For my final chapter in my Ford/NAIAS adventure I want to write about Ford’s marketing efforts directed specifically at this so called “Community Influencer” group. Besides focusing on the traditional auto industry press, they flew out something like 150 bloggers and tweeters, put them up in a hotel, bussed them around Detroit… and then crossed their fingers, hoping that they would say nice things about the Ford Fusion. A risky experiment to be sure… did it pay off for them?
The face of this event was Scott Monty, a blogger and tweeter who runs Fords social media program, (as well as a personal site about Sherlock Holmes). He wore a tie, which made him stand out amongst his guests. The influencers themselves were a hugely diverse group: I spent time talking to folks who run gadget websites, farms, parenting advice sites, eco/green sites, as well as one of the most popular photographers on Google+. I don’t know who made the roster selection- if it was the Ford folks or the reps from Ogilvy, but from my perspective it seemed like they had done their homework, with one notable exception.