New Roads: Crowd Sourced Evaluations, Social Network Apps

Crowd-sourcing that eliminates the journalist’s evaluation of new cars has taken a new twist. According to a Marketing Daily news brief: “ is launching “Vehicle Rating Game” at Participants are asked to rate a set of cars on their appearance, luxuriousness and sportiness, and then are challenged to predict the average rating for each vehicle from all the other players. The game takes about five minutes to play and monthly winners will be awarded Visa gift cards worth up to $2,000. Rob Hardy, Product Manager of Consumer Preferences at Edmunds, is quoted: “Most importantly, the Vehicle Ratings Game data will ultimately be used to help automotive shoppers understand what kind of car is right for them.”

Also from Marketing Daily, Karl Greenberg reports: “Kelley Blue Book is going social with a new platform comprising five of its tools designed to integrate a virtual, dynamically updated KBB sticker on everything from a car window to sites like Facebook, Craigslist, and ebay Motors — and even personal blogs and Twitter. The product, called the Seller’s Toolkit, is free through Private Party Pricing Report on” Cy Scott, KBB senior software engineer, told Marketing Daily that with the new sticker, “You can walk up to a car, point a cell phone at the QR code, scan it, see the current value, and get more information about the car.” There’s a social –network app, a direct link for email or Twitter, and a widget version for web sites, each with instant update capability. Scott summarized, “In the past you would see a car on a lot, look it up and see a different price. This is a level playing field between buyer and seller because the value you get is for the exact vehicle condition, and mileage options. Everyone’s on the same page.”

Jumpstart Automotive Group adds Cycle World to its marketing and publishing network. A part of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Jumpstart Automotive Marketing Company represents 13 automotive websites that include Vehix, Consumer Guide Automotive, JD Power Autos, Autos, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Cycle World, carsoup, U.S.News, hybridcars, cargurus, truecar and plugincars. . . . Automobile Magazine is now available from Zumboi as a free mobile application for Iphone and iPod devices. . . . Lou Ann Hammond has launched a new web site: to better describe her long-standing video/podcast blog that regularly features interviews with industry leaders and experts,