But that does not mean simply adding more digital marketing, she said. Instead, “we are shifting our mindset to be marketers in a digital world, where digital programs are core to how we interact with consumers, because it's time to ensure that we match evolving consumer behavior with all of our marketing efforts.”
In 2017, she anticipates the consumer tire unit will reach more than 7 million visitors on its website and more than 1.5 million followers on social media. In addition, the company expects to drive more than 100,000 calls from the Bridgestone website to its dealers' stores through its dealer locator.
Bridgestone's DriveGuard run-flat tire will continue to be a focus in 2017, Ms. Holm said.
“DriveGuard continues to add a significant halo to the Bridgestone brand,” she said, “as people who see DriveGuard advertising are more likely to say that Bridgestone is innovative, is a leading brand and is a premium tire worth paying for.”
For the Firestone brand, the company expects to drive more than 14 million visits to its website, will engage with 1.5 million users on social media and drive more than 300,000 calls from the company's Firestone website to dealers' stores, Ms. Holm said.
In addition, the company will continue to build on its “Drive with Firestone” campaign with more “Truck Stuff,” a program launched in 2016 to drive growth in the Firestone Destination and Transforce light truck tire lines.
“Next year we will take Truck Stuff to the next level with new product launches, new television advertising and increased social activation and in-store presence,” Ms. Holm said.
To help drive sales of Firestone and Bridgestone tires, the company will offer four store promotions covering 24 weeks in 2017 to drive consumers to dealers' outlets: for Bridgestone in the spring and fall, for Firestone in the summer and a new Firestone Truck Stuff promotion in October. The latter promotion drew spontaneous applause from dealers at the meeting.
To help dealers sell more tires, BATO is offering several selling tools. These include:
• Tire Navigator, a proprietary big data tool launched in 2015 that helps predict tire demand in the U.S. down to a micro market level. Through it Bridgestone can make individual inventory recommendations to tire dealers based on that demand, said Chris Tavares, director of sales operations.
Tire Navigator links millions of data points in one tool, including the OE information for car manufacturers selling vehicles in the U.S. and the registrations for 259 million registered vehicles since 1961.