to the little boy of where the tiger had gone.
TPA shared this on their social sites and it went viral and gained traction internationally. What really showed with this post was that it was not the first time an employee of TPA did this. As a customer had commented saying their son still had the airplane eraser. The Facebook post received over 2 thousand comments and was shared over 16 thousand times.
In this post, they gave a snapshot of the story explaining how the boy had lost his tiger and that they wouldn’t be back for five days. A TPA manager found the tiger and assured the mother that it would be waiting for them when they return. The post then has a few of the photos showing the tiger’s adventure at the airport while waiting for its family. The next post was in the first person of the tiger, saying how happy it was for him to be united with his family and wanted to show the boy where he went while away.
These posts showed how a manager went out of their way to turn a nervous situation for the boy into something that the boy will never forget. Instead of thinking he lost his tiger, the tiger went exploring and on fun adventures awaiting his families return. I do feel that this experience was above and beyond customer experience as the manager could have just brought the tiger to lost and found and their job would have been done correctly.
When observing the initial post, you can tell that their social media team was overwhelmed. They could not engage with everyone who commented, luckily everyone loved the story and had nothing but positive things to say over the story. TPA social team did continue to make posts on this lovely story, but engaging is where they were lacking. With the additional posts, they made it as if it was an update to the story so the readers could follow the story. So it was not a one and done post, which allowed some engagement within the overall story. What TPA could have done with this is once they noticed it gained larger traction, they should have brought on more members of the team or hired outside support to continue the traction and to showcase more awesome stories after the Tigers were over.
Now looking at TPA’s twitter page, they are making fun and engaging posts to this day. Their posts do not get as many comments as the viral tiger adventures, but now their social team can engage with their customers. They also still share exciting stories of above and beyond service showing that it wasn’t just one awesome story. The amazing customer service is typical for Tampa International Airport and that they do not need a viral story to be supportive of their customers.
My work and personal life revolve around digital marking. I start my day reading both personal and work-related emails. Because most of my background has been in community management and social media, its a habit to check Facebook and Instagram. I work in customer experience by sending surveys out to customers after they have called the help desk. We have an entire platform we use for this that I live in at work.
For most of my experience whether it’s running a community on Slack, facebook or a forum. I have never felt that I cannot get away from social media or that there is a negative experience. For me, Facebook has turned into a place that I grow professionally by following certain groups, I scroll past all of the political posts or where people tend to be a bit more open than they should. With work, I mostly have used a platform to help separate work from personal. Whether its Lithium for social listening or Medallia for my customer experience and survey responses.
When it comes to emails, I am one who uses a junk email account and my more personal/favorite companies and subscriptions. Emails that catch my attention are short and to the point subjects. Or something that is more personal to me with the products I normally buy. I do not click on every email especially if I am not interested in that product or doing any type of shopping. I love my daily Skimm emails since that allows me to be up to date with any worldwide news.
Digital marketing today has turned into a lifeline for companies. They pay attention to their brand more, engaging with their customers to gain that stickiness. But with all of the political unrest, digital marketing more than ever has either connected people for a cause or it has torn groups apart. Over the last two years, social media will play a large part in our history books. Why watch a press conference when someone will be live tweeting the event, or you will get all different sides throughout social media. Digital media has caused issues to become more highlighted whether good or bad, which makes me nervous since the phrase “be careful what you post online because it could be used against you” is all the more prevalent.
For my final project, I chose to work with Ford. Ford has been a staple in the American culture, although, with any company that faces hardship, they have been able to give back to the community in over 1 billion dollars in donations, along with lessening the amount of water their plants use and lessening their CO2 impact (Company. (n.d.).).
Ford has been a bit behind with innovation but they are taking their time in choosing what is best for their customer and what their customer needs vs the hot best thing. Therefore the product that Ford should integrate next is a software update that will adapt and work with Ford Sync (SYNC® 3 and SYNC (n.d). This update will include a way for drivers to know what is wrong with their car, more than just the standard oil, battery and tire alerts.
Within the dashboard of the car there will be an app that connects to the OBD-II and has preloaded codes so when you notice something off or if your check engine light comes on, it will be able to tell you before you go into the shop.
Before Ford pushes this to the market we will need to test to see how widely this will be accepted. First, we will dive into the metrics with the Ford Sync app. How many users are engaged with this, and those who are not and have the option, reach out to see if they would use Ford Sync if they had this update?
We also need to look into older vehicles who do not have the Ford Sync capability. How many of that customer base would want access to this, if their car had a high trade-in value would this be worth it for the customer to trade their car in? We would need to look into if we made this more widely available would having a dongle similar to other competitors like Verizon Hum (Vehicle Diagnostics & Mechanics Hotline. (n.d.)), be worth it for us to develop to broaden the customer base.
Then we need to see how many people would be willing to pay the upgrade for this system. What is the cost associated with this update, the amount of labor to install? Then figure what we could gain back with a subscription base price or if the customer would prefer a flat rate when purchasing the car.