Smart Marketing: Small Moves Add Up Big

I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while, but life has kept me pretty busy and I wanted to devote the necessary time to give this article the respect it deserves. A few weeks ago on twitter I noticed some pictures of a sleek new 9-5 Aero with some huge custom painted wheels.

Sure it’s a sweet ride, but the tweet that accompanied it is what really caught my attention.

Read moreSmart Marketing: Small Moves Add Up Big

Saab Twitter Links

One day we might look at Twitter and say “Oh, that was so 2010” but for now, for me, it’s a very handy way to keep in touch and find out information that I might not otherwise have access to.

I thought I’d post some of the Saaby Twitter accounts that I subscribe to. You might find them handy as well.

And of course, if you’ve got some other Saab-related Twitter accounts that you follow and I haven’t listed them here, please let me know in comments.

The Saabs United Twitter account is @saabsunited and Eggs has his own account at @eggsngrits. I use the SU account to publicise selected posts from SU, as well as using it as my own personal account.

@elkparts is the account for site sponsor, Elkparts, and features a lot of good info that John gets his hands on.

@RGS_SAAB is the account for General Sales Saab in West Chester, PA. It’s pretty new, but they’re looking to engage a bit more.

Likewise, @NewSalemSaab is the account for New Salem Saab in Albany, NY. Darryl Carl has been sharing quite a bit of good technical information on this account, as well as on their Facebook page.

@Sandervd is one of the marketing guys for Spyker and always has a lot of good stuff, especially during race meetings!

@SaabNewsINTL doesn’t get used much, but might be worth a follow.

@SpykerSquadron is essential if you’re into motorsport

@Autoline is a good one if you’re into John McElroy’s work (which I am). It can be a bit overloaded with sponsor stuff and show announcements, but it’s handy to know what’s happening and when.

@genuinesaab doesn’t get used enough, but when Nick Taliaferro posts something you’ll be up to date.

@ShawSaab is the account for Shaw Saab in Norwell, MA. They post some good stuff.

@Autoextremist is the account for Peter DeLorenzo, Detroit opinionator extraordinaire

@Speedparts is the account for the Swedish tuning house of the same name.

@Tiff_TV is the account for Fifth Gear’s Tiff Needell. Great stuff!

@sniffpetrol should need no introduction.

@peterbackstrom is the account for the modern Mr Saab and Director of the Saab Museum in Trollhattan, Peter Backstrom.

@JoeFromSaab will give you the occasional gem from one of Saab’s PR gurus, Joe Oliver. Likewise, @SaabNewsroom will update whenever there’s a new post on the Saab Newsroom website.

Happy Tweeting!

And as mentioned, if you’ve got any other handy ones, please leave them in comments.

Spyker at 1000km of Spa – enthusiast goodness

I just wanted to take a little time and congratulate the Spyker Squadron team – not on their race result (I’ve done that already) – but on the way they kept people informed as to what was going on.
I imagine the Spyker enthusiast community, like the brand itself, is reasonably small at this stage. That didn’t stop them from giving everyone the chance to stay up to date as easily as possible.
I’ll get to how in a minute, but the lesson to be learned is this: Size doesn’t matter. With good preparation and just a little time and commitment, any organisation can bring some action and closeness to their customer/fan base.
How Spyker Squadron did it:
Website – the Spyker Squadron website carries all the detail. It has the full releases, which are posted in a timely manner when there’s an event on. These releases provide the meat in the meal and of course, the website also has all the technical and historical information for people to access at the same time.
Facebook – everyone’s on it, including the Spyker Squadron. I don’t tend to use Facebook much as I find it’s got too many tangents. But it’s easy to cross-post stuff from one place to the other and keep everyone who uses it up to date.
Video – The thing that really, really impressed me was their prompt use of quality video – right from the heat of the action. They had a HD camera there and they recorded laps, interviews with the drivers about their laps, the car setup, etc. Best of all, they got the videos online in a timely manner. The qualifying video was up before the race started, so as an observer, you felt like to you were right there watching the action before the next chapter in the story was told.
The other great thing about video is that in comparison to written content, there’s less of it around. Written content attracts all sorts of spambots that copy it paste it in an attempt to attract search traffic. It won’t kill the original author’s ranking or authority stone dead, but it does muddy the waters. When people look for things, it’s easier to rank high in searches when you’ve got quality video.
Twitter – this was the other magic element of Spyker Squadron’s coverage that kept people up to date. Like many Twitter users, I’ve got a Twitter client embedded in my web browser so it’s no trouble at all to stay right up to date with what’s going on. Again, they had someone posting updates as the race progressed. At 140 characters per Tweet, it’s piecemeal stuff, but it gets the message across and keeps the people up to date. They can forward the Tweets along to others, as well, meaning that the reach of your message is virtually without limit.
Bottom line: this was an exercise in things done well. Short of having a live camera in the pit lane or something similar, this was an efficient and useful way for Spyker Squadron to involve their fans in the unfolding story that was the 1000km of Spa.
Put it this way – I was interested but I wasn’t what you’d call a huge fan of Spyker Squadron or the LMS series before last weekend. Now, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be checking in at LeMans, the next race on their calendar.
If you’ve got a story to tell and a fan base that you want to engage, then there’s no real barriers any more to telling it in an engaging way and in real time.
The tools are all there. They’re not expensive. In fact, the biggest expense is the person you get to be the narrator. The rest of it can be as automatic as you want it to be.
So kudos to Spyker Squadron on a job well done – on the racetrack and on the information superhighway as well.

Feedback time: Saab online

An article appeared in a Swedish computer magazine in the last few days, talking about Saab’s increased efforts in cyberspace, particularly with regard to social media.
The publication is called and the article appears here.
The following are some Googletrans snippets:

When the recent crisis was at its worst, Saab responded to the negative press with openness instead of silence. In just six months, Saab has established itself through Facebook, Twitter and Youtube and they have reached people they have never had contact with before.
A turbulent year for Saab Automobile has put enormous demands on management. There were national headlines in the media and negative rumors that the company suddenly faced a crossroads.
– We had two choices: to refuse to say anything and ignore all the negative press and to dare to take the step to become more transparent. We made a conscious choice to become more open and focus on brand building” says Johan Grundin, director of interactive marketing at Saab.
It was the start of Saab’s commitment to social media…….

They go on to speak about the presence that’s been built up, particularly with the Saab Newsroom.
Then there’s a little bit about the future:

The next big step will be to get to grips with what is said on the Web and do their own material on it.
– When the magazine Auto Motor Sport, for example, do an in-depth story on the new Saab 9-5, we can follow up the story on our website by, for example, video interviews with the developers behind the product. We will work much more quickly to pick up current issues and make our own materials based on it,” he says.
He stresses the importance of the business running quickly and not missing any chances when it comes to social media…..
….The only risk he sees is not having enough resources to be involved enough in the channels.

This is really good news and whilst I haven’t written about it for a while, those of you who go back to the Trollhattan Saab days of this website might recall that I’ve encouraged this for a long time.
There is so much of the Saab story that hasn’t been told and one of the things that’s a great hook for people is an interesting history. I know it hooked me in.
I’m very encouraged to hear that Saab are taking this medium, and the possibility of interacting more with their customers, so seriously. It really does have massive possibilities for building interest and loyalty.
I guess the big question now is…..
How do you find contact with Saab is working out? Do you frequent the various outlets they use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, the Newsroom? Is there anything happening with the Widget?
What do you use most and how do you find it works for you?
I’m sure there are several sets of eyes in Trollhattan who’d like to know.
Thanks to Hampus the young bloke!

Tuesday night snippets – the news edition

There’s a couple of stories floating around the web that I’ll tie together here rather than dedicate to individual posts.
—— on Mark Bishop’s trail
There was a big article in Sweden’s Dagens Industri newspaper in the last couple of days. They were trying to track down The Koenigsegg Group’s mysterious shareholder, Mark Bishop, but seemingly without success.
They even went to the trouble of sending some reporters to California, but they were met with closed doors.
If there was anything worthwhile in the report that we didn’t already know, perhaps one of you Swedes could share some dot points with us? The report is not online as yet.

Leases back in town for UK market.
Some good news for British Saabers and dealers alike.
Lease providers in the UK, who had previously suspended writing up Saab leases due to uncertainty surrounding the company, have started doing business with Saab again.

Now an agreement has been reached between General Motors and the Swedish sports car maker, Koenigsegg, which should see Koenigsegg take control Saab within weeks.
As a result, lease companies here are revising their Saab policies again.
“We are writing business on Saab,” confirmed Mark Sinclair managing director of multi-marque provider, Alphabet.
“We have reconsidered our stance recently and have improved our rates accordingly.”

It’s nice to see a little bit of confidence, eh?
Not all lease providers have jumped on the bandwagon, with some still waiting to see what happens. Here’s hoping for some [K]-egg on their faces soon 🙂
Thanks to Karen, in comments!

One of the reasons I’m getting back into Twitter, is to catch all the things that don’t make the headlines on various websites. I’ll be using it the same way.
Like tonight, where the Saab Newsroom posted a link to a new-old Saab 95 video from 1961 they’ve uploaded to Youtube.
Other Saabers you can follow include Joe Oliver from Saab’s PR division and Peter Backstrom from the Saab Museum.

Opel no diamond
News continues to circulate about the Opel deal being far from over.

General Motors has stepped up negotiations with rival suitors to offload a stake in Opel/Vauxhall, its European carmaking business, and could sign at least one memorandum of understanding this week as talks with Magna International, preferred bidder, have hit obstacles.

Fiat’s offer is still on the table and both RHJ and BAIC are said to be considering raised offers very soon.
It’s worth bearing in mind that whilst we’re all very hopeful, the deal with Koenigsegg isn’t done yet, either.
They’re in the midst of their due diligence inspections right now, but that’s not open ended and one would guess there’ll have to be some hardcore negotiations and signatures sooner rather than later.

Money for pleasure
Via Jalopnik, a rare example of the undisputed #1 sex-on-wheels exclusomobile is for sale on Craigslist.
There’s no nudity in that ad but it could still be considered NSFW just because of the car.

Saabs United (again) on Twitter

I had a temporary Twitter account some time ago but lack of use and/or a useful client led me to cancel the account.
I just wanted those who are Twitterers to know that SU now has an account set up, and I’ll hopefully be tweeting on a semi-regular basis.
No, it won’t be a case where every new post is tweeted. In fact, I don’t have an automated post tweeter set up and have no intention to do so. It’ll just be normal Twitter activity, both Saaby and non-Saaby.
If you’re on Twitter, feel free to hook up @SaabsUnited
If not, then move on. Nothing to see here….

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