Author Archives: juditpongracz

More cars- Tesla vs Maserati

Like many, I was a bit surprised when I watched a 90 second Super Bowl ad not knowing up until the last 3 seconds that it’s about the Maserati Ghibli 2014. As a Super Bowl newbie (don’t judge), I thought it was a long and expensive ad, but I only realized the significance of it later: Maserati has never run any ad before in the US and the particular model, Ghibli is newly introduced in 2014 as the ‘baby-Quattroporte’, the Italian car manufacturer’s first foray into the under 100k, luxury mid/full-size category.

Although the Tesla Model S is firmly in the full-size category, the entry price points of the two cars (~$70k) and the fact that both are out of the ordinary luxury vehicles make them competitors (if you can ever call any luxury car ordinary).

Market Context

I believe Tesla needs no introduction, but it’s interesting to know that their European expansion plans are very healthy: they launched Model S in August 2013, sold about 7,000 cars since in Europe and they are aiming for 10,000 cars per year by 2015, just in Germany. Sales volume is still by far the highest in the US, but the Tesla top sales list has 10 European countries, with Norway leading from second spot.

Maserati on the other hand has 30-40% of its sales coming from the US, the rest is dispersed in various other regions, Asia and Middle East included. Said to be the rough diamond of Fiat Chrysler with great profit upside potential, Maserati now wants to capitalize on the economic upturn and the cachet of the brand by targeting a sales volume of 10,000 Ghiblis in the US for 2014. Their cheapest model thus far was the Quattroporte for a mere $102k.

Social media presence

Based on analysis from socialmention, Tesla is definitely leading in brand strength, but Maserati’s much higher passion score could mean that there’s a strong, tight advocacy group of influencers who like the brand.





Looking at the peaks and troughs from the Topsy analytics however, we see a less balanced view and the Tesla Model S social media buzz is more lively than the Maserati, not just at the notable point on 04/13/14, when a cartoon on Tesla ownership was published.


We do however have to take into account other differences:

– Aside from the obvious electric car aspect, the Tesla Model S has been around for a while to build a loyal following, but the Ghibli 2014 is the new kid on the block, with much lower brand recognition in the US.

– Elon Musk’s Klout score is 86. Anyone heard of Harald Wester or Peter Grady? Thought so.


– Looking at the socialmention measures several times over the course of 24 hours, fluctuations in social media activity show regional differences: daytime in Europe tends to improve on the Maserati metrics, but US West Coast time zone sees a lot of Tesla chatter. The emphasis in target markets for both brands is just the opposite, as per above, so the marketing campaigns make sense: Super Bowl ad for Maserati and free performance configuration for the Autobahn for German Tesla customers. (Keeping in mind that Model S is closer to $100k in Europe.)

– Like with all social media presence, exact measurements for intent to buy and conversion are hard to establish, and it was long debated that luxury products don’t mesh well with the openness of social media, companies thinking that it would dilute the exclusivity of their product. That said, Maserati Ghibli had to create brand awareness very fast to compete with other vehicles in its category and to try punch above its weight. If we accept that the intent of their campaign is to send customers window-shopping and convert them in-store (like many other luxury retailers), then the response to the Super Bowl ad hints at success: new car searches on the Kelley Blue Book site for the Ghibli has increased by 4,250% after the ad aired. However, follow-up on social media channels was probably not as strong as it could have been.

By the way, the cartoon is pretty funny too:

And of course: #NoTESTAndy


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ROOTS- Shelter for young adults

R.O.O.T.S (Rising Out Of The Shadows) is a Seattle organization providing shelter to young adults. Besides their own website, they have two main social media channels: Facebook and Twitter, with the latter being a fairly new account.

–Does it look like they follow a content calendar?

They don’t appear to have a specific content calendar, but their posts follow their real-life events closely with great portrayal of milestones.

–How many people contribute to the social channels?

It looks like the content is centrally curated, so likely one person (or a small team) is the main contributor.

–What is the message they are getting across?

Their message is that ROOTS is a no-judgment zone, a positive environment for the young homeless, supporting guests regardless of their reason for turning to ROOTS. They convey a professional, but upbeat image.

–Who are they trying to reach?

The tone and topic of the posts vary and speak universally to their target audience of young adults looking for shelter for the night, potential volunteers as well as the general public for donations.


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Where do you want to work today?

One could argue that Amazon and Microsoft compete in a few product/service categories only, but they also pit themselves against each other on another level every day, especially in the Seattle metro area: talent acquisition.

It would be unimaginable nowadays for a multinational company not to have an online presence, especially the size of these heavy-hitters. It is also equally expected that the online content strategy caters to all the stakeholders of a company and that includes prospective employees.

Creating an attractive employer brand online demands engaging and relevant content tailored to the target audience; no different than brand management in general.

Both Amazon and Microsoft have social media channels dedicated to careers, mostly separated from their main channels.


From the comparison above, it appears Microsoft has a wider reach, both from the perspective of potential candidates engaged and the number of social media channels used for this specific purpose.

Looking at the frequency of posting, Microsoft wins again:


Further qualitative analysis shows that Microsoft’s posts have higher information value to candidates: in addition to the ubiquitous job postings both companies do, Microsoft shares more content about search strategies including interviewing tips, inspiring employee success stories (#ICreatedThis) and campus pictures/videos intended to convey the culture.

Consistency of messaging across the channels is also more apparent in the case of Microsoft Careers.

In conclusion, the picture painted by Microsoft is more transparent, informative and projects the image of a company with a social culture that is in line with their external employment related accolades and awards.

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