“What Women Want.” That’s how Ford did it.
Getting bloggers involved. Prominent, well-known women bloggers. And get instant buzz in the process. It’s focus groups at work in the new social media space. There’s nothing wrong with it and it’s not a new trend. Pepsi did it in their Pepsi rebranding campaign. The Air Force is doing it in their Air Force social media push. And you remember 3M’s Post-It Note Carjacks? Now Ford is doing it with refined social media skills. But really, bloggers watch out, you may be part of a bigger PR machine without realizing it.
Check out any of these Ford YouTube videos. Here are some samples of blogger reviews.
Ford describes the event in an article titled “Ford Wants to Know: What do Woman [sic] Really Want?” which included breakfast with a Ford executive, a day packed with hands-on tours, test drives and roundtable discussions, and I’m sure schwags. By the way, the event was conducted during the 5th Annual BlogHer ’09 Conference, July 23-25, 2009. Quite timely and convenient.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always advocated that businesses need to get more into social network marketing and develop strong new media strategies. But there’s a grey area that both companies and bloggers need to be careful not to cross. In this case, to me anyway, if Ford really wants to get women’s input to help design future cars, the company probably won’t get them just from this narrow group of women demographic. But they will get a lot of free blog posts and discussions out of it, that’s for sure.
The final score: thumbs up for Ford marketing, a “huh, what were you thinking?” for the bloggers.
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