Motor Co. is aligning its global marketing initiatives as it begins to roll out a slew of new vehicles that will benefit from a great degree of commonality in every region they are sold.
The marketing plan closely aligns with the “One” edict outlined by CEO Alan Mulally, a strategy designed to connect the auto maker’s vast worldwide resources in an efficient manner, rather than have each individual unit operate independently, as in the past.
Using a tool called “TeleScope” developed by digital-asset-management company North Plains Systems Inc., Ford now is able to share and distribute digital media files among its global marketing teams and agencies.
“In order to have global marketing campaigns, we need the ability to share assets,” Fabrice Jund, Ford’s global marketing operations manager, tells Ward’s. “When you create assets, it’s expensive, so it’s good to be able to reuse them.”
Ford is training its global marketing teams how best to use TeleScope, a tool that has been specifically modified for the auto maker’s use.
“We bought it at the end of last year, and we’re in the implementation phase, so there are a lot of details to be sorted out,” Jund says. “We have teams from around the world to make this happen.”
The upcoming global Ford Focus will be the first vehicle to benefit from the revised marketing scheme. Ford says the ’12 Focus, due to begin production later this year, with sales launching in early 2011, will have 90% parts commonality in every region in which it is sold.
Jund declines to reveal how much Ford stands to save in marketing costs by sharing resources, noting it’s too early in the process to make a determination.
In addition to cost savings, sharing resources will allow Ford’s marketing teams to deliver one consistent message as new global vehicles launch, Jund says.
“Because we collaborate globally on the assets we have, there is tremendous quality going in; (its) going to be very consistent,” he says. “We put our best team on (the Focus campaign), and we are thinking in global terms. I think it will be very well thought through.”
Although TeleScope is designed to offer a consistent global marketing message, there will be slight tweaks in the campaigns to account for regional differences.
“The product and the customer and the importance of the segments are different in the U.S. and Europe, so there will be adjustments,” Jund says. “But the tool is nationality-blind.”
TeleScope also offers a high degree of security, he says, noting images, for instance, can be watermarked to prevent them being used by unauthorized personnel.
Ford has tried similar marketing approaches in the past, but they were short-lived, Jund admits. The first-generation Focus for example, was introduced in the U.S. when gas was $0.99 per gallon and SUVs ruled the market.
“People weren’t prepared for (that type of marketing),” he says. “Now (they) are aware of the need to drive more-efficient vehicles, so I think that has changed.”