Jim Farley, group vice president of global marketing and communications for Ford, recently told Advertising Age that Ford plans a different approach to marketing its 2011 model Focus. The new Focus will debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month.
Instead of using many different campaigns and approaches, Ford will be using the same type of execution regardless of whether the car is being advertised online, at an event or on television. Farley said, “We really have changed the approach on how we work together as global and regional marketing teams and public relations in the way we will go to market and take waste out of the system.”
Farley also noted that in the past the different Ford’s North America, European and Asian marketing directors did not work together on strategies such as how many websites should be used to launch a new model, how to use auto shows for pre-launch or how to unify public relations strategies.
The great-great granddaughter of founder Henry Ford, Elena Ford, is now director in charge of global sales, marketing and service operations, and is vital to the unification of marketing efforts. She reports directly to Farley.
On the product side, a similar effort to unify development and purchasing has been named “One Ford” and is aimed at shedding waste and simplifying things for the company. For example, when the Focus was first released in 1999, the U.S. model was very different from the European version. To give the company global economies of scale, Ford will now be making the same Focus based model in Europe and Asia.
In fall of next year, the 2011 Focus will be available around the globe. Pre-launch activities begin when the car is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Farley did not comment on the exact pre-launch marketing plan, but he did mention social media as a way to get the word out and raise awareness of the new Fiesta model, which will be available in mid 2010.
After just one year of ride to drive events, social media marketing and 100 free 6-month test drives for young American drivers, Ford reports that name awareness for the Fiesta is comparable to what the Edge and Flex had after two years of traditional advertising. Expectations are that the new Focus will be marketed in a similar fashion, considering the success of the ongoing Fiesta campaign.