Ford Fiesta Executive Memo
Ford Fiesta Executive Memo MKTG 5721
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Frederick Notetaker on Sunday April 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MKTG 5721 at University of Missouri - St. Louis taught by Ho Kim, Ph.D. in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Digital Marketing Strategies and Measurement in Marketing at University of Missouri - St. Louis.
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Date Created: 04/10/16
Executive Memorandum Ford Fiesta Marketing Frederick Eccher In 2009 Ford launched the Ford Fiesta Movement. The FFM was a grassroots campaign that made heavy use of online social media to build awareness for the 2011 Ford Fiesta, a sub-compact car that Ford hadn’t sold in North America for a decade. It used social media and viral marketing techniques, a huge departure from the typical automotive strategy. Traditional channels are television, newspapers, magazines, and radio in a large expensive advertising campaign with a timeline of a few months before a vehicle is available at a dealership. The Ford Fiesta was not typical in this regard either. This was a risky move for Ford because many companies were receiving bailouts during the financial crisis, and viral marketing campaigns require that marketers and managers relinquish control over the message to the consumer. Ford couldn’t afford to have an unsuccessful new car launch in the North American market. The Ford Fiesta is a compact car and Americans desire for larger cars kept it out of the market for the most part. It sold well in Europe since its introduction in 1976 with it small and affordable image. The 2009 American market was changing with many competitors doing well with compact cars. The problem was Americans were buying fewer new cars while the cost to produce them was rising. They substituted new cars for used cars during the recession. Attracting customers back to the new car market was why a non- traditional campaign was used. Ford expected compact sales to increase and targeted millennials who would make up 20% of the new car buyer market. It positioned the Fiesta as ecologically friendly, affordable without compromising style. The competition was chasing this same segment as well. In order to stand out from the crowd it needed to build awareness in the 2011 Fiesta, and convince consumers compact cars were functional and stylish, and build an emotional connection to the product with millennials who viewed traditional media less and less. YouTube and Twitter could only do so much with direct advertisements. What was needed was user generated content to show what this car could do. In other words, viral marketing by consumers to consumers. Ford couldn’t afford to seed the community with thousands of free Fiestas to get the conversation started. They carefully selected a 100 people and let them drive the European model for six months free. These people had hundreds of thousands of followers and were able to tell a good story. They were encouraged to blog about the car even if it was bad, but the twist was they were given missions each month to make cool YouTube videos and keep the buzz alive. This lead to 50,000 consumers expressing interest in buying the car.
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