DETROIT - Jan Klug's first challenge as Ford Motor Co.'s new marketing chief is to determine whether current marketing practices are helping the company's brands.
That likely will include an evaluation of 'Trustmark,' Ford's corporate umbrella brand designed to foster trust in the company.
'There's been great progress made, but maybe we can reinvent that,' said Klug, who replaced Jim Schroer as Ford's vice president of global marketing, on Thursday, March 1, making her one of the highest-ranking women in the industry.
Klug, 41, faces two other challenges that also confront marketing executives at other automakers: The need to cut back on incentives spending and to stretch advertising dollars as the cost of media increases.
Klug now oversees all that Schroer did, which includes global product and brand marketing strategy, dealer marketing and research of consumer trends. She reports to Robert Rewey, group vice president of global consumer services and North America.
Schroer, 49, joined the Chrysler group last week as executive vice president of global sales and marketing.
Klug had been marketing communications manager for Ford Division since 1998, overseeing annual advertising spending of about $630 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting. She now will control more than $1 billion in global ad spending.
To save money and to target Ford's marketing more effectively, Klug said she will buy more cable TV spots and less national network TV.
Klug has been highly regarded for the launch of the Ford Focus and Ford Outfitters, the brand-building effort for Ford's sport-utilities.
Ford ran live interactive TV commercials for the first time with the Focus. The commercials directed viewers to a Web site on which they could get more information and offer input for future commercials.
The Ford Outfitters strategy saved Ford money. The division spent $114 million on sport-utility marketing in 1999, half of what it normally would for its five sport-utility nameplates, Schroer said in December.
'We will continue unorthodox, innovative methods, but they won't be the same type of methods we did with the Focus launch,' Klug said. 'Different customer groups require different types of approaches.'
Before coming to Ford, Klug was senior vice president of Leo Burnett USA in Chicago.