“It’s extremely important to us to interact with our custom-
ers, and especially through digital channels,” Schoonover says.
“They are interested in getting to know us as a brand, so for
those people we want to have relationships with them and let
Kia has also found digital success in its multi-channel adver-
tising, Schoonover says.
“It was rare for a consumer to experience a TV ad one time
and all of a sudden have their entire life changed. It’s no dif-
ferent with the Internet now,” Schoonover says. “They have
to experience you as a brand over time. Consumers see us on
a site like CNN.com, then once on a mobile app and once on
their iPad, but the important thing is for these experiences to tie
together. Instead of just giving customers little bits of an experi-
ence here or there, you’ve now tied those together to create an
Schoonover cites its Big
Game Effort campaign in
combination with its social
media push as a great example
of Kia’s foray into DR across
multiple channels. After the
Sorento campaign aired during
the Super Bowl, activity on
Kia’s traditional site as well as
Facebook and Twitter pages
increased by four to five times.
Kia maintained an active pres-
ence on all platforms afterward
to encourage continued conver-
sation between the brand and
its customer base.
“What was great about it
was that the customers were not
only talking about liking the
Sorento specifically, but also
about liking the brand,” Schoonover says. “There was a very
positive and passionate response to our brand, and it could be
No. 1 priority because, first and foremost, our site is a shopping
McKenna refers to BMW’s site as “80 percent for shopping
purposes, 20 percent for existing loyalists,” and says customers
can request to be contacted by a dealer, search for pre-owned
vehicles, browse brochures and build virtual BMWs.
“There are a lot of action items or lead generators on our
site,” McKenna says. “We’re very careful to separate a hand-
raiser or someone who is simply requesting more information
from someone who wants to be contacted and interacted with.
We want to be mindful of that.”
BMW, whose site, at No. 9, ranked far above the industry’s
average determined by J.D. Power and Associates’ study, has also
used its Web site as a research tool, carefully tracking what terms
are searched most by visitors. For example, BMW more seriously
focused on diesel products after seeing increased user interest.
“(Diesel) was already in the
pipeline from a product standpoint, but (seeing it show up in
our search function) ramped up
the urgency to get that content
on the Web site for customers.
That’s a great example of the
consumers driving what our
content is,” McKenna says.
While BMW’s main Web
site remains dedicated to rich
content, the company also
uses it to drive traffic to social
media, a channel the manufac-
turer has embraced as an outlet
to have fun with its brand
loyalists. Users can send virtual
BMW’s foray into social media marketing has not gone un-
noticed. Forbes magazine recently ranked the company’s Graf-
fiti Car Contest — a Facebook art competition as part of the 1
Series Coupe initiative — one of the “Best Ever Social Media
Campaigns.” Users were invited to submit artwork using the
social networking site’s graffiti application, and the campaign
solicited more than 9,000 submissions and 500,000 votes.
Kia used its Sorento campaign, which aired during the Super Bowl,
along with its social media push to target consumers across multiple
channels. After the television ad aired, activity on Kia’s Web site,
Facebook and Twitter page increased by four to five times.
The ‘Largest Showroom’
BMW’s marketing team frequently takes a task-based approach to its Web site, but has recently embraced the real-time
benefits of online DR advertising. Its most notable DR efforts
include utilizing the Web site as a place for consumers to voice
their interests and interact with the brand.
“We often refer to bmwusa.com as our largest showroom because it has about 2. 8 million unique visitors per month. It’s a
significant traffic driver,” says Patrick McKenna, manager, marketing communications and consumer events for BMW. “You
can access financial services, enter contests for tickets to events
and build any one of 54 different models right on the site. It’s a
content-rich site and there’s a lot of complexity, but this is our
Right Place at the Right Time
Mazda, which jumped to No. 3 in J.D. Power and Associates’
study after being ranked sixth last year, says it aims to provide a
branded experience that conveys the enthusiasm of the car company while keeping site performance at optimal standards.
“Our tool sets are very strong, thorough and intuitive,” says
David Harris, group manager, digital and alternative marketing