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Thursday, 18 July 2013
CASE STUDY OF 'FORD': HOW THEY USED SOCIAL MEDIA AS A MARKETING PLATFORM
SOCIAL MEDIA AS A MARKETING PLATFORM: Because it is not only the rapidly growing force in the current marketing playing field, it is set to be the future of marketing, and it seems likely that digital media will soon replace more traditional forms altogether. People are consuming more and more digital content on a daily basis - on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and more – and companies those who have not yet recognized this in their marketing strategies need to adapt fast. 2013 was one of the most eventful years in the history of digital marketing, with Google and Facebook releasing a volley of updates making traditional digital marketers run for cover. Within the last few years, social media has evolved from being primarily a brand awareness tool to a key component of brand management due to its ability to facilitate real-time buyer-seller interaction. Echo Research and Fishburn Hedges, a global reputation analysis and stakeholder research services provider, stated that about 65% of consumers in 2012, who have communicated with companies through social networks, find it to be a better means for interaction as compared with other options. Direct engagement is becoming the key to improving customer experience—ultimately improving brand perception. Ad agencies and advertisers are now beginning to understand how social media has changed the fundamentals of brand management. They are beginning to accept that they now have partial control over their campaigns, with social media controlling the rest. This gives an astute understanding of the implications of social media on brands. Ford, one of the world’s largest automakers, in 2010, presented an excellent example of how social media can define a brand’s image in a particular market even before the product has been launched. The company was losing its reputation after the economic recession and was desperate to ensure the successful re-entry of its “Fiesta” brand in the United States. Ford decided to plan its campaign around social media. One hundred bloggers, filmmakers, and social networkers were given “Fiestas” and their experience with the car was broadcasted. By the time Ford launched the Fiesta a few weeks later, the brand had gained 60% recognition in the United States through a series of narratives posted online. The company spent no more than $5 million on the campaign. Its effectiveness was substantiated by the fact that it let consumers speak for the brand rather than publicizing it themselves. Still using social media as a tool of marketing is disappointingly very small. From the above example, one can conclude that in coming future corporates will use this huge platform to create a positive brand image of their products.