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Domopalooza 2023 – driving social media insights at Ford

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan March 30, 2023
Summary:
Car buying has become a digital market, meaning that manufacturers need to be up to speed on their brand health. Ford has rolled out a consolidated social analytics platform, built on Domo.

ford

Ford CEO Jim Farley has stated his belief that the car buying experience needs to go entirely online. The way consumers buy cars is rapidly evolving, with potential purchasers tapping into online resources to research and compare pricing, features and reviews. That makes it mission-critical for automotive companies to be able to build and maintain a positive brand image in what is now a digital marketplace. 

To that end, Ford teamed up with data science specialist RXA to develop a modern social analytics platform that could connect all major social media platform data, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok, into Domo. With this data, the team built reporting dashboards to act as the elusive single source of truth for all social media analytics. This social analytics platform also includes Voice of the Customer data from RXA's AutoVoCx application and Brandwatch, allowing the Ford team to quickly understand brand perception in the marketplace, adding important context to the social analysis.

It’s a solution that addresses a number of defiencies that Ford needed to deal with, recalls Ben Kocsis, Global Communications Insights Analyst at the motor manufacturer: 

We had various pain points across our team, including lack of efficiency in producing monthly reports,  limited ability to quickly answer questions from the marketing and communications teams, and difficulty understanding the relationships across the earned, organic, owned and paid media spaces. 

Our teams were spending so much time manually logging into different platforms, running searches, exporting data into Excel, producing PowerPoint reports. This created a tedious, inefficient process that took time away from deeper insights around what content is resonating among consumers, how effective campaigns are, and how the organic conversation is aligning with the messaging that we're pushing out. 

Ultimately, we were spending too much time in the data collection phase, so that by the time we could turn around and deliver to our internal teams, we were at risk of being outdated since the behavior and conversation is changing so rapidly. We needed a solution to help us consolidate our data into one place and allow us to work in real-time.

Benefits

The roll out of the new platform has quickly delivered benefits, with the prospect of more to come. Kocsis explains: 

The most immediate impact was felt by our own social team, which now has all data across all of our Ford social channels consolidated into one single dashboard view. What this did is it took days out of the process of assembling their monthly snapshot, which is now allowing the team to spend a lot more time in understanding the sentiment behind the conversation and generating insights across the platforms, versus staying strictly within a platform-by platform base. The RXA team did a really outstanding job of taking a PowerPoint report and replicating the formatting into Domo so that we didn't miss anything from a metric standpoint.

In terms of the near term, we're really seeing a lot of the immediate efficiency gains that the social team saw, have a similar effect across a lot of our other thinking. I like to think of this as more of a mindset shift in how we, as a team, are approaching a lot of the questions were being asked and the deliverables we're outputting. 

Earlier this week, Kocsis came across an example of how this is working in practice: 

Our team was huddling and we're already thinking about ideas of how we can start linking to Domo dashboards in weekly insights newsletters, in order to give people within Ford direct access to the data, while also delivering better insights to them that are more 'snack-sized' and easy to adjust.

There’s also discussion underway about what other datasets can be incorporated into Domo, with Kocsis citing brand health as a case in point: 

A couple of weeks ago, our Chief Communications Officer asked us to complete a request, and it took about 10 hours for the team to really pull it together. Doing a post analysis of how we could do better, ingesting that data into Domo would have shaved that down to a maximum of two hours to complete the same request. So that not only gets our Chief Communications Officer the answers he's looking for a lot faster, but it also allows us to spend additional time going deeper and further, beyond what was originally asked.

Looking further down the road, there are other potential gains to be made, he argues: 

We do see some incredible long term opportunity. As Ford transitions to a lean operating system across the enterprise, our teams are going to be heavily focused on tracking various objectives month-to-month. So with such a large focus on tracking progress over time, we're going to need an accurate and efficient way to share updates with a team, and Domo really provides that. We'll be able to provide those teams with real-time views into the social and earned conversations, allowing them to better understand what's on consumers minds and adapt to changes in the market.

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