“It starts with the product …”

TakeAway: Consumers are still cash-strapped, but that hasn’t stopped Ford from selling more cars. The company’s sales were up 19% last month, and its year-to-date sales increased 21% versus the last year.  Ford’s secret?  “It all starts with product.”  Because without product, there’s nothing to market!

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Excerpted from Forbes, “Ford: How To Maintain A Sales Streak In Tough Times” By Elaine Wong, November 5, 2010

Ford’s VP of U.S. marketing, sales and service describes how Ford is tapping into social media and consumer trends toward vehicle customization, fuel efficiency and higher product quality to drive sales in an economic downturn.

Ford’s product development team has been focused on their four pillars – quality, green, safety and smart. The sales and marketing team  has done a lot of work to transform the image of Ford to being not just a company that makes the bestselling truck [F-Series] in America for 33 years or the Mustang, but a company that delivers products that are fun to drive.

Ford has a program called Drive One 4 UR School, where thousands of dealers help support local high schools, many of which are under a lot of financial stress. Fundraisers give people a chance to test drive new products. People aren’t naturally inclined to go to the dealer to get a new car when they go to a school event, but if they’re test driving it to help raise funds for their school and as part of a no-pressure environment, they may reconsider.

Ford is continuing its “rant” style of advertising when launching its new campaign for the F-150.  The ads cut through the clutter, have great recall among consumers and, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, more kinds of advertising with the “rant” style are being used in Iots of other commercials.

Edit by AMW

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Full Article:
http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/05/ford-sales-strategy-economy-social-media-elaine-wong-cmo-network_print.html

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