It looks definitely curious, but the Japanese automaker has plans to follow the likes of PepsiCo, AT&T and other important brands and acquire equity stakes in digital-marketing startups and other such enterprises to raise its technology prowess.
Up until now, the company has taken what itself calls “lots of small and frequent, calculated risks with new social tools, platforms, technologies and partnerships.” Soon though, Nissan might even make bolder moves and invest into such small companies that have created and developed niches in the world of social and digital media.
“It would be a fantastic way for us to discover great companies that can help us be more effective in marketing before they hit it big and everyone discovers them,” says Erich Marx, Nissan’s director of social media. “We’re not afraid of trying something new and even failing. The holy grail is to actually take equity stakes.”
The list of social-media experiments has taken Nissan to Reddit, the revived MySpace, a new virtual-driving promotion with Google called “The Detour,” and now the company even has a Marketing Innovation Lab whose aim is go out and seek startups.
As it ventures on a new terrain, Nissan has partnered with Techstars to guide them into new investments, as the latter company already provides initial funding from more than 75 firms or angel investors and mentorship to the tech startups.