Ford Earns Kudos As Marketer Of The Year
The company's products are better than ever, promoted and marketed by a revamped strategy headed by marketing chief Jim Farley, Rich Thomaselli writes. Admittedly, one of its smartest tactical moves was deciding what not to do: namely, accept TARP funds.
"I think it was worth more than $1 billion of coverage and customer interest," Thomaselli says. "If I had to go out and advertise, it would be that kind of bill in paid media. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
U.S. yearly sales are up 17% through August, which is more than double the industry-wide gain of 8.4%, and Ford's profit in the first six months of this year is its best since 1998. A lot of that has to do with Ford CEO Alan Mulally allowing Farley, formerly the top marketer at Toyota, to be Farley. "I was worried the culture would reject me like a bad organ," Farley says. "Alan just said, 'Jim, we'll stand back to back. Like Wyatt Earp.'" Instead of fitting in with the culture of Ford, Thomaselli points out, Farley has changed it.