March Director’s Message

March Director's Message

I write a regular column for online business magazine, LeadingCompany. My recent article has raised some issues for Ford Australia regarding their online marketing activities and created some debate regarding local responses for global companies.

The story: The only car accident I’ve ever had was when I managed to reverse parallel park into a telephone pole in front of a group of people on a busy Sydney street. Embarrassing to say the least.

As I’m due for a new car, I was quite excited when I saw an ad showing the Ford Focus Titanium reverse parallel parking by itself. I started doing my research online.

Like all the major manufacturers, Ford has a “book a test drive” feature on its website and on the face of it, it’s a very clever marketing tactic. Ford is fulfilling the potential buyer’s needs without them having to even pick up the phone or walk into a dealership to get service.

Ford would simply ring me to organise a time I could go to the nearest dealership for a test drive, the car would be ready for me when I got there and off I’d go. Sounds so easy!

I filled in the online form and waited for Ford to respond. That was over two weeks ago and I’ve had no call. I filled in a “Contact us” form on Ford’s website but yet again, no call – no contact whatsoever. I turned to social media and tweeted at Ford that its “test drive” feature seems to be failing. Still no response.

Since my article was published on LeadingCompany and tweeted by other people, I’ve had a response from Scott Monty, Ford Global Head of Social Media via Twitter and in the comments section of the LeadingCompany article.

“This is obviously not how it’s supposed to work, and I will admit that our social media capabilities are not necessarily equal in every market around the world. This is largely due to different budgets, staffing arrangements and sizes, and how long a particular market has been involved in social.”

Read the full article and also the comments in response to the article.

What a job Scott Monty has! Putting out PR and social media fires globally. I’m astounded that global companies that spend millions of dollars on mainstream advertising just aren’t investing in local area social media.

The good news is that they contacted me this morning to organise a test drive.

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Welcome to our new clients: content marketing agency, Edge and business systems specialist Holocentric.

Speaking – Join me at the Corporate Social Media Summit 2013 on 26 March where I will be presenting a presentation on how to use social media to reach the new ‘social’ customers. Register with discount code P13K08CPC to receive 10 per cent off the ticket price.

Happy International Women’s Day! – On Friday I urge both women and men to celebrate women’s successes and to continue to raise issues for women’s equality and our important contribution to the economy, business and society. Join in one of the many events.


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