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Huffington Post: Google and Apple Join Ford as Key Influencers in the Auto Industry

A Google Alert for my name went off yesterday afternoon and I was pleasantly surprised to find my name mentioned in the first few sentences of the article below which is written by the well known social media author and speaker Sam Fiorella. His article appears on Huffington Post... Check it out!

Google and Apple Join Ford as Key Influencers in the Auto Industry

A lot of focus has been directed towards influence marketing this past year by businesses seeking to sway public conversations and advocacy in their favor. In response, there's a growing list of social influence platforms and strategies professing to hold the key to identifying and measuring social influence. One of the leaders in this space is Appinions, an opinion-based influence marketing platform that identifies and measures the opinion leaders in various industries that form online conversations around products, brands and businesses.

 

During last week's New York Auto Show, they released a study entitled "Is Tech Swallowing Auto?", which offers some surprising insights. The report explores what is shaping influential conversations at the intersection of new vehicle purchasing and technology and identifies the major players in each category. The results confirm what many already know; luxury, safety, design, value and performance are all hot buttons in any discussion around marketing automobiles. What's surprising is the role that auto technology has played in shaping influence and who is driving that influence.

 

Apple Catches Up to Ford as Auto Industry Influencer

Apple Computers has made its mark on history as a market disruptor and, thanks to SIRI's "Eyes Free" mode, it's continuing that tradition in the auto industry. The report identifies other technology players who are joining the ranks of key influencers. Google, because of Google Maps and the data it collects on driving patterns, has become a major player in generating opinions in this market. As of Dec 2012, Google Maps was the second most popular mobile app, just behind Facebook. Microsoft, thanks to the SYNC technology installed in Ford vehicles, and AT&T with partners GM and OnStar round out the top influencers.

 

Tech Trumps Performance

Given that these technology companies have become as influential in the auto industry as car manufacturers, it's no surprise that the topic of auto technology represents the lion's share of interest in online conversations. Technology represents 35% of the share of influence, followed by performance at 22%, value at 19%, design at 12%, safety at 8% and luxury at 4%.

 

The Appinions platform and research team identified that fuel economy (44%) and connected cars (32%) were the dominant topics driving opinion and influence with discussions on automotive technologies.

 

People over Brands

Another interesting insight was how highly GM executives ranked as influencers even though Ford, Toyota, Audi, Google, and Telsa all ranked as more influential brands. Appinions identified that GM's executives were more outspoken in sharing their opinions publicly, especially on the topic of innovation.
This study highlights the importance of identifying the opinions being shared by people and businesses, and measuring their impact on public conversations. The opinions of these market leaders are generating public dialogue, which creates social proof that impacts the purchase decisions of consumers. Further, the source of those opinions and eventual influence may be generated from unlikely and unexpected sources.

 

Clearly, influence has become a powerful currency for brands when properly understood, identified and managed.

 

Share your thoughts on this subject. Has social influence become a new currency for brands? Are you surprised at Apple and Google's surge in influencing this market? Or that GM's executives rank so highly on automotive influence?

 

Follow Sam Fiorella on Twitter: www.twitter.com/samfiorella

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-fiorella/google-and-apple-join-fo...

Views: 232

Tags: Apple, Auto Industry, Ford, Google, Huffington Post, Join, Key Influencers, Ralph Paglia, Scott Monty

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Comment by Tom Gorham on April 3, 2013 at 9:37pm

Very nice!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on April 3, 2013 at 2:50pm

It is truly interesting to see how this citation was generated... From a blog post I submitted that was accepted by Social Media Today OVER A YEAR AGO!

Comment by Todd Vowell on April 3, 2013 at 5:11am

Ralph, call me when your a "FOX NEWS ALERT"! J/K Congrats bro, you da man!

Comment by Glenn Pasch on April 2, 2013 at 12:51pm

Congratulations Ralph. Well done

Comment by Brian Pasch on April 2, 2013 at 9:23am

Congrats Ralph...nice citation. 

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on April 2, 2013 at 7:49am

Evidently, YOU are also a mover and shaker in the industry, as well, Ralph! kudos. 

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