Just how good is Jan Klug? We're about to find out. After three years as Ford Division's marketing communications manager, the 41-year-old advertising whiz kid is taking over one of Ford Motor Co.'s highest marketing posts. Klug, lauded for launching the Focus and the Ford Outfitters campaign, replaces Jim Schroer as vice president of global marketing. Topping her to-do list: Squeeze agencies for their best creative work.
'I would say that (agencies) should expect to really push their creative limits, not just in TV advertising,' she says, 'but in how we think creatively about all of our communications with customers.'
Klug, former senior vice president of Leo Burnett USA, likewise is calling on buyers and planners to be innovative in media investments.
'We need to start from where the customer goes to get this information. In many cases, national TV is not where the masses get their information and entertainment anymore. We (are) very bullish on individualized communication.'
Klug's bullishness will have Ford doing things such as scaling back on national TV buys in favor of adding more cable to the mix. This approach puts the onus on media reps to offer more targeted solutions.
'We're interested in getting more relevant messages to their readership or viewership and working better together so that we understand the people that are passionate about their publications or programs or content.'
Another key issue for Klug is improving relationships with dealers. 'Dealers,' she insists, 'have been incredibly helpful' identifying what works in their markets. 'That's been one of my major platforms for Ford Division: How do you build a stronger relationship with dealers?'
She says of her management style: 'It usually doesn't work too well around here if you dictate. People like to feel that they have actually participated in the decision.'