Ford CEO Mark Fields: Interactive Online Experiences Key to Car Sales [Video]

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Ford Motor Company President and CEO Mark Fields stressed the importance of interactivity when connecting with consumers using online channels.

“We have to make sure that in our marketing efforts we’re first-off thinking about online channels, and not just traditional advertising,” Fields told me.

“We want to make sure, obviously, that the visuals are appropriate for that platform, but we also want to make it very interactive.”

Consumers can expect to see more interactivity from Ford in its online marketing in the coming year.

“I think what you’ll see from us over time is that we’ll make it more and more interactive, so that when…customers are online, it’s as much a real-world experience as possible,” Fields said.

Fields was referring to car buyers interested in the latest Ford models, but all marketers can benefit from creating interactive online experiences in 2015.

Appealing to the senses—sight, sound, touch, and even that “new car smell”—is challenging for online marketers, but marketers can create an emotional experience for prospective buyers (and move them further down the sales funnel) through personalized videos, customized content, and interactive elements.

Consumers today view an average of 12 pieces of content before making a purchase (or even contacting a sales representative). Marketers should create content that addresses consumers’ needs at each stage of the buying cycle and strives to evoke the desired emotional response in addition to informing them.

For example, Ford unveiled the 2016 GT to a packed house of car enthusiasts and auto industry media at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS 2015) in Detroit this week.

Those in attendance crowded around the car, hoping for a glimpse of the interior, eager to touch the leather seats and put their hands on the steering wheel. Watching video content about the unveiling can create feelings of anticipation and excitement similar to what attendees felt at the live event.

Do you create interactivity in your online marketing?

Disclosure: Ford Motor Company sponsored Kerry O’Shea Gorgone’s trip to NAIAS 2015 in Detroit.

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