Ford allocates 40% of annual marketing budget to festive season: Anurag Mehrotra

With three key launches in a span of 6-9 months, Ford plans to amplify festive season sales. Anurag Mehrotra, Executive Director for Marketing, Sales & Service at Ford India, shared insights on marketing, advertising and key targets for the festive season

e4m by Ankur Singh
Published: Sep 25, 2015 7:59 AM  | 4 min read
Ford allocates 40% of annual marketing budget to festive season: Anurag Mehrotra

Ford India has launched the new Figo hatchback in India. This comes six years after the first-gen model was launched almost a month after the launch of compact-sedan, Ford Figo Aspire. The new Ford Figo is aimed at the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Grand i10, and Honda Brio. In an interaction with exchange4media Anurag Mehrotra, executive director for Marketing, Sales & Service at Ford India, shared insights on marketing, advertising and key targets for the festive season. Excerpts:

Is this launch part of the festive marketing/sales? Are you planning some other launch to kick start the season?

We were committed that in six-nine months we will have three new products in the market. The first one was Aspire, the second is the new Figo, and the third is the Endeavour coming in the next couple of months. So, in festival what we do is introductory pricing. It is the price that we share in the introduction of the festival season and after that we look at increasing the price. In the festival season, everyone wants to get something new in their homes. So, the intent is that let’s get more and more families to get Ford home in the festive season.

What about festive spends?

There are two factors to it. It is sure that we spend more in the festival season and then what takes it to a different level are the launches. And it gets even more amplified if it is a festival season. If you look at our spend in the 30-60 days, it would be at least about 40 per cent of our total budget.

The festival season is going to be very really good. The industry is growing at about six per cent but the segment in which Figo is launching is growing at 30 per cent. Unbelievable is the growth that this segment has seen. And we are very happy to launch a brand new product.

Please share the marketing spends/mix for the new Figo.

The spends are about 70 per cent higher than what we have spent for the Aspire. The mix that we are looking at is about is 15-20 per cent in digital, Ford typically focuses on digital. We will be spending 30-35 per cent each on TV and print, and the rest is Radio and Out of Home. We believe that the big bet for marketing is really going to be mobile. That’s going to be our focus. We are doing a significant program initiative with Google.

There are roughly 21 million people who get on to the internet in India everyday. Now, the question is how do I get them to see my ad as quickly as possible. We are looking at social media to amplify our campaign in a major way. One major part of our digital campaign is that, instead of reporters and journalists doing reviews of cars, we thought, why not give a chance to the consumer to reviews the cars. And we are going to run a contest, something which creates a platform for people to review the car and send their video reviews of the car. Then we will select a certain number of people who are very good.

There is an interesting thing that we do on Ford. We create Ford Dealer Advertising Fund. In this, dealers contribute a certain amount of money, we contribute a certain amount of money and we create a pool of fund. And that fund is used for Experiential Marketing Process. So, that would be roughly about five to ten per cent of the money.

In terms of print and outdoor, what kind of acceleration are you looking at?

We are looking at a little over 50 cities for Outdoor and we would also look at airports in key cities to Outdoor. We have prepared a marketing plan called ‘Zero to hundred per cent acceleration in 48 hours’. And basically, in the next 48 hours we are going to light up all the mediums. More importantly, the challenge becomes a little easier for us because the equity of Figo is very strong in the market place. What we need to communicate a little bit harder is going to be the fact that this is the second generation Figo.

And how will you communicate that?

Our TVC, the print and the digital stuff as well, the intent is really to talk about power, fuel efficiency to start with, which will be the power that we need and packed with the features that we need. We are talking about how clever the packaging is, and all the features that are there. One of the things about the Ford Cars is not just the technology but the drive dynamics which is also a subset of technology in a way. The drive dynamics for the car are best felt when you drive it.

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