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Case Analysis: Ford Fiesta

Introduction/Overview
Ford introduced Ford Fiesta in the US market in 2009 in an attempt to reposition itself in the
automobile industry. This launch was an attempt to reintroduce a class B vehicle and company
also launched a new marketing campaign. This marketing campaign Ford Fiesta Movement
was one of its kind in the auto industry and we have tried to analyze the pros and cons of the new
movement by Ford in the discussion that follows.
Problem Definition
Major US car manufacturers were infamous for the poor quality and spending habits in the past
years and this resulted in a number of foreign player entering and establishing themselves in the
past few years. This intensified the competition in the market and hence it proved to be
challenging for Ford to launch a compact car in the market.
Ford therefore want to convince that their smaller and compact cars are equally cool. Also, US
car market had shown a declining trend over the last two decades whereas the prices were on the
rise for the new cars. Also, competition in the market had increased as new competitors entered
the market and car makers were forced to lower the prices due to stiffer competition.
Competition
Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa Hatchback and some of the Honda models were the major
competitors of Ford Fiesta. Fiesta was placed second in terms of price (costly). Each and every
car had similar features like seating capacity, second row foldable seats, front wheel drive etc.
Fuel efficiency was also comparable among the cars. Appearance and aesthetics was the biggest
difference between the cars with fiesta being the sportiest of all.
Company Background
Henry Ford started the Ford Motor company in 1903 in Michigan, US. Ford was the inventor of
the assembly lines in the automobile industry and the company reaped huge benefits courtesy
assembly lines as this production principles enabled them to master mass production. Ford
manufactured cars in a much shorter time and at a significantly lower costs. With highly efficient
manufacturing systems in place, Ford was a force to reckon with at that point in time the
automobile industry across the world.
Ford is the second largest automobile manufacturer in US (and 5 th globally). Ford fiesta was first
introduced in the year 1970 but the product failed at that time. Product was however pretty
successful in the European market and is still quite popular in that market.
Industry Marketing Techniques

Group 15: Vishwajeet Goel B14121 | Aabhas Aeran B14124 | Mukesh Ranjan B14158

Traditionally companies utilized traditional communication channels like radios, televisions,


magazines & newspapers before any new product launch. In order to garner attraction for the
product in the market. These type of campaigns were initialized few months prior to the product
launch and continued till few months post the product launch. This was a pretty capital intensive
exercise.
However viral marketing (or buzz marketing) was the latest trend as the consumers preferred the
opinions of the other consumers rather than the company salespersons (or ads). Market sampling
was done at large scale with the expectations to reach a larger audience through the people were
give the free samples. Ford Fiesta Movement was based on the latest trends and Ford had huge
expectations from the campaign.
The Fiesta Movement
Ford Fiesta was initially designed for the European customers in 1973 and was to be
reintroduced in US in 2010. But since most the Fords customer base was for trucks, its target for
fiesta was very different. It would include a much younger population as compared to Fords
current market.
So in order to connect to these millennials, Ford launched the Fiesta Movement in which 100
youth with large social media following were found and lent 100 fiestas with an invitation to
create and share content based on their adventures during the missions chosen by them. They
were required to post at least once video per month about their experience via social networking
sites such as Twitter, YouTube, various blogging websites, Facebook, etc. They were free to
comment either favorably or unfavorably & this was a huge risk was bothering Ford
Management.
The 100 agents were to spend 6 months on a Fiesta Movement Missions which featured activities
such as Twitter Taxi in which twitter account was used by an agent to let people know about
the free ride service and that service was provided by the agent using his fiesta. These Missions
placed a great deal of emphasis on entertainment in hopes of their YouTube video going viral.
Besides, Ford also continued with the usual test drive campaigns at colleges, festivals etc., to
woo the young generation towards Fiesta.
Measuring the Campaign effectiveness
Though the investment in Fiesta campaign was much less than the previous campaigns like Drive
One, Ford established other parameters to measure the early effectiveness of the campaign:
1. Brand Identification
The main objective of the movement was building familiarity with the Ford Fiesta and
establishing fiesta in the minds of people as a segment B car. For this the benchmark
was set as familiarity to 23% of the persons intending to buy a B segment car. The
benchmark was successfully achieved with the result being 42%.
2. Website Visitors
The benchmark of 144000 monthly visits, which was based on historical results of
another Ford SUV, was achieved comfortably.
3. Test Drives

Group 15: Vishwajeet Goel B14121 | Aabhas Aeran B14124 | Mukesh Ranjan B14158

Test drives opted were considered as a measure of effectiveness campaign was yet
another parameter to judge the popularity of Fiesta Movement.
4. Original Content generated by the Agents
The Fords goal to post 600 videos in 6 months on youtube and FiestaMovement.com was
achieved in just 2 months with 655 videos posted on these social media channels.
Another evaluative parameter was share of voice in Press which rose to 33% for Fiesta in just 2
months. The 92% positive sentiment was also much more than that for the competitors.
SWOT Analysis
Strengths

Unique way to connect to youth


Strategy established Fiesta as a part of national conversation as is evident from its 33%
share of voice in the Press
Brand name of Ford

Weaknesses

Fords absence from B segment car market


Apprehensions about conversion of Web-buzz into sales
Controlling the message impact and measurement of that impact was difficult
Effectiveness of campaign as compared to age old & trusted method of celebrity
advertisement

Opportunities

Huge room for improvement


Ist mover advantage in using social media advertising in the ever changing environment
of marketing
Further, focus can be laid on advantages and features i.e. on nitty-gritty.

Threats

Below average result of test drives which have traditionally been a measure of
effectiveness of marketing campaign
Negative publicity by an agent in case of a car damage etc.

Conclusion and Recommendation


Ford Fiesta movement did create some buzz and has appeared to be successful. More than
50,000 sales leads were generated. This exceeded their target of 12.4%. The impressive thing
was that they were able to get 97% of these customers as new customers. These customers had

Group 15: Vishwajeet Goel B14121 | Aabhas Aeran B14124 | Mukesh Ranjan B14158

never owned a Ford vehicle before. So, there efforts to enhance the brand image in the class B
car segment was definitely successful.
However, these leads need to be converted to sales. Also, the momentum needs to be sustained.
After it is able to convert the leads to sales, it also needs to decide if it should switch the
marketing to VMCs, stay with traditional campaigns or use a mixture of both.
Our recommendation is to use a mixture of both the campaigns to reach a wider spectrum of
consumers. The focus should be more on VCMs so that they able to reach out to their target
markets which is the younger market more effectively. Markets today are increasing becoming
consumer driven from product driven. Usage of interactive communication is an important part
of the overall communication strategy. VCMs are a good way to accomplish the same and
continuous improvements should be targeted at by Ford.

Group 15: Vishwajeet Goel B14121 | Aabhas Aeran B14124 | Mukesh Ranjan B14158