Will your ad spending be up or down in 2001, compared with 2000, and by what percentage?
Our overall budget will increase about 20 percent, but most of that increase will be spent on nontraditional media and regional marketing efforts.
What media mix do you expect for 2001? How does that compare with 2000?
I see TV network spending continuing to go down except for spending in network sports programs. The division will likely increase its spending in spot TV, cable, Internet and event marketing, while maintaining its spending in magazines.
Is the Internet still a good marketing tool for you? How will you use it in 2001?
It's growing in importance to us. We view the Internet as an integral element in all of our marketing. So to the degree to which we can, we make sure that the Internet is a part of everything we do, and capitalize on what's unique about the medium. That's how we're approaching it in the future. The Internet enables you to have interactivity. Some of what we're doing that's new is giving customers opportunities to communicate with us and express themselves in ways that they haven't be able to do heretofore.
How do you expect rebates and incentives to affect your marketing budget in 2001?
I don't expect it to dramatically impact our marketing budget. It may impact the content of our marketing communications more so than our budget.
What is the biggest launch that you have coming for 2001?
Our biggest sex-appeal launch will be the Thunderbird, in mid-summer. But our biggest volume and share launch - there are a lot of resources going behind it, and it certainly is a very important bottom line contributor to the division - will be the new Explorer in the first quarter of 2001.
What is your major marketing challenge for 2001?
We're constantly trying to work in sync with our dealers to make sure that the face consumers see from Ford has consistency in terms of our marketing values and our brand values. That's always a challenge. But what's going to be a particular challenge, if these last couple of months are any indication of where the industry is going, will probably be maintaining our brand focus during a declining market.