Will your ad spending be up or down in 2001 compared with 2000 and by what percentage?
It'll be up by about 30 percent. We have two major product launches.
What media mix do you expect for 2001? How does that compare with 2000?
Television will still be the main medium that we use. We use both the networks and cable. It's a 60-40 spit toward broadcast. We're going to add print in 2001 to support a couple of launches, and we're going to add some direct mail this year for Optima and Sedona. We might even do a mall tour with one of those two vehicles.
Is the Internet still a good marketing tool for you? How will you use it in 2001?
Only about 40 percent of our buyers go to the Internet. That obviously will increase with the Sedona and the Optima. We maintain a Web site now that gets 1 million hits a month, which is phenomenal for a little, tiny car company. We have earmarked a major push using the Internet for the introduction of the Optima and the Sedona.
How do you expect rebates and incentives to affect your marketing budget in 2001?
There are some predictions that the market is going to take a slow downward trend. If that happens, your incentive budgets go up, and your profitability goes down. That gets me in a whole lot of trouble.
What is the biggest launch that you have coming for 2001?
The Optima will launch in March, and the Sedona will launch in July or August.
What is your major marketing challenge for 2001?
The major marketing challenge is profitability. Because marketing costs are accelerating at such a rate, it's hard to balance it with the profit and loss. The challenge is how to take the marketing budget, make it work to make the sales goals and make money. You've heard a lot about that recently with Chrysler.