™



            Ranking the digital competence
                      of automobile brands


SCOTT GALLOWAY
NYU STERN     ...
January 29, 2010
                                                                                       NYU Stern

       ...
I.     INTRODUCTION                           .......................................... 5


        II.    METHODOLOGY   ...
PREMIUM ENTRY LEVEL BRANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                              62
 ...
INTRODUCTION
No One Is Immune                                              much less endure the industry’s weapon of choic...
METHODOLOGY
  PLATFORM - 40%
  Website Effectiveness: Half the score reflects           •	 BRAND	TRANSLATION
  reinforceme...
RESULTS
The Digital IQ Index ranks brands according to their digital
competence, parsing each into one of five categories:...
AUTOMOBILE BRANDS RANKED BY DIGITAL IQ SCORE
Overall                                            Category
          Brand  ...
Overall                                                       Category
          Brand                Price Point Category...
DISCOVERIES
   Digital IQ = Higher Sales
                                                                RUSS WINER
   Dat...
Digital Tipping Point                                                     Mighty Microsites
   New-vehicle sales have decl...
American Ingenuity (Lack of)                          tomer service tools, and, in some cases, shared
                    ...
FINDINGS
Platform
A brand’s site serves as the foundation of its digital pres-
ence. Automaker sites must balance the dema...
BUILDING BRAND vs. COORDINATING PURCHASE
                                                   Where Select Brands Fall

    ...
Off-Platform Messaging
Automotive advertising spending was down 31 percent
year-on-year in the first half of 2009, and alm...
Social Media
Fans, followers, and subscribers are flocking to brand-affiliated accounts on social media platforms. In addi...
YouTube:
YouTube has tremendous popularity in the auto industry
and is a significant source of upstream and downstream
tra...
Twitter:
Although 68 percent of auto brands maintain a Twitter account, only 30 per-
                                     ...
BEST IN TWEET: Automobile Brands With the Most Twitter Followers

Tweet                                                   ...
Search Engine Optimization FINDINGS
Auto search campaigns must balance the competing
                                     ...
TEAM
SCOTT GALLOWAY                                             academics. Maureen has a BA in human biology from
Author, ...
TIMOTHY BRUNS                                                ment, and a research monograph, Pricing, and has
Expert, Bran...
VALUE
                                    Price Point   Overall                                        Off-Platform   Soci...
ford
                                                                          Owner: Ford Motor Company
                 ...
FLASH OF GENIUS

FORD FIESTA MOVEMENT
Ford launched an innovative and wildly successful grassroots social media
campaign a...
SEO ANALYTICS

                       1                  2                                  3                       4     ...
scion
                                                                       Owner: Toyota Motor Corporation
             ...
FLASH OF GENIUS

SCION A/V
Scion leverages the brand’s record label, Scion A/V, all
over the Web. The Scion A/V microsite ...
SEO ANALYTICS

                       1                  2                                    3                          4...
toyota
                                                                      Owner: Toyota Motor Corporation
             ...
FLASH OF GENIUS

“GREAT TIME TO SIGN” CAMPAIGN
The “Great Time To Sign” campaign targeted New York
Giants football fans wi...
SOCIAL MEDIA

                                                               # of Fans/
                               Nam...
nissan
                                                                        Owner: Nissan Motor Company
               ...
FLASH OF GENIUS

SOCIAL MEDIA &
INTERNAL
COMMUNICATIONS
Nissan is using social media for more
than just marketing. The bra...
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Transcript of "Automotive Digital IQ"

  1. 1. ™ Ranking the digital competence of automobile brands SCOTT GALLOWAY NYU STERN JANUARY 2010 © L2 2010 1
  2. 2. January 29, 2010 NYU Stern REGISTER NOW at socialgraph.eventbrite.com Capacity is limited, so please register early JOIN THE CONVERSATION Academics and industry professionals highlight the opportunities, challenges, and AGENDA: underpinnings of social media programs in the 8:15 REGISTRATION & BREAKFAST prestige industry in L2’s one-day, intensive 9:00 MODULE 1: clinic for executives and managers: THE BIG PICTURE 10:30 (break) • The Shift 11:00 MODULE 2: (Why this demands a new culture PLATFORMS & TECHNOLOGY and way of viewing marketing) 12:30 (Lunch) 1:45 MODULE 3: • The Tools: Facebook, Twitter, SEO, Blogs BEST PRACTICES (How they work—independently and together) 3:30 (Vosges chocolate tasting) • Measuring Success 4:00 MODULE 4: PRESTIGE CASE STUDIES (From followers and friends to financial 5:15 (Snooth wine & cheese tasting) and non-financial impact) • Best Practices & Case Studies (What prestige brands are doing well and why) FACULTY SCOTT GALLOWAY TOM PHILLIPS FABIO FREYRE Founder | L2 (LuxuryLab) CEO | Media6 RVP | Facebook Clinical Associate Professor of DAVID TOKHEIM OREN MICHAELS Marketing | NYU Stern GM & EVP | Six Apart Media Blogs CEO | Mashery ERIK QUALMAN CARNET WILLIAMS MAUREEN MULLEN Author | Socialnomics CEO | Sprout Lead Researcher | L2 (LuxuryLab) AUREN HOFFMAN GREG SHOVE New speakers are being confirmed daily. CEO | Rapleaf CEO | Halogen Visit socialgraph.eventbrite.com for updates. 2
  3. 3. I. INTRODUCTION .......................................... 5 II. METHODOLOGY .......................................... 6 III. RESULTS the rankings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 IV. DISCOVERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 V. FINDINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 VI. TEAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 VII. OBSERVATIONS by brand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 VALUE BRANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Scion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Nissan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 GMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Smart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Mitsubishi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Pontiac. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Suzuki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 © L2 2010 3
  4. 4. PREMIUM ENTRY LEVEL BRANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Jeep. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Mini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Chrysler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Dodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Mercury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 PREMIUM BRANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Infiniti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Acura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Buick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Saab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Hummer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 LUXURY BRANDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Audi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 Lexus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Porsche . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Cadillac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Jaguar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Land Rover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 Tesla. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Lotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 ULTRA-LUXURY BRANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Ferrari. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Bentley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Aston Martin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 Maserati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Rolls-Royce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Lamborghini. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 © L2 2010 4
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION No One Is Immune much less endure the industry’s weapon of choice, the commercial. The German brands, Audi, BMW, and Although no industry is immune to the economic crisis, Mercedes, have been especially deft on the Web: taking the auto sector has been especially hard hit. The fact risks, innovating, and outselling languid competitors that recessions always end is cold comfort for many with a strategy that couples a stronger digital footprint auto companies because economic downturns can and fewer dealerships. catalyze a reconfiguration of consumer preferences. Most were caught flat-footed and are finding that doing what they’ve always done will no longer get them what L2 Digital IQ = Shareholder Value they’ve traditionally gotten. American automakers may be experiencing the greatest pain under the harsh light Our thesis is that digital aptitude will be the defining of the recession. Archaic management practices, labor competence that separates winners from losers in the constraints, slow innovation cycles, and uninspired industry. Key to managing and developing competence marketing have caused them to cede share to more deft is an actionable metric. This study attempts to quan- foreign competitors. However, with new-vehicle sales tify the U.S. digital competence of the world’s top 44 down 21 percent year-on-year, everyone has reason to automobile brands and rank them by Digital IQ. Our aim worry. Even mighty Toyota is experiencing pain. Much is to provide a robust tool to diagnose digital strengths of the industry has matched the reliability of its cars, and weaknesses and help automakers achieve greater rendering Toyota models just, well, boring. return on incremental investment. Most exciting, the data from our study demonstrates a significant correla- tion between Digital IQ and year-on year-sales revealing A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste what may be a forward-looking indicator of sales by brand for the industry. Hard times breed innovation and opportunity. In the auto industry this means disparate wagers on hybrids, electric cars, and changes to the supply chain. One Similar to the medium we are assessing, our methodol- area of innovation nearly all auto companies are em- ogy is dynamic, and we hope you will reach out to us bracing is digital. There is fruit to be reaped, but a long with comments that improve our approach, investigation road ahead. Most auto sites rely on standard navigation and findings. You can reach me at scott@stern.nyu.edu. architecture and sales funnels riddled with roadblocks, especially in the pass-off from parent site to dealership. Digital marketing efforts are often a tail-wags-dog pro- cess as decreasingly effective broadcast media strate- gies reign supreme in the board rooms filled with old men who watch TV in real time and have never been on Scott Galloway Facebook. Some automakers, however, recognize that Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Stern tomorrow’s buyer doesn’t visit dealerships on weekends Founder, L2 (LuxuryLab) © L2 2010 INTRODUCTION 5
  6. 6. METHODOLOGY PLATFORM - 40% Website Effectiveness: Half the score reflects • BRAND TRANSLATION reinforcement of core brand associations and values • Aesthetics through aesthetics and content. The remaining half is • Messaging & Interactivity based on technical elements, including use of technol- • TECHNICAL SITE ELEMENTS ogy, navigability, and the commerce funnel. • Technology Integration • User Interface/Customer Service • Configurator • Dealer Interface OFF-PLATFORM MESSAGING - 25% Digital Marketing Efforts: Online advertising, • ONLINE ADVERTISING AND INNOVATION microsites, mobile initiatives, e-mail marketing, and • MOBILE (Compatibility, Advertising and Applications) other messaging. • E-MAIL MARKETING SOCIAL MEDIA - 20% Social Media Presence: Following, content, and influ- • FACEBOOK ence on major social media platforms, as well as buzz • TWITTER on blogs and other 2.0 forums. • YOUTUBE • USER-GENERATED CONTENT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) - 15% Visibility: On popular search engines. • TRAFFIC • KEYWORD VISIBILITY (Organic & Paid Search) • WEB AUTHORITY © L2 2010 METHODOLOGY 6
  7. 7. RESULTS The Digital IQ Index ranks brands according to their digital competence, parsing each into one of five categories: 140+ GENIUS Digital competence is a competitive advantage for these brands. Their sites are search optimized, aesthetically engaging, functional, and interactive. They are experimenting and engage users on the edge of the network through compelling digital and mobile advertising and social media content. Automaker views the dealership site as integral to the brand Web experience. 110-140 GIFTED Sites are crawlable, brand enhancing, and strong commerce channels. Brands are typically present on all major social media channels and have a history of adept multichannel digital campaigns. 90-110 AVERAGE These brands have functional but predictable sites. Innovation efforts are uninspired and lack ambition. Boilerplate Web marketing. 70-90 CHALLENGED These brands poorly integrate the purchase and product experience. Engagement is limited to Web property, and digital campaigns are an afterthought. <70 FEEBLE Brands have largely ignored the digital phenomenon. Sites lack basic functionality and navigability, and brands disregard online advertising and social media. © L2 2010 RESULTS: the rankings 7
  8. 8. AUTOMOBILE BRANDS RANKED BY DIGITAL IQ SCORE Overall Category Brand Price Point Category Overall IQ Class Description Rank Rank 1 Audi Luxury 1 157 Genius Digital Einstein maintains consistent brand messaging across every online channel 2 BMW Luxury 2 142 Genius Great social media, commerce-orientation, and microsite branding 3 Mercedes-Benz Luxury 3 140 Genius Mbrace mobile platform is among the most innovative 4 Volkswagen Premium Entry-Level 1 138 Gifted Unique dealer-centric site architecture and strong social media following 5 Ford Value 1 133 Gifted Best-in-class configurator interfaces seamlessly with dealer inventory; tremendous social media efforts 5 Scion Value 1 133 Gifted Poster-child Gen Y brand understands online innovation 7 Toyota Value 3 132 Gifted Site traffic and innovative social media help brand overcome poor site aesthetics 8 Ferrari Ultra-Luxury 1 128 Gifted Ultra-Luxury's champion; great interactive site content and community-building 8 Jeep Premium Entry-Level 2 128 Gifted Pulls ahead of Chrysler cohorts with spirited messaging and interactivity 8 Lexus Luxury 4 128 Gifted Top-notch customer service and exceptional online branding for hybrid launch 8 Mini Premium Entry-Level 2 128 Gifted Among the most playful on the Web; site delights 12 Nissan Value 4 127 Gifted Standard issue across the board, but delivers on commerce- orientation 13 Chevrolet Premium Entry-Level 4 124 Gifted Leads in SEO, great traffic and visibility, but where is the brand heritage? 14 Porsche Luxury 5 119 Gifted Passion for brand translates to greatest Facebook fan following 15 Cadillac Luxury 6 117 Gifted Generic GM configurator and off-site after-sales service hurt this luxury player 15 Honda Value 5 117 Gifted Social media maven: ‘Everyone Knows Someone Who Loves a Honda' campaign is inspired and fun 15 Volvo Premium 1 117 Gifted Twilight promotions have boosted social media efforts and online brand buzz 18 Mazda Value 6 109 Average Seamless incorporation of dealer sites; actually socializes on social media sites 18 Infiniti Premium 2 109 Average Brand seal of approval endorses dealers demonstrating top online service 20 Acura Premium 3 108 Average Functional and clean presentation but lacks innovation 20 Buick Premium 3 108 Average Best brand translation among GM divisions. Used Twitter feedback to reexamine SUV launch. 22 Chrysler Premium Entry-Level 5 101 Average Chrysler brands leverage standard, purchase-oriented site template 23 Dodge Premium Entry-Level 6 100 Average Comes in just behind sister brand Chrysler. Surprising? Probably not. 23 Kia Value 7 100 Average Momentum microsite and social media campaign generate significant traffic 25 Hyundai Value 8 94 Average Great traffic and SEO, but site lacks commerce orientation essential to value positioning 26 Jaguar Luxury 7 93 Average Site navigation is feeble, but points for strong social media and mobile advertising 27 Land Rover Luxury 8 92 Average Strong site, but anemic social media following 28 Subaru Premium Entry-Level 7 92 Average My Subaru owner testimonials provide authentic customer voice on site 29 GMC Value 9 91 Average Site is GM standard-issue, but brand lags behind siblings in social media presence 29 Saab Premium 5 91 Average Struggling brand also fails to translate on the Web; Change Perspectives microsite is a bright spot © L2 2010 RESULTS: the rankings 8
  9. 9. Overall Category Brand Price Point Category Overall IQ Class Description Rank Rank Takes leaps with social networking site, but fails to deliver on 31 Smart Value 10 81 Challenged the easy stuff Another luxury brand damaged by parent: Web aesthetics don’t 32 Lincoln Premium 6 80 Challenged deliver on brand promise 33 Mitsubishi Value 11 76 Challenged Social media is a lifesaver for otherwise drowning Mitsubishi 34 Mercury Premium Entry-Level 8 75 Challenged Minimal social media presence damages this Ford brand's IQ 35 Bentley Ultra-Luxury 2 72 Challenged Stunning site, but invisible on the edge of the network 36 Hummer Premium 7 71 Challenged Add poor digital aptitude to the growing list of brand afflictions GM's dying brand suffers from limited Web resources and poor 37 Pontiac Value 12 71 Challenged branding Configurator may be the worst out there, requires 10 minutes to 38 Aston Martin Ultra-Luxury 3 66 Feeble install software plug-in User-generated content is highlight on site, but brand gets 39 Maserati Ultra-Luxury 4 65 Feeble dinged for poor traffic and SEO 40 Rolls-Royce Ultra-Luxury 5 63 Feeble Gorgeous site; not much else 42 Suzuki Value 13 55 Feeble Site disappoints; brand has largely ignored social media Auto's newest entrant gets good traffic, however Investor- 41 Tesla Luxury 9 55 Feeble oriented site is text heavy and lacks product focus Poorly organized, haphazard site hinders a brand built on design 43 Lotus Luxury 10 43 Feeble aesthetic Site is a navigational nightmare, takes four mouse clicks to see 44 Lamborghini Ultra-Luxury 6 31 Feeble a Lamborghini CATEGORY SAVANTS: DIGITAL IQ AWARDS BY PRICE POINT In addition to overall IQ rankings, some brands deserve recognition for leading digital efforts in their competitive category. Category Overall Price Point Category Brand Digital IQ Rank Rank Value Ford 133 1 5 Value Scion 133 1 5 Premium Entry-Level Volkswagen 138 1 4 Premium Entry-Level Jeep 128 2 8 Premium Entry-Level Mini 128 2 8 Luxury Audi 158 1 1 Luxury BMW 142 2 2 Ultra-Luxury Ferrari 128 1 8 © L2 2010 RESULTS: the rankings 9
  10. 10. DISCOVERIES Digital IQ = Higher Sales RUSS WINER Data shows that Digital IQ has a .48 correlation Marketing Department Chairman to 2009 new-vehicle sales growth. Brands with NYU Stern high Digital IQs have better weathered difficult mar- “A preliminary analysis of the ket conditions. On average, brands ranked “Gifted” and above demonstrate a six percentage-point ad- relationship between Digital IQ vantage in new-vehicle sales growth versus brands and year-to-year change in sales across the ranked “Average” and below. Brands categorized 44 brands shows the significant and positive as “Challenged” or “Feeble” saw sales declines 12 impact of Digital IQ. A 10-point increase in percent greater than average. Digital IQ equates to a 3 percent increase in sales for the 44 brands.” DIGITAL IQ & 2009 NEW-VEHICLE SALES GROWTH 2009 NEW-VEHICLE SALES GROWTH DIGITAL IQ © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES 10
  11. 11. Digital Tipping Point Mighty Microsites New-vehicle sales have declined 21 percent1; More than half of automakers use microsites to however, traffic to U.S. branded auto sites has supplement brand-level advertising campaigns, increased 46 percent. Although the core business augment new vehicle launches, or house online of automakers is declining, the importance of online promotions. Many of these microsites generate up efforts is increasing, suggesting a fundamental shift to 45 percent of upstream referral traffic directly from in the way consumers interact with brands. social media platforms, highlighting the important— and growing—role of these platforms. 1 MotorIntelligence: U.S. Light Vehicle Retail Sales, December 2009 SITE TRAFFIC GROWTH vs. 2009 NEW VEHICLE SALES by Auto Conglomerate 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% -10% -20% -30% -40% -50% -60% hi GM n nda ota d san AG sle r zda zuk i bis age BM W Ho Toy For Nis er ry Ma Su itsu olk sw iml Ch M V Da Annual Site Traffic Growth 2009 New-Vehicle Sales Growth Social Media Explosion German Giants Most brands are present on major social media The top four brands and all three “Geniuses” platforms. From October to November 2009, brand are headquartered in Germany. These brands— fans, followers, and subscribers on Facebook, Twitter, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen— and YouTube grew 71, 69, and 17 percent, respec- understand the importance of multi-channel digital tively. Captive audience growth is astounding, but marketing and have made remarkable innovation auto brands largely underutilize social media. Only leaps online without compromising commerce-orien- 30 percent of the brands on Twitter retweet or con- tation or brand promise. verse with users, and many automakers restrict their Facebook wall to brand posts, outing their misunder- standing of social media’s underpinnings. © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES 11
  12. 12. American Ingenuity (Lack of) tomer service tools, and, in some cases, shared social media across brands. Although standardized Of the 14 American brands evaluated, only two, sites score points for user-friendliness and com- Ford and Jeep, scored in the top 10. U.S. brands merce-orientation, digital homogeneity also results in were penalized for leveraging economies of scale to massive brand erosion. a fault. The Big Three—GM, Ford and Chrysler—all deploy a corporate site template, consolidated cus- SIMILARITY ACROSS GM PLATFORMS © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES 12
  13. 13. FINDINGS Platform A brand’s site serves as the foundation of its digital pres- ence. Automaker sites must balance the demands of QUICK STATS: enhancing brand and motivating purchases. Automobile Configurators: Among brands there is considerable standardization • 93% of brand sites feature an automobile configurator. across user interface and navigation platforms. In par- Lamborghini, Tesla, and Rolls-Royce are the only brands without a build-your-own feature. ticular, American automakers General Motors and Ford utilize the same navigation template across each of their • Only 61% of configurators capture a customer’s prefer- ences and can forward them to a dealership or another brands’ sites. In some cases, economies of scale pay purchase channel. dividends, notably Ford’s configurator with its dynamic lo- cal inventory display, and GM’s e-chat customer service. Brand Consistency: But homogeneity across platforms can also be damag- • Approximately half of brands maintain a consistent look, ing, eliciting the question consumers have been asking feel and site architecture across dealership sites. for a while: “Is a Cadillac merely a blinged-up Chevy?” Comparison Shopping: • 59% of brand sites incorporate a feature to compare their models with those of key competitors (typically powered by Polk or Chrome). EXTERNAL CONTENT on Branded Auto Sites User-Generated & Externally Created Content: • Only 18% of sites incorporate user reviews or user- No External Content 36% generated content. • 46% of sites include external awards, accolades, and reviews from organizations including J.D. Power and External Awards, Accolades, & Reviews 46% Associates and Kelley Blue Book. • 36% of sites exclude externally-created content. User-Generated Content 18% Navigation: 0 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% • 36% of sites require at least one additional click from the landing page to reach the home page. © L2 2010 FINDINGS 13
  14. 14. BUILDING BRAND vs. COORDINATING PURCHASE Where Select Brands Fall Purchase Power Balancing Demands COMMERCE ORIENTATION Falling Flat Beautiful Brochure-ware BRAND TRANSLATION © L2 2010 FINDINGS 14
  15. 15. Off-Platform Messaging Automotive advertising spending was down 31 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2009, and almost every QUICK STATS: brand has fewer marketing dollars. Constricted budgets Mobile: have a dichotomous effect. Some automakers have scaled • 41% of auto brands have dedicated mobile sites. back new media spending to preserve their traditional • An additional 36% of brands have sites that load on a advertising presence. Other brands have turned to the Web mobile phone but do not offer enhanced mobile seeking cheaper earned media. functionality. A feature common to integrated digital campaigns is a • 23% of brand sites do not load on a mobile device. dedicated microsite. Microsite content ranges from the • 36% of auto brands have created a brand-sponsored brand-building, artistic videos on BMW’s “Expression of iPhone application. (Included in this count are the seven Joy” to the specialized configurator and commercial on the current and former GM brands that are included in the Kia Soul site. Although intent varies throughout microsites, “GM Mobile” iPhone app). patterns emerge. First, microsites that feature contests or • Many dealerships maintain independent iPhone apps, giveaways tend to attract the most traffic. Second, the top which are typically focused on inventory and promotions. upstream referral sites are often social media platforms. E-mail: In some cases, more than 40 percent of microsite traffic • 84% of brands offer e-mail list subscriptions on their site. came directly from Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. • Of the brands with opt-in e-mail lists, only 40% encour- Other components of off-platform messaging are mobile age users to input demographic information when compatibility and messaging, digital advertising, and e-mail. signing up. RSS: MOBILE COMPATIBILITY • 25% of sites offer RSS feed subscriptions; feeds are of Branded Auto Sites typically plagued by small subscription bases. Microsites: Site Fails to Load 23% • 53% of brands use a microsite or minisite with a dedi- cated URL to highlight innovative content, new vehicle Site Loads on Smart Phone 32% launches, current marketing campaigns, and promotion activity. Dedicated Mobile Site 41% 0 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% UPSTREAM TRAFFIC: Selected Microsites Brand Microsite % of % of % of Referral Referral Referral #1 Traffic #2 Traffic #2 Traffic Cadillac CTVS Challenge google.com 26.31% jalopnik.com 21.14% facebook.com 10.51% Ford The Ford Story fordvehicles.com 19.13% facebook.com 17.58% ford.com 12.54% Kia Kia Soul Collective twitter.com 20.76% myspace.com 11.84% facebook.com 8.34% Scion Scion A/V scion.com 33.33% facebook.com 27.38% google.com 22.22% Volkswagen The Fun Theory youtube.com 25.08% facebook.com 19.72% google.com 15.47% © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES: key findings 15
  16. 16. Social Media Fans, followers, and subscribers are flocking to brand-affiliated accounts on social media platforms. In addition, “unofficial” social media accounts and independent 2.0 sites continue to be popular forums for consumers to research, discuss, and voice concerns about auto brands. To effectively use this fast-growing medium, brands need to listen to users and experiment with ways to communicate effectively. Facebook: QUICK STATS: The world’s most popular social networking site has significant traction in the auto industry. Iconic luxury brands Ferrari and Porsche boast top fan counts, Facebook: and mainstream brands, including Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, and Ford, • 73% of brands maintain at least one Facebook page. have generated significant followings by offering authentic, innovative content. • Branded auto Facebook pages Many brands have developed posted average monthly fan interactive applications, for example growth of 71% from October to VW’s popular “Meet the Volkswa- November 2009. gens” app, which analyzes a user’s profile and determines what model they resemble. However, as Facebook has become less application-friendly, automak- ers have found alternative ways to interact with fans. In early December 2009, Audi and Infiniti gave fans a sneak peek of new model launches with live video feeds. Audi also used the platform to solicit user input for the design of its new concept car. Value manufacturers, Ford and Honda use the forum as an additional branded platform to display vehicles and connect advocates. FACEBOOK FAN COUNT: Top 15 Brands 800,000 700,000 600,000 FACEBOOK FANS 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 i rar e W di gen nda p rt in enz ac uar ota ati d us Fer sch BM Au wa Ho Jee Ma sB dill Jag Toy ser For Lex Por lks ton ede Ca Ma Vo As rc Me © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES: key findings 16
  17. 17. YouTube: YouTube has tremendous popularity in the auto industry and is a significant source of upstream and downstream traffic from brand sites. Brands use the platform to showcase celebrated TV ads, behind-the-scenes racing footage, design features, and user-generated videos. Brand-building viral videos such as Volkswagen’s “The Fun Theory” have received more than one million views. As with Facebook, successful brands, such as Ferrari, use YouTube as an additional branded platform and customize channels with brand look and feel, provide links to microsites, and interface with other social media channels. QUICK STATS: YouTube: • 70% of brands have a YouTube channel. • The average branded YouTube channel has 94 videos. YOUTUBE SUBSCRIPTION BASE: Top 15 Brands 14,000 12,000 SUBSCRIBERS 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 i i rar nda W e z For d vo sle r p Min c di ota dge u Fer Ho BM sch Ben Vol ry Jee dill a Au Toy Do bar Por des Ch Ca Su rce Me © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES: key findings 17
  18. 18. Twitter: Although 68 percent of auto brands maintain a Twitter account, only 30 per- QUICK STATS: cent engage Twitter users in conversation. At a basic level, Twitter is both a customer service tool and a means to monitor and respond to user feedback. Twitter: Non-brand affiliate, Dan Vaden Automotive, has amassed thousands of fol- • 60% of brands have a Twitter lowers with more than 20 brand accounts, including VWWarranty and Buick- account, but only 30% of those Warranty, that retweet owner complaints and service issues. brands retweet and converse with users. • Branded tweeters average 15 tweets per week. • Branded auto Twitter accounts posted average monthly follower growth of 69% from October to November 2009. Twitter is also personality-driven. Celebrities are the rage and can quickly acquire hundreds of thou- sands of followers, but brands don’t need to employ Paris Hilton to amass a following. In general, Twitter handles that identify who’s tweeting—even a brand PR rep—get better traction than news feeds. Honda’s “Alicia_at_Honda” account, which features a communications supervisor tweeting about Honda news and online media, has gar- nered six times more than the follow- ers as the generic “Honda” account with PR feeds. Chrysler and GM also identify individuals who tweet on the brand’s behalf. © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES: key findings 18
  19. 19. BEST IN TWEET: Automobile Brands With the Most Twitter Followers Tweet # of Avg. Tweets per Brand Twitter Account Observations Rank Followers Week News and conversation about the Ford brand, fed into 1 Ford Ford 18,910 52.3 myfordstory.com site Interactive tweeting featuring celebrity content (Ian Ziering, Chevy fuel 2 GM GMblogs 11,594 NA cell owner) and retweets from users and other GM twitterers All links to Toyota and no conversations to all Toyota-manufactured 3 Toyota Toyota 11,390 15 (Lexus, Scion, etc.) content Alicia Jones, communications supervisor at Honda, tweets about the 4 Honda Alicia_at_Honda 6,001 NA brand and digital media Tweets about Ford’s commitment to sustainability and fuel-efficient, 5 Ford FordDriveGreen 5,269 2.3 affordable vehicles 6 Ford FordFiesta 5,130 18.8 Feeds Fiesta agent tweets about missions 7 Scion scion 3,587 4.5 Links to Scion news/lifestyle posts Ed Garsten and Scott Anderson present official Chrysler Twitter page— 8 Chrysler Chrysler 3,327 17.8 news, links to brand social media, retweets, and conversation Conversational content from Christopher Barger, director of GM Global 9 GM cbarger 2,971 54.3 Social Media BEST IN TWEET: Top Non-Affiliated Twitter Accounts # of Twitter Account Observations Followers NewJerseyNissan 16,848 Tweets about inventory, offers and promotions Richmond, Virginia, Ford dealership tweets news, offers, events, sponsorships, richmondford 9,005 and information on dealership social media activity BMWSauberF1Team 8,770 Official team tweets; also significant following (4,134) for BMWNewz My_Ferrari 5,822 A man in Salt Lake City tweets to solicit donations to help him buy a Ferrari LosAngelesHonda 5,408 Los Angeles Honda dealership tweets about Honda news and links ToyotaFanClub 2,602 Links to Toyota content vovloofthetriad 2,257 North Carolina Volvo dealer tweets links to brand news and features landyzone 2,183 Land Rover news, links, conversation from independent blog landyzone.co.uk barnabemazda 2,120 Quebec Mazda dealership tweets inventory HyundaiAtlanta 2,077 Conyers, Georgia, dealership tweets about Hyundai news 89c4 2,047 Tweets from writer of Kansas City-based 89c4 blog by a driver of an ‘89 Porsche Bentley_cars 1,874 Specializing in Bentley car hire Dan Vaden Automotive scours Web for VW-related links reposts with warranty, recalls, VWWarranty 1,854 and news jeepWorld 1,698 E-commerce merchant of Jeep accessories; tweets Jeep news lexusnews 1,623 News links, and press on Lexus from independent blog lexusenthusiast.com © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES: key findings 19
  20. 20. Search Engine Optimization FINDINGS Auto search campaigns must balance the competing QUICK STATS: demands of directing search traffic to the brand and dealership sites. Well-performing automakers develop Traffic: strategies that send consumers to the appropriate site • Although 2009 new-vehicle U.S. sales are down 21%, according to their stage in the purchase cycle. traffic to auto brand sites has increased 46% year-on-year. Search-optimized sites focus on broad search terms to Paid Search: capture generic brand and model searches common • Approximately 65% of auto brands are using Google early in the purchase cycle. Brands must also coordinate paid search to direct traffic to their sites, and 56% of SEO efforts with dealership sites for more specific long- use Bing. tail searches as consumers move down path toward Inbound Links: purchase and search with finer criteria. Strong online • Branded auto sites boast an average of approximately inventory management systems on dealership sites are 1,700 inbound links. essential to support long-tail search traffic. Page Rank: As a result of tremendous growth on Facebook, YouTube, • Google page rank of U.S. auto sites averages 6.4. and Twitter, SEO strategies are becoming increasingly Upstream Referrals: important in directing search traffic. These sites were • Facebook, YouTube, and other social networking sites among the top five referral sites for 73 percent of brands. are among the top five upstream referral sites for 73% of automobile brands. COMPARATIVE U.S. TRAFFIC: Top 15 Brands ota t an nda d dge Kia n ai zda us u ura di Toy role Nis s Ho For Do age und Ma Lex bar Ac BM W Au hev sw Hy Su C Volk © L2 2010 DISCOVERIES: key findings 20
  21. 21. TEAM SCOTT GALLOWAY academics. Maureen has a BA in human biology from Author, Digital IQ Index and Stanford University and an MBA from NYU Stern. Founder, L2 (LuxuryLab) Scott is the founder of L2, a think tank for prestige KATHRYN DURYEA brands, and Clinical Associate Professor at the NYU Lead Researcher Stern School of Business, where he teaches brand Kathryn’s work experience spans the government, think strategy and luxury marketing. Scott is also the founder tank, and e-commerce sectors. She began her career in of Firebrand Partners, an operational activist firm that Washington, D.C., first in then Vice President Cheney’s has invested more than $1 billion in U.S. consumer and office in the White House and in Lynne Cheney’s office media companies. In 1997, he founded Red Envelope, at the American Enterprise Institute, where she man- an Internet-based branded consumer gift retailer (2007, aged publishing, communications, and philanthropic $100mm revs.). In 1992, Scott founded Prophet, a projects. She gained experience in e-commerce and on- brand strategy consultancy with more than 100 profes- line marketing at Bare Escentuals, Inc. Kathryn received sionals in the United States, Europe and Asia. Scott a BS in foreign service from Georgetown University and was elected to the World Economic Forum’s “Global an MBA from Stanford University. Leaders of Tomorrow,” which recognizes 100 individuals under the age of 40 “whose accomplishments have had an impact on a global level.” CHRISTINE PATTON Creative Director Scott serves on the boards of directors of Eddie Bauer Christine is a brand and marketing consultant with more (Nasdaq: EBHI), The New York Times Company (NYSE: than 15 years of experience creating brand identities NYT), eco-America, and Berkeley’s Haas School of and marketing communications for aspirational and Business. He received a BA from UCLA and an MBA luxury brands. She began her career at Cosí, where from UC Berkeley. she developed the brand and oversaw its evolution from concept through growth to 100 restaurants. Since MAUREEN MULLEN then her work has included creative direction for a wide Lead Researcher array of clients, including the launch of Kidville and Maureen began her career at Triage Consulting Group CosmoGIRL! magazine. Most recently, she led Creative in San Francisco. At Triage, she led several managed- Services at ELLE during the most successful years of care payment review and payment benchmarking the magazine’s history, developing innovative integrated projects for hospitals, including UCLA Medical Center, marketing programs for advertisers. Christine received UCSF, and HCA. She has gone on to lead research and a BA in economics and journalism from the University of consulting efforts around digital media, private bank- Connecticut and an MBA from NYU Stern. ing M&A, insurance industry risk management, and renewable energy economics for professional firms and © L2 2010 TEAM 21
  22. 22. TIMOTHY BRUNS ment, and a research monograph, Pricing, and has Expert, Brand Translation authored more than 60 papers on a variety of topics including consumer choice, marketing research meth- Tim is the Executive Director of Creative at Cheil North odology, marketing planning, advertising, and pricing. America. He began his career at Campbell, Mithun, Russ has served two terms as the editor of the Journal Esty and then went to Lot21 (Carat) overseeing digital of Marketing Research, he is the past co-editor of Jour- accounts, including eBay, Intraware, Seagate, Adobe, nal of Interactive Marketing, and is currently an Associ- Pets.com, Palm, Unicast, and Hotwire.com. Since then ate Editor of the International Journal of Research in he has led the creative work at Atmosphere BBDO, Marketing. He is the co-editor of the Review of Market- TBWA ChiatDay, Avenue A/Razorfish, and most ing Science, Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Market- recently Draftfcb. His work spans a diverse group of ing Research, and Marketing Science. clients, including Hampton Inn, HP Motorola, MetLife, , Jamaica Tourism, Sprint/Nextel, Absolut, Nivea, AOL for Broadband, Citibank, MSN, and numerous pharmaceu- ticals brands. Tim has produced award-winning cam- paigns in television, print, and online, in both B2C and B2B marketing. CINDY GALLOP Expert, Brand Translation Cindy Gallop is founder and CEO of IfWeRantheWorld, a crowd-sourced Web platform designed to turn good intentions into action, which will launch in January 2010. She also founded MakeLoveNotPorn at TED 2009 and consults with clients who want to change the game in their particular sector through radical reinvention and ground- breaking, innovative, forward-thinking approaches. From 1989 to 2005, Cindy ran such global accounts as Coca-Cola, Polaroid, and Ray-Ban for creative network Bartle Bogle Hegarty. She helped launch and run BBH Asia Pacific and moved to New York in 1998 to found BBH US, which began as Cindy in a room with a phone. Four years later BBH was named Adweek’s Eastern Agency of the Year. In 2003, Advertising Women of New York voted Cindy Advertising Woman of the Year. She is a frequent speaker at conferences such as TED, ad:tech, and The Next Big Idea and writes for online publications and magazines. RUSSELL WINER Academic Expert, Digital IQ Correlations Russ is the William H. Joyce Professor of Marketing and chairman of the Marketing Department at NYU Stern. He has written three books, Marketing Management, Analysis for Marketing Planning, and Product Manage- © L2 2010 TEAM 22
  23. 23. VALUE Price Point Overall Off-Platform Social Brand Parent Digital IQ IQ Group Platform SEO Rank Rank Messaging Media Ford Ford 1 5 133 Gifted 2 5 5 5 Scion Toyota 1 5 133 Gifted 5 5 3 2 Toyota Toyota 3 7 132 Gifted 3 5 5 5 Nissan Nissan 4 12 127 Gifted 3 4 5 5 Honda Honda 5 15 117 Gifted 2 4 5 5 Mazda Mazda 6 18 109 Average 4 4 3 4 Kia Kia 7 23 100 Average 1 5 3 4 Hyundai Hyundai 8 25 94 Average 2 3 3 4 GMC GM 9 29 91 Average 2 2 2 4 Smart Daimler AG 10 31 81 Challenged 2 3 2 1 Mitsubishi Mitsubishi 11 33 76 Challenged 1 1 3 2 Pontiac GM 12 37 71 Challenged 1 2 2 3 Suzuki Suzuki 13 42 55 Feeble 1 2 2 2 Category Average 2.2 3.5 3.3 3.5 Massive site traffic and innovative social media campaigns elevate brands in the value category. Unfortunately, many sites fail to meet the needs of price-sensitive customers with an effective online purchase funnel. Accolades to Ford and Nissan for best-in-class configurators that interface dynamically with local dealer inventory. With the exception of niche luminary Scion, brands in this category struggled with site brand translation. Off-site, almost all earn at least average marks in digital advertising, social media, and search engine optimization, with sev- eral brands strong in all three. Ford and Honda are trailblazers in social media with exceptional efforts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Ford and Toyota vie for the top-trafficked sites, and Hyundai demonstrated a keen understanding of a multichannel digital campaign around the Kia Soul. © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS 23
  24. 24. ford Owner: Ford Motor Company Rank: 5 Digital IQ: 133 Classification: Gifted The only Detroit automaker to refuse bailout funds, Ford is also DIGITAL DASHBOARD: Overall Online Performance the Motor City’s digital beacon. The Ford Story microsite serves as social media mission control, inte- grating messaging from the brand’s nine Twitter accounts, three YouTube Platform Off-Platform Social Media SEO Messaging channels, and seven Facebook pages. Comprehensive media campaigns, such as “Ford Warriors in Pink,” intended to raise breast cancer awareness, have users traveling from Twitter to Facebook to inventive microsites and back again. While the brand loses points for site aesthetics, Ford understands the bottom line: its sites are designed to sell cars and make it easy for users to buy them. >> FORD IS THE ONLY NON-GERMAN AUTOMAKER RANKED IN THE TOP FIVE. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: ford 24
  25. 25. FLASH OF GENIUS FORD FIESTA MOVEMENT Ford launched an innovative and wildly successful grassroots social media campaign around the Ford Fiesta. The company screened thousands of can- didates and selected 100 young enthusiasts who each received a free Fiesta, insurance, and gas for six months in exchange for recording their adventures on sites including YouTube, Flickr and Twitter. Their efforts attracted more than four million YouTube views, 500,000 Flickr views, three million Twitter impressions, and 50,000 interested customers, most of whom were not Ford owners. >> ACROSS ITS THREE YOUTUBE CHANNELS, FORD POSTED A 50% INCREASE IN SUBSCRIBER GROWTH FROM OCTOBER TO NOVEMBER 2009. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: ford 25
  26. 26. SEO ANALYTICS 1 2 3 4 5 Organic Keywords ford ford motor company ford fusion ford escape ford edge Upstream Sites ford.com google.com yahoo.com pointroll.com facebook.com Downstream Sites google.com yahoo.com facebook.com doubleclick.com ford.com shopwarriorsin- onlinevehicle Audience Also Visits pink.com ford.com ford-now.com financing.com thefordstory.com SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT ON MOBILE Mobile Score: 4 # of Fans/ Name Ford integrates mobile into the Followers/ Observations (Top Followers) marketing mix using barcode-ad Subscribers targeting and hyper-local mobile Centralized Ford page links to other so- cial media including Web casts, Twitter, SMS campaigns. The “Ford Flex Facebook Ford 52,376 and Flickr. Other pages focus on specific models and brand campaigns. Photo Lab” iPhone app allows users to manipulate photos taken General news and conversation about the brand. Ford maintains eight other on their phone and has tallied Twitter Ford 18,910 Twitter handles including FordDrive Green, which has over 5,000 followers. significant downloads. Brand channel is supplemented by YouTube Ford Motor Company 1,181 “The Ford Story” channel and the “Ford Mustang” channel. FEATURED EXPERT: TIMOTHY BRUNS Executive Director of Creative | Cheil North America Aesthetics: 0 Messaging: 1 “This site looks cheap like its cars. Design is clunky. Content is very basic. Structure is archaic. There is absolutely zero brand story. If I were to describe an analogy for this experience it would be, “sticker shock.” Not because of the price, but because of the design. I hon- estly could not navigate through it because I felt I could download a spec sheet and price sheet or go into a dealer and get a better experience.” FEATURED EXPERT: CINDY GALLOP Founder & CEO | IfWeRanTheWorld.com Aesthetics: 0 Messaging: 1 For more about your brand’s “Archaic. And depressing.” Digital IQ, CONTACT US. © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: ford 26
  27. 27. scion Owner: Toyota Motor Corporation Rank: 5 Digital IQ: 133 Classification: Gifted Toyota’s Scion is a case study in Gen Y, counterculture market- DIGITAL DASHBOARD: Overall Online Performance ing and it is no surprise that the brand understands digital. Its site is distinctive and bears little resem- blance to parent, Toyota’s. Platform Off-Platform Social Media SEO Recent efforts are on-message and Messaging brand-enhancing and include the xPressionism microsite, where users design custom cars that venture far beyond factory specs, and the Scion A/V microsite. As a niche brand, Scion takes IQ-point hits for poor site traffic and its weak social media following. SPOTLIGHT ON MOBILE Mobile Score: 4 Mobile is another note in Scion’s digital repertoire. From hyper- local SMS campaigns at regional events to an easy-to-use mobile site with a prominent call to action, the brand understands the medium. >> IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE AUGUST 2009 XD FIVE-DOOR LAUNCH, SCION COMMISSIONED ATTIK AND ARTIST DAVE CORREIA TO ILLUSTRATE A QUIRKY WEB GAME CALLED LITTLE DEVIANTS. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: scion 27
  28. 28. FLASH OF GENIUS SCION A/V Scion leverages the brand’s record label, Scion A/V, all over the Web. The Scion A/V microsite features art, film, lifestyle, and music content and is one of the top-five downstream referral sites for scion.com. Site content is leveraged on the “ScionRadio17” YouTube channel and a Tumblr blog. The Scion A/V Facebook page has nearly 5,000 fans— almost as many as the brand’s page. Subtle branding, authenticity, and significant user-generated content make this site a hit. >> SCION.COM HAS LIVE ONLINE CHAT CAPABILITY AVAILABLE FIVE DAYS A WEEK FROM 5 AM TO 6 PM. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: scion 28
  29. 29. SEO ANALYTICS 1 2 3 4 5 Organic Keywords scion scion tc scion xb toyota scion scion cars Upstream Sites google.com yahoo.com toyota.com youtube.com facebook.com Downstream Sites google.com yahoo.com facebook.com toyota.com scionav.com rankingsand Audience Also Visits kia.com toyota.com reviews.com motortrend.com honda.com SOCIAL MEDIA FEATURED EXPERT: CINDY # of Fans/ Name Followers/ Observations GALLOP (Top Followers) Founder & CEO Subscribers IfWeRanTheWorld Unsure if page is official (verbiage reads .com Facebook Scion 6,689 strangely) but appears to be updating Aesthetics: 4 content almost daily. Messaging: 4 Links to Scion news and lifestyle content. Brand also maintains “Here’s a car brand actively try- Twitter scion 3,587 xPressionism Twitter account that leverages microsite content. ing to stand out from the crowd by Content from Scion A/V record label; virtue of a youthful, characterful includes 17 channels of radio from DJs, YouTube ScionRadio17 247 videos from the 2008 Scion Hypeman positioning. I liked the presenta- contests, and information about upcoming releases and events. tion of the “shock-and-aw-yeah” Electric Wasabi XD. FEATURED EXPERT: Lots of engaging content. Site is TIMOTHY BRUNS quirky, fun, and radiates attitude. Executive Director of Creative | Cheil North America Good use of audio, even if some of Aesthetics: 5 Messaging: 4 the sound effects became a little “Finally, a car site that breaks the conventions of Web irritating quite quickly. design somewhat to offer an interesting interface while still being Nothing too revolutionary about intuitive. Congrats, Scion! how the site works, but good When I viewed their external advertising and communications I thought marks for genuine differentia- to myself, ‘Why does a car that is reasonably priced have to look so tion and a sense of shock, horror, cheap?’ But when I arrived at the site, I was pleasantly surprised. modernity.” The various elements of interactivity, combined with sound effects and animation, kept me engaged and compelled to stay. I also really loved the fact that the first step of navigation asked me if I was an owner or browser. Both avenues were compelling, especially the owner section which connected me to other enthusiasts and events and content related to Scion and the audience. Nice job! Toyota did a great job of creating a For more about your brand’s unique identity for Scion.” Digital IQ, CONTACT US. © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: scion 29
  30. 30. toyota Owner: Toyota Motor Corporation Rank: 7 Digital IQ: 132 Classification: Gifted Battling Ford for the most- trafficked site, Toyota’s strong DIGITAL DASHBOARD: Overall Online Performance SEO and digital advertising give the brand an IQ boost. Integrated multichannel campaigns, includ- ing “Great Time to Sign” and recent Prius efforts, demonstrate under- Platform Off-Platform Social Media SEO Messaging standing of how to use multiple online channels effectively. Although aimed at sales conver- sion, the site’s purchase channel is weaker than those of rivals Ford and Chrysler and lacks an inventory- driven dealer handoff. The brand benefits from fun, interactive so- cial media efforts, and its recently launched Yaris minisite offers users a virtual test-drive on some of America’s best-known streets. SPOTLIGHT ON MOBILE Mobile Score: 4 Toyota has a strong mobile- enabled site and innovative mobile ad campaigns. In October 2009 the brand took over a Times Square billboard and filled it with real-time illus- trations drawn by users on the Prius iPhone app. >> TOYOTA RECENTLY HANDED OVER THE TITLE OF WORLD’S BIGGEST AUTOMAKER TO VOLKSWAGEN. THE BRAND ALSO HAS APPROXIMATELY 1/6 THE NUMBER OF FACEBOOK FANS AS THE GERMAN GIANT. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: toyota 30
  31. 31. FLASH OF GENIUS “GREAT TIME TO SIGN” CAMPAIGN The “Great Time To Sign” campaign targeted New York Giants football fans with a mobile text message from quarterback Eli Manning and drove them to the greattimetosign.com site, which featured video com- mercial content (also posted on YouTube), links to local deals, a paper football game, and the opportunity for users to submit a “victory dance” video. Toyota integrated its Web efforts with traditional TV placements. SEO ANALYTICS 1 2 3 4 5 Organic Keywords toyota toyota.com cash for clunkers toyota prius toyota yaris Upstream Sites google.com yahoo.com facebook.com honda.com msn.com Downstream Sites google.com yahoo.com tmsbuyatoyota.com facebook.com honda.com toyotaowners Audience Also Visits toyozone.com shopatgst.com toyotacertified.com online.com N/A >> TOYOTA LEADS ALL BRANDS IN RSS FEEDS PER DAY (1.8), BUT, LIKE MOST AUTOMAKERS, LACKS A LARGE SUBSCRIPTION BASE. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: toyota 31
  32. 32. SOCIAL MEDIA # of Fans/ Name Followers/ Observations (Top Followers) Subscribers Highlight is reviews page where users discuss cars and experiences; Prius page boasts more than 45,000 fans and Facebook Toyota 55,439 innovative content including "Random Acts of Prius," an interactive game. Twitter Toyota 11,390 Brand tweets links to news and press releases. Channel includes entertaining user-generated video of dogs YouTube ToyotaUSA 1,183 reacting to a squeaky noise in a Toyota commercial. FEATURED EXPERT: FEATURED EXPERT: TIMOTHY BRUNS CINDY GALLOP Executive Director of Creative Founder & CEO Cheil North America IfWeRanTheWorld.com Aesthetics: 0 Aesthetics: 2 Messaging: 2 Messaging: 2 “Toyota has built its brand on being a dependable, “Toyota puts the third generation Prius right up trustworthy, and ‘everyday’ car—an approach that front—a good move—but then fails to present and has been very successful. The brand has continued to leverage it in any creative manner, because once move forward, carving a niche in the marketplace again this is a site adhering firmly to the template. with its consistent brand promise and message of The missed opportunity here lies in the concept dependability. vehicles, especially the PM (personal mobility vehicle), Recently the brand has grown due to innovation and which has the opportunity to engage and present marketing dollars for the Prius and the environmen- a car brand with some interesting ideas about tally conscious philosophy of harmony between man, the future.” nature, and machine. And the marketing is brilliant and very memorable. Toyota offers somewhat of a microsite experience with the Prius on the Toyota.com site; in fact, it’s the main communication and takes up the largest piece of real estate on the page. However, once I clicked on it, I expected to see all of the people dressed as nature elements as in the TV commer- cials. Or, at the very least, some element of the brand embodied as uniquely and compellingly as it is in the advertising. But instead, it was very shallow and non- experiential. The main site looked dated, even down to very archaic icons in the main navigational system, which in my mind was not ‘moving forward.’” For more about your brand’s Digital IQ, CONTACT US. © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: toyota 32
  33. 33. nissan Owner: Nissan Motor Company Rank: 12 Digital IQ: 127 Classification: Gifted With its site ranked among the five most trafficked in the U.S., DIGITAL DASHBOARD: Overall Online Performance Nissan gets an IQ bump for strong SEO and a broad reach on social media. Although the site isn’t winning any beauty contests, it does a good job of organizing content, a Platform Off-Platform Social Media SEO Messaging challenge when showcasing a wide array of models. Unlike brands that encourage the user to transition from parent to dealer site and view the move as a conversion, Nissan aims to keep users navigating within its parent site after configuring a vehicle, requesting a quote, and searching local inventory SPOTLIGHT ON MOBILE Mobile Score: 4 Mobile is frequently a component of promotional campaigns, and Nissan tapped into mobile mar- keting for the launch of the Cube in 2009 with an iPhone app. Nissan has a dedicated mobile site that is product-focused and easy to navigate. >> NEWJERSEYNISSAN, A NEW YORK AREA DEALERSHIP HANDLE, TOPS ALL BRANDS IN DEALERSHIP FOLLOWERS WITH NEARLY 17,000. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: nissan 33
  34. 34. FLASH OF GENIUS SOCIAL MEDIA & INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS Nissan is using social media for more than just marketing. The brand’s internal communication team main- tains a YouTube channel, NCOM- VIDEO, which features videos on new Nissan and Infiniti products as well as footage from brand events aimed at providing corporate outreach and employee education. The Nissan_Dealers Twitter handle provides links to brand content for a community of dealers and has gar- nered more than 5,000 followers. >> APPROXIMATELY HALF OF THE VISITS TO THE NISSAN SITE ARE FROM “REGULAR” VISITORS. << © L2 2010 VALUE BRANDS: nissan 34

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