Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Can Social Marketing Save the Auto Industry?

These are tumultuous times for the auto industry - dealers and suppliers are closing up shop, vehicle production is being cut, entire product lines are being eliminated and public scrutiny is at an all time high. With consumer demand rapidly falling, automakers are facing their worst sales figures in decades and rather than throw up their hands in hopelessness,

innovators like Ford and GM are tapping into the power of “social” to deepend conversations with their customers, increase loyalty and improve overall customer retention.

So come join experts Scott Monty of Ford, Sylvia Marino of Edmunds.com and Christopher Barger of GM on Monday, February 9th, as they discuss the impact social marketing has had on their respective companies and share lessons learned that you can apply to your business.

Here’s the bonus. Leave your questions in the comments below. I promise to ask the first five (granted they aren’t obscene) with attribution to you and your organization.

Listen to the webinar here (registration required).

Cross-posted from The Engaged Consumer
Photo courtesy ultimatecarblogs.blogs.com


  1. Here's a question for the crew... Why should the US public back the bailout for automakers vs. pouring the money into improving our public transportation infrastructure?

    Jim | @jstorerj

  2. What are the US automakers doing now, and plan on in the future, to listen to conversations about them, online? And how are they using this information to shape decisions about how to engage with customers?


  3. Of course SM won't save the auto industry, only building great products ant a competitive price that people want to buy will do that.

    However, SM can help car makers better understand their clients, react quickly to client feedback and requests, spread information about what the car maker is doing in areas that are important to their clients (such as sustainability, reducing fuel consumption, etc.) and build an interactive and human relationship with their clients.

  4. Social media is obviously high up on the attention span of both GM and Ford. How high up are executives involved? Said another way, how much involvement or interest from the C-suite do social media initiatives get, and are they interested in measurement?

  5. Beyond "engaging in the conversation," what were the driving reasons for these companies to push into the social networking space, if you'll pardon the pun. :)

    Lyell E. Petersen

  6. Another question...

    You are hosting a large national event for your customers-the American consumer(not your dealers, manufacturing partners, etc....)

    Besides yourselves, what three influential people would you love to have talking about your brand online?

    These three people can be digital media evangelists, celebrities, anyone!

  7. By tapping into social media, automakers can reach early adopters to get their input on what to build next. The challenge here is aligning the needs of next generation auto market with their current customers. While the volt technology is impressive, I feel the car targets the current customer base. How will you use SM to reach early adopters and what steps will be taken to incorporate ideas into new products that challenge the status quo?

  8. it doesn't matter if there is any crisis in auto production for market of such corrupted and at the same time poor country as Ukraine. Do auto producers plan to shift to such markets?

  9. These are great questions. I have a feeling my friendship with Scott, Christopher and Sylvia may be on thin ice after this webcast. ;)

  10. Speaking from recent and personal experience that included your guest and friend Scott Monty, I feel SM can give brands a boost and (in the case of me and Ford) a second chance. Raise awareness, dispel mistruths, and build some brand affinity. But at the end of the day, like some of the comments above, the product will sell on it's merits. SM will save a company that makes great competitive products who are otherwise having trouble getting opportunities to sell them.

  11. Rob - great comment. Nice to see some positive mixed in with the *ahem* "constructive" feedback/questions here. Thanks for chiming in.

    Aaron | @aaronstrout