In an industry not known for cutting edge connectivity, Caterpillar, a conservative firm with blue-collar roots stemming from its Peoria, Illinois headquarters, was recognized by U.S. News as one of America's Most Connected Companies, not only because it incorporates social media as an extension of its marketing strategy, but because it has begun to use it to include customer preferences in the design of its trucks.
Caterpillar's plan is to have a social media expert embedded within each product group. "If we're trying to market globally from a central point of view in Peoria, Illinois, it won't be successful," Espinosa said.
Social media must be synchronized with other marketing channels, he says. "You want to integrate it with other efforts. Make sure there's a long-term plan around each product group. We need to know the region and the language they communicate in," he says.