Mitsubishi goes social with i intro
Ryan Beene is a reporter for Automotive News.
How do you market a small, quirky electric vehicle on a shoestring budget?
For Mitsubishi Motors North America's i all-electric car, the answer is social media and digital marketing, the brand's U.S. marketing boss says.
Greg Adams, vice president of marketing and product planning, says more than half of the i's launch budget will be spent on social media and digital advertising. That compares with roughly 15 percent for the brand's overall marketing budget.
The Mitsubishi i will be available for retail sales in January.
Mitsubishi has a Facebook profile for the i, with interactive content that can be accessed only by clicking the "Like" button. So far, with no outside promotion other than prominent placement on Mitsubishi's main Facebook page, the i's profile has a little more than 3,000 "Likes."
That is part of the groundwork Adams says will help spread the word about the i as additional elements are rolled out over the next six months.
The next step: Online ads go live this month and in August. Adams says the ads will appear on information pages for the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf at third-party vehicle research sites such as Edmunds.com.
Those ads will precede event marketing efforts this fall, although Adams declined to give details.
Mitsubishi also plans to generate buzz about the i by giving bloggers and others who are heavily involved in social media some experience with the vehicle before its launch.
An ad campaign for mobile devices also is in the works.
The car, which has a battery-powered range of about 75 miles, is based on a Mitsubishi city car sold in Japan and Europe.
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