AKRON — Taking into account the upheaval in the consumer marketplace in 2020, Goodyear adjusted its marketing/advertising/promotion resources throughout the year to leverage social media and online content, company executives told Goodyear dealers during a virtual customer conference Dec. 7.
Goodyear's actions, which are expected to continue into 2021, reflect the rapid and unanticipated shift in the B2C market dynamic, Steve McClellan, president, consumer, said during the brief address to dealers.
"We took advantage of the spike in online shopping, making additional investments in online advertising and search to drive traffic to your stores," Mr. McClellan said, referencing the changes in consumer behavior as the COVID-19 pandemic spread and in-person shopping subsided considerably.
He noted that volume on the Goodyear corporate dealer locator increased "significantly" throughout the year, leading to increases in tire installations at dealer locations driven by searches on Goodyear.com.
In his presentation, Scott Rogers, president, consumer, North American Tire, noted the company's move to online marketing platforms was in part a reaction to the suspension of live sports, where Goodyear traditionally has a measurable presence.
"We opportunistically used the pandemic to expand our consumer reach beyond sports, leveraging these evolving consumer viewing habits," he said.
To that end, Mr. Rogers said, Goodyear increased its spending in channels and programming on platforms like Hulu, National Geographic and Good Morning America in order to reach a larger pool of potential tire buyers and drive shoppers to dealers' stores.
As live sports have restarted, Goodyear has resumed advertising in those arenas as well, Mr. Rogers noted. One new initiative is the "Goodyear Playoff Fan Picks" interactive program developed with sports programming network ESPN.
Both executives pointed out these shifts in the advertising/promotion are part of the company's "Driving Forward" initiative, which encompasses strategic moves in key areas such as original equipment supply and timely product development. The company also is working to alleviate product shortages in certain key areas by selective investments and an active product substitution strategy.