Scott Monty is a connector. He connects interests with the skill sets needed to make things happen. As digital and multimedia communications manager for the only American car company to say ‘no thanks’ to government bailout money, Scott leads a team of online publishers and new media specialists who are listening online and connecting content to customers every day.
But what Scott really likes to connect is new and traditional communication campaigns.
“The social media planning process starts out with the identification of an objective or challenge – we need to know what we’re trying to achieve before we can decide if we’re going to be successful at it.” Scott begins. “With the Fusion41 campaign, for example, we wanted to build a level of consideration and awareness around the vehicle, which was already one of the best selling vehicles out there.”
The new media development team chose an old fashion method to begin the process – brainstorming. “We started by throwing ideas out – standard stuff. Then our agencies got involved and came back with additional ideas or fleshed-out concepts that we refined. The whole thing ends up being a co-development process between our teams and our agencies.”
“As we moved forward we figured out what the areas were where we could measure tangibly – whether its PR impressions, pass-through rates, or levels of engagement,” Scott continues. “Then we used a variety of resources to actually do the measurement – social media as well as traditional methods that we’re using on a regular basis – to capture both online and offline mentions of the company and our specific products.”
The tangible results of the Fusion 41 campaign, the company’s first foray into social media and consumer engagement, formed the matrix for what has become the most visible and talked about social media campaign by a major international brand to date – the Fiesta Movement.
“We have all sorts of statistics such as the number of views for YouTube videos and impressions on Twitter and Flickr photos,” Scott recalls. “But there’s also an offline component, such as how many hand-raisers we have – how many people have said ‘yes…I’m interested in hearing more about this vehicle when you’re ready to launch it.’”
50,000 hand raisers to be exact – 97% of which are not current customers. Plus a 38% level of awareness for vehicle that’s not even in America yet. “That’s the equivalent to some of our vehicles that have been in market for 2-3 years. Numbers like these are unheard of in this industry,” Scott said.
But what’s it all worth? Scott has an interesting take on counting things in social media.
“To ask what the ROI of social media is overall is the wrong question – it’s the right instinct but it’s the wrong question. It’s like asking what’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning – you know there is a value to it but it’s hard to quantify and if you don’t do it there’s consequences.”
According to Scott, running a social media program by chasing numbers is not the way to do it. “Social media is much more akin to public relations than to advertising or sales. The benefit is at the broad end of the funnel – the awareness, perception and knowledge – rather than the final intent to purchase. Direct mail and e-mail campaigns do that job much better.”
And for the future, Scott has a warning for all the PR pros still dangling their toe in the social media water.
“I think a lot of organizations need to get up to speed with where the technology is today,” Scott said. “We’re on the cutting edge right now, for a lot of reasons. But, social media is not completely mainstream. There are traditional PR methods that we will always use, no doubt about it. But today it’s about connecting social media to a marketing communications strategy. It’s how you think about how the three forms of media – paid, earned, and now owned – and how they interact with each other that will make the difference.”
Scott notes that traditionally each of these has lived in its own silo and has done its own job. “But there’s more possibility now in terms of leveraging one to help the other – we’re going to see a greater cumulative effect of digital media as a result.”
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Scott Monty is the Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager for Ford Motor Company. He is also the content creator for the Social Media Marketing Blog
, arguably the most visible and widely followed marketing communications blog in the social media space.