SHANGHAI -- The next big chunk of work subcontracted to India may be overnight marketing analysis, says Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co.'s vice president of global marketing.
It would work like this:
As the sun sets in the United States, sales and marketing data are collected and shipped electronically to India. There, analysts and their computers pick the information apart, collate it and compile it into a sales report. When Ford's U.S. salespeople and marketers get to work the next morning, the recap is on their desks.
"They analyze sales from that day in India overnight so that the brand managers come in the next morning and have a full analysis of what happened -- of what worked in Kansas City and what didn't. And they can adjust the very next day," Farley said at the Shanghai auto show.
Farley said the practice is well-established in other industries such as the packaged goods trade. But he is not aware of auto companies using those overnight hours to crunch numbers.
India is a natural choice because of its low wages and educated work force.
Plus, data handlers divorced from the market would be objective in their analysis.
Said Farley: "If they're not in the market, you're not self-fulfilling, saying, 'That's my strategy, I hope it happens.'"