Social Media

Have you Participated in an Experiential Marketing Event Lately?

On Wednesday, November 13, the Automotive Professional Society (APS) of New Jersey, along with the Society of Automotive Analysts, held their Fall Networking Event. It was a moment for those automotive professionals in New Jersey to come together and explore a common issue in a friendly, non-competitive manner. The focus of this APS meeting was to explore the concept of experiential marketing. What are best practices for engaging customers or prospects using these tactics? Can the automotive... R...
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Let's Kick off Auto Show Season!

I attended the 43rd edition of the Miami International Auto Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This is truly regarded as the official kick off for auto show season. Miami's show is sponsored by the South Florida Automotive Dealers Association, which boasts over 175 dealers. My experience began with a media launch party on November 7th at the well-appointed Raleigh hotel on Collins Avenue. This event boasted many local dealers, product specialists, show event planners, members of the...
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Facebook & Cars

Facebook has a big day today. I imagine many employees will thoroughly enjoy their happy hour after they leave their offices in Menlo Park and other locations. Mark Zuckerberg...he's going to certainly relish his ringing of the NASDAQ bell in New York. Third largest IPO many analysts say. Crazy. Auto folks - you're watching, right? Of course you are. New media has been emerging and in the eyes of the business community, and consumer sector, Facebook appears to have something to offer. Debate... R...
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Digital Video: Television's Friend or Foe?

Digital video is, to put it mildly, a very hot topic in the online and mobile advertising industry. Recently, moves by digital video companies have placed them in direct competition with television. Let me explain. Companies like Hulu and Netflix have created a model to view content previously reserved for larger screens, be they television or theater. YouTube, the largest video viewing service, recently broke their service into channels with original content. Two different models, both...
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Responsibility and Accountability: Automotive Dealer Loyalty

Last month, I had the opportunity to speak at the Digital Market Strategies Conference, an event hosted by First Class Educators. If you are focused on the retail side of the automotive industry and haven’t attended an event hosted by First Class Educators, I highly recommend it. The staff, venue and speakers are top notch. I co-presented during the afternoon keynote address with Matt Murray from Dealer.com. Our session focused on the impact of social media on initial vehicle purchase and... Read...
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Facebook Weighs the Annoyance Threshold of Mobile Ads

Everyone's favorite social network, Facebook, is looking to diversify revenue streams. As Facebook has been more recently known to do, they're trying to be prudent around their strategy by assessing the amount of ads they can serve and limit user dissonance. It's a difficult balance because Facebook has never served mobile ads, until recently. Also, according to the Vancouver Sun, customers aren't particularly keen to mobile advertising messages on their social networks. Serving ads into this...R...
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The Electric Vehicle Story Continues

According to my friends at Auto Week (@AutoweekUSA on Twitter), Honda is working with Google, the City of Torrance, CA and Stanford University to conduct tests on a fleet of Honda Fit EVs. In what is being dubbed the "Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program," it sounds as if the goal is to conduct research to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with advancing the Electric Vehicle market. (Image source: Auto Week.) In a recent blog post The Road is a Vehicle Charger,...
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Why Auto Dealers Should Care About Pinterest

Have you heard of the next new social media phenomenon, Pinterest? No? Well that's why I'm here, to keep you updated on the latest, greatest and potentially profitable ideas in social media. Pinterest is a two-year old social media site, still in beta, that allows users to find things (pictures, videos, infographics, etc) on the web that they like and pin them to their own page, which contains boards that they can name. Usually these boards center around hobbies or aspirational items....
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Super Bowl Automotive Ad-ness

The Super Bowl always garners gaudy numbers for their ad campaigns. Now, we're getting prequel ad hype by some automotive brands, intending to move customers' attention from digital video to the large screen with teasers and themed commercials. They're utilizing their own properties and YouTube to increase "watches" and subsequent anticipation of their ad campaigns. It seems to be paying off for Acura, with this ad boasting guest spots from Jerry Seinfeld and and Jay Leno competing to be...Read...
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The Automotive Zero Moment of Truth

There is no denying the fact that the internet has changed the shopping process for consumers as they're influenced by online search, display advertising, social media and online reviews to more easily make buying decisions about the brands, companies and products they want to purchase. This has always been the case in the automotive world; people often went to the library to pick up an issue of Consumer Reports to check out what kind of car they should buy before schlepping to multiple...Read...
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Connectivity in Cars, the Next Great Platform

Once again, we're coming up on the end of the year - that time between Thanksgiving and New Year Year's Eve when everyone seems to be making their predictions about what's going to be hot or next in the coming year. Digital marketers are no different and one of my favorite publications, Mashable, has released a video of '5 Key Digital Media and Advertising Trends for 2012.'  Usually I hate to say I told you so, but if you haven't been heeding the contents of this blog then, "I told you so,...
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Ford Capitalizes on the Viral Vehicle Launch

Media Post is reporting that Ford will launch the 2013 Escape - which was lauded for itsnew design at the 2011 LA Auto Show - with yet another social media campaign. This one follows the road-trip soul of the Focus Rally, but throws a twist on it. Dubbed 'Escape Routes,' this campaign will feature six two-person teams that compete from city-to-city by driving around for clues, figuring out mental/active challenges and flexing their social media interaction prowess. Next spring, these teams...
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How are Canadian OEMs Using Facebook?

Social Media is the place to be for any business these days. It provides a direct engagement channel with the consumer that was never possible. Companies are trying hard to attract more and more people to 'Like' their pages. On the other hand, it has also empowered the consumer to have a direct say and play a vital role in shaping the future of a company and their products. A recent Ipsos report states that 60% of all Canadians are online and half of Canadians are registered on social...
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Google+ Business Pages & Why the Automotive Industry Should Care

Hopefully you've heard, if you're a marketer or manager of any brand, that Google+ just launched business pages. Originally, pages were sent out to beta testers who sent invites to friends and business associates to allow the Google branded social network to grow organically.There were NO businesses allowed, from the inception. A few months and about 20 million personal page signups later, Google opened up Google+ to businesses, and the digital marketing world couldn't be more abuzz with...Read...
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De-Mystifying Online Audience Data

Audience data has become increasingly important in digital marketing, including online display, video, mobile and social media. Data allows advertisers, agencies and web publishers to optimize ad delivery, evaluate campaign results, improve site selection and retarget ads to other sites. Data also enhances the value of media to marketers by delivering their advertising message to better-qualified prospects.With the growing reliance on audience data for online advertising, many questions are...Rea...
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The Year of Video: Online Advertising's Next 'Big' Thing

After doing a month and a half North American tour of just about every imaginable entity within the digital advertising ecosystem, from mobile advertisers to social media agencies and industry conferences, I have come up with this conclusion. Every year since 2006 has been "the year of mobile," but 2012 will be the "year of video." The idea that storytelling is the most important marketing trait since message clarity; mixed with higher engagement and consumer immersion; with a touch of...Read...
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Family Sedan Market Heats Up

If you are in the market for a family vehicle or will be in the near future, and you don't necessarily need the functionality of a crossover or minivan, you may want to take a look at the family sedans now available or coming to your local dealer. During the next six months, there will be a lot of product activity in this category, and those family sedans not being redesigned remain crucial to their respective makes.Three redesigned midsize family cars are either being launched now or will be...
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Volt and LEAF - Conquest Successes?

Are the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF successful in the marketplace? This year (January-August, 2011), about 3,400 Volts have been registered while the LEAF has sold about 5,300 in the same period. Interestingly, about 94% of LEAF registrations are retail sales compared to 79% for the Volt. Each of these vehicles represent a small fraction of the total brand sales, but it was expected they would at least start out as low-volume vehicles. The true value of these launches is the buzz, the...Read...
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The Mystery of Steve Jobs' Plateless Car

We were all saddened by the news of Steve Jobs' passing earlier this week. There is no denying the tremendous positive influence he had on the technology and products we use every day. There are many moving tributes to Mr. Jobs in the social media, and I would encourage you to take some time to explore them.But for now, I'd like to share something about Steve Jobs that you might not know. It's about his car. Since automotive marketing is what we do here at Polk, I thought it was a relevant...Read...
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Polk Automotive Connections 2011 - Closing Thoughts

Throughout September, I had the privilege to lead Day 2 of the Polk Automotive Connections Summit 2011, titled, "Connecting Brands and Audiences across Multiple Channels." The conference was well attended and so far, feedback has been very positive. Despite the diverse audience in three different locations (Long Beach, CA, Southfield, MI and Park Ridge, NJ), I observed several recurring themes about the challenges we are facing in today's automotive digital marketing landscape.
  1. Technology is...
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