DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will use the launch of the 2011 Focus as a test case for something auto companies often talk about but rarely accomplish: the execution of true global marketing programs.
The Focus, which will be unveiled at next month's Detroit auto show, represents the next step in the globalization of Ford's worldwide marketing operations -- an effort aimed at unifying messages and driving down costs through shared resources.
"We are driving synergies and working through all the markets," said Elena Ford, 43, director of Ford Motor's global marketing, sales and service operations and great-great-granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford. "For the first time in a very long time, everyone is working together on assets that everybody needs around the world."
In the past, Ford's marketing leaders for North America, Europe and Asia did not collaborate on how many Web sites to use for a model launch, how to unify public relations or how best to use auto shows before a launch. Ford's marketing departments in 110 countries had the authority to create their own programs.
That spawned a slew of TV commercials, photo sessions and auto show displays. Now, Ford insists that global departments work together to share resources and reduce costs.
The 2011 Focus is the first example of that execution. Ten years ago, Ford used up to 15 ad campaigns for individual countries when it launched the Focus globally. This time it will use fewer than 10 executions for TV, online or events, the company said.
"Campaigns that we've looked at for Focus could probably work in all markets with some tweaking for the different regions, but not completely different campaigns," said Elena Ford. "The way you get efficiency is to repurpose everything."