Seth Godin’s blog this past week uses the analogy of digital parking meters to explain that ‘the same but better’ isn’t always better. We need to allow ourselves to invent and reinvent to get the best results.
“Just about every traditional non-digital solution is bounded by the limits of mechanics. Once we start connecting (and the connection revolution won’t rest until it’s all connected) then the problem can be reset—we can find the best solution, not a better way to solve it the old way.”
Taking direct mail, for example, and making it digital by sending the same message through email isn’t innovative on its own; we need to reinvent how we communicate with customers based on their needs and what works best for a particular channel. Now, in the age of the customer, consumers won’t wait for us to catch up to how they want to interact, they’ll just turn to the competitor that seems to understand them best and who consistently sends them the right message at the optimal time.
Ford has made an edgy choice in communicating differently to customers with their “Go Further” campaign. The decision for the campaign to be presented completely without mention of Ford or the Ford logo is risky, and has brought about a lot of discussion as to whether or not this is the best move. Advertisers are used to mentioning the brand they’re selling at every possible opportunity.
Ford is looking to get customers intrigued enough to find out on their own which brand the ad represents, prompted to do so because they like what they see, not because of any preconceived notions about Ford. Then, once they follow the link to GoFurther.com, they’re let in on the secret – that they’ve liked Ford all along. It’s an interesting approach, and certainly isn’t failing in hits.
“Five years ago, if you’d done [an ad like] that, people wouldn’t know what to do,” said Jim Farley, group VP, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “That kind of curiosity, and reward in finding out, is an important part of the campaign.”
Social Media has changed the way consumers communicate and how they shop. Ford has taken a leap of a faith in a completely new campaign direction based on the wants and needs of their customers. The rest of us in the ‘connection revolution’ need to do the same.
Watch Ford’s “Go Further” ad here: