By Mike Turner
Scott Monty never imagined he’d be in this position — in charge of social media for Ford Motor Co. as the Dearborn-based automaker’s global digital communications manager.
Monty, 41, was a lifelong East Coast resident before being recruited to Ford in 2008, and he had embarked on a career in the medical industry after graduating from Boston University.
“If you asked me even five years ago if I thought I’d be at Ford Motor Co. of all places doing what I’m doing now, I couldn’t have imagined it,” Monty said. “And now it’s probably the best job I ever had. And I think it’s one of the best jobs at Ford Motor Co.”
The job Monty and Ford have done building a social media presence has garnered widespread praise within marketing and trade press circles. The company is widely acknowledged as a social media power, especially in comparison with other automakers (as one measurement, Ford’s Facebook page has roughly 900,000 “likes” by Facebook users, compared with around 300,000 for General Motors Corp. and 235,000 for Chrysler Group LLC). It has rolled out a string of measurably successful online campaigns that have helped it connect with customers and given Ford’s persona a lift.
For his part, Monty says that Ford’s revamped product line is the foundation of the company’s digital successes.
“You make products that people want and value,” he said. “When (company president and CEO) Alan Mullaly came to Ford in 2006, as he said, we took out our major home improvement loan. We went to our banks and got our plan financed, and then he plowed that money back into R&D. We used it to improve the product first. Once we knew we had superior products, then we started doing some interesting things with marketing, which is where something like the Fiesta Movement comes into play.”