Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Ford’.
Yesterday evening the shortlist was announced for this year’s BIMA Awards. We’re pleased to say that we’ve been shortlisted 4 times, for the This is Now campaign we did with Ford and for our work with Skype, helping them listen and respond in social media.
We’re chuffed to be in such great company, with AKQA leading the field with 6 shortlisted entries, DDB in second place with 5, and us in joint 3rd with LBi, ahead of others like Wieden+Kennedy and Agency Republic. Keep your fingers crossed for us on the evening of the 19th November, when the winners will be announced…
Update: We’ve been shortlisted for the 5th time, this time in the Best Blog category, which is being decided by a public vote.
We had great news last week when we got the go ahead from Ford to continue into next quarter with This is Now, one of the pan-European campaigns we’ve been working on with them, meaning it will reach its 1st year anniversary in September.
Aside from being an amazing achievement for the team here at We Are Social who have been working so hard on it all of this time, it made me reflect on a discussion Sandrine had with Neil Perkin and Asi Sharabi in the comments of a post Neil wrote about the campaign just after it had launched.
Both Neil and Asi referenced Paul Isakson’s presentation on modern brand building:
Which has this killer quote:
Start looking at your marketing as a progressive story instead of as quarterly campaigns
Now this is something that all of us who have drunk the social media Kool-Aid take as gospel (and rightly so), but it’s often hard for both agencies and clients alike to actually implement in practice.
Although we’re finding progressive clients at all sorts of brands who get this, there are others who are perhaps more nervous of such a wholesale change in their marketing practices.
Then there are the structural issues to be overcome – Brand Managers typically change roles internally every two years and Marketing Directors don’t hang around much longer, which it makes it hard for any real long term commitment (especially if people new to the roles are keen to make their mark with a break from the past).
There’s also the question of the client’s other marketing activity (and their other agencies). It’s important that all of their marketing, from their advertising campaigns to their PR and experiential activity, works in unison and makes up a coherent whole and do not sit as isolated strands. Social media should be no different.
We have our own thoughts on this on how to deal with this dichotomy (and I have to say, we also have plenty of great case studies of successful short term social media campaigns), but it’s always more convincing to hear it from others. Over to Forrester’s Josh Bernoff:
Social [media campaigns] take a while to build, but last a long time. Think about the effort it takes to get people reading your blog, following your Twitter feed, viewing your YouTube videos, joining your community, or friending your Facebook page. They all start with zero viewers, but the more they grow, the more powerful they become.
Ad campaigns move at a faster pace. More importantly, they have a beginning and an end. You rent a chance to get some attention for a few months, then you see whether you moved the needle.
Since advertising people often get responsibility for social elements of marketing, this creates a fundamental disconnect. Marketers who tap into these two forms of communication can get whipsawed – the social builds too slowly, and the campaign ends too quickly, to make it easy to synchronize them. Even when they do succeed, there’s huge waste. If you’ve assembled 100,000 customers into a community behind your brand, what happens when you’re done with them? Send them a thank you email and say good bye? That’s a tragic waste.
The answer, as my colleague, Sean Corcoran, discovered in the research behind his report “Using Social Applications In Ad Campaigns”, means thinking of social fans as an asset that you can build with a campaign and then tap over and over again. To do this, you must also make sure you connect with and feed them between campaigns, to keep them interested.
Forrester have just released ‘The Practicalities Of European Social Media Marketing’, a report written by Rebecca Jennings who’s based here in the UK.
She covers a variety of different social media marketing programmes in the report, from Daimler’s corporate blog in Germany to Guy Stephens’ work at Carphone Warehouse in the UK. She also highlights the work we’ve being doing for the last 10 months in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain for Ford on the This is Now campaign.
You can find out more about the report over at The Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketing Professionals. And thanks Rebecca – we really appreciate it!
They’re also not the sort of company you would immediately assume would be ahead of the curve in terms of social media – they’re the world’s largest multi-channel home electronics retailer (similar to Currys or Comet in the UK) who have recently made moves into Europe with the acquisition of 50% of Carphone Warehouse’s European stores (and with rumours they may go further than that).
It’s also worth finding out more about Best Buy Connect, Blue Shirt Nation (a community for Best Buy Employees), how they use customer reviews, their recently launched API and looking at how they use their own forums and Get Satisfaction to support their customers.
Let’s finish with a 4 minute video looking at Best Buy’s internal use of social media followed by a 20 minute interview with Best Buy’s CEO Brad Anderson talking about the issues in detail:
In September 2008, Ford were launching the new Fiesta with an integrated pan-European campaign based on the idea of the Fiesta representing the zeitgeist, the moment, aimed at an audience in their mid-to-late twenties (who don’t tend to read either the motoring press or motoring blogs). We were asked to activate the campaign socially by encouraging members of our target audience to submit their own definition of ‘now’ to a Flickr group. Apart from the deal with Flickr, there was no media spend and we weren’t able to incentivise submissions.
After some very late nights and weekends in the office we came up with an approach that turned it into a unique European collaborative art project.
We spent a lot of time thinking about the cross section of online communities that both influenced and reached our target audience and would be interested in the project, and then even more time finding the influential voices in those communities and crafting copy that would get them interested. We also came up with the idea of the This is Now blog, which we’d go on to use to encourage contributions by highlighting some of the best submissions to the Flickr group.
We initially spread the news (and built link equity for the blog) by talking to the marketing community about the campaign. Then, over the last nine months, we’ve reached out to hundreds of influential art, design, fashion, photography, music and cinema bloggers from across Europe, giving them and their audiences a chance get involved by uploading images that define ‘now’ for them.
Between all of us working on the project here, we’ve written over 130 posts highlighting a variety of amazing images that the public have submitted to the group (some of my favourites are Driving home, Four and I want to rock and roll)
We’re using the This is Now Twitter account to extend the conversation around the project. If you haven’t said hi yet, come on in. I swear I don’t bite and we can enjoy a chat about the latest This is Now submissions (or perhaps even about some great new street art in Berlin). We are very proud of the community we’ve built and it’s a pleasure to spend every day following everyone’s updates and the exchanges on many different topics from the latest gigs in London to exhibitions in Paris or Madrid.
We’re also giving participating bloggers the opportunity to share their own vision of ‘now’ by becoming guest editors of the blog. We have had over 50 to date, illustrating what ‘now’ means to them and re-engaging their audiences in the process. You should check out some of the heartfelt posts, including English fashion blogger Aimee Marie, Spanish film blogger Manuel and French music blogger Julien Seveno.
How is the project going so far? Well, we’ve had over 150 blog posts written about the project such as La Petite Nymphea, Cajon DeSastre, or Zimba which together have reached an estimated 1,050,000 people from all over Europe. Over 40,000 images and videos have been submitted and more than 6,000 have been accepted into the group, making it the second biggest sponsored group on Flickr.
But what’s much more important than the numbers, for me at least, is the friends we’ve made all across Europe in a diverse set of communities, friends who’ve really got involved in the project. Without them, none of this would have been possible and the Flickr group would not be what it is today – an amazing crowd sourced collection of images that represent ‘now’ for the people of Europe. One that makes me draw breath every time I look at it….
eMarketer have released a new report, “UK Social Media: Joining the Conversation” which is a useful compendium of the latest stats on social media usage in the UK, along with some spot-on commentary and advice from the author of the report, Karin von Abrams:
No commercial enterprise can afford to ignore social media
As part of her research for the report, Karin conducted an interview with me which she’s been kind enough to let me publish here:
Understanding how to behave in social media is easy: be nice or leave.
A succinct, simple truth that applies to social situations, both on and offline. However it’s more than just a catchphrase. As background, Faris explains the interplay of relationships, trust and relevance:
Social media is centred on people talking to each other, one to one and one to many, establishing and reinforcing different kinds of relationships.
Advertising has clung to the idea that communication is about the transmission of messages, but most communication transmits little semantically. The function of the interaction is phatic — it establishes and reinforces relationships. Status updates don’t transmit data — they keep relationships alive.
Brands need to find a way to be relevant in social media. Research from Universal McCann has found that people are more likely to believe a random blog post than a TV commercial. As consumers spend more time consuming each other’s content, share of mainstream media will erode.
But thinking about social media with a media buying mindset isn’t going to help. As Russell Davies has observed:
Blogging is mostly a social thing, social norms apply, especially between bloggers. But, naturally enough, when brands want to engage with bloggers they act as though market norms apply; to most brands, blogs are just another media choice.
Social media isn’t media, it’s social, and as Faris remarks, people are both emotional and rational:
Economics has espoused the myth of homo economicus — a rational being, who makes cost-benefit analyses in every situation and will respond to a monetary incentive with an increased
propensity to perform an action. This is nonsense. You can test this: next time someone cooks you a meal, to show your appreciation and encourage this behaviour, leave a tip.
Social and commercial behaviour don’t mix. Acting commercially in social spaces can seem insulting, which is perhaps why corporations have found it difficult to act socially.
Or, as Russell Davies puts it:
When social exchanges and market exchanges are mixed up people get uncomfortable.
This is “an entirely different behavioural grammar for marketers,” so Faris outlines the approach brands should take, pointing out that “the media may be free, but building relationships takes huge amounts of time and attention” which is crucial advice we agree wholeheartedly with — consider the way you relate to your friends and family as you read Faris’ concluding quote from Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford:
It’s not about campaigns; it’s about commitment.
If you’ve got the time, you can listen to Faris talking about these issues in his presentation Be nice or leave: A guide to being social.