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Analysis of Ford Motor Marketing Mix

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Creating a marketing mix is an important role of a marketing manager. The distinct grouping of product, place, promotion, and price compose a marketing mix. It is controlled, designed, implemented, and maintained to meet the needs and interests of a group of people, that is, the target market. Ford Motor Company assesses the needs and interests of their target markets — Millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers — to create and market a diverse product mix of vehicles that appeals to each of these cohorts. Millennials, born between 1979 and 1994, grew up in the digital internet age, and are used to having information available instantly on-demand. The internet is integrated into their daily routine, which has made the desire for instant results a priority over an understanding why and how those results were generated. Millennials seek acceptance from their peers, and the rise of social media in their lifetimes has facilitated there to create an image of themselves that fits in with their peers. They are also environmentally-conscious and firmly believe in creating and maintaining a better world for future generations.

When marketing to Millennials, Ford must sell products that live up to their advertisements. The ability to obtain information about a product instantly is desirable to Millennials, but it presents a barrier for companies that exaggerate the abilities of their products. Purchasing a car is also likely to be the first major purchase for Millennials, and they seek cars that are affordable (price), yet technology-equipped and future-proof. Ford appeals to Millennials by focusing their promotion on the car’s technology and environmentally-sound features, including hybrid engine options and high fuel economy. Ford uses non-traditional methods of promotion for this cohort; Millennials avoid traditional TV commercials by paying for premium music-streaming and on-demand TV packages. As high utilizers of social media, Ford makes use of sponsored ads on social media, as well as employs Millennials in their dealerships (place) to assist and encourage Millennial buyers with their purchase; this is a sound response by Ford because Millennials make purchasing decisions that fit in with their peers. Unlike Gen Xers and baby boomers, Millennials’ demand for instant results makes bargaining unfavorable, so Ford prices vehicles targeted to this cohort at mutually agreeable prices upfront.

Since Millennials likely don’t have the full cash payment in their checking account to purchase a car, Ford highlights financing options in their advertising to attract them. Ford’s cheapest product, the Fiesta, is marketed as fun, intelligent, stylish, and adaptable. Ford highlights the Fiesta’s fuel economy, navigation technology, and exterior design. In particular, options for personalization and self-expression allow Millennials to create and exude an image that fits in with their peers; this includes a variety of bright, exotic color options with names like “Hot Pepper Red” and “Outrageous Green, ” as well as a selection of stylish rims. Furthermore, Ford shows images of younger drivers in promotions for social facilitation (Fiesta). Secondly, Generation X, born between 1965 and 1978, were not as exposed to technology and social media growing up. As offspring of dual-career households, Gen Xers spent a large portion of time growing up without the guidance of other adults. As a result, Gen Xers are resilient and independent, which translates into their purchasing decisions. Most of today’s parents comprise this cohort and are in their peak earning years; saving money wherever possible and prioritizing their children’s expenses makes Gen Xers place high emphasis on the value of products they buy. Education is also highly valued among them, and hence they spend significant energy on research prior to making major purchases; marketers take advantage of this by providing them with a great deal of information about their products, in particular why their goods and services are a good value (textbook). Gen Xers frequently change jobs for career advancement, and this disloyalty influences their purchasing behaviors, seeking value and usefulness over brand loyalty.

As parents, Gen Xers are responsible for transporting their children between places, so Ford promotes vehicles that have sufficient space for multiple people and cargo to this generation. They emphasize the family-friendly characteristics of the product, and due to disloyalty, Ford must constantly promote their cars across multiple medias to not lose this audience’s attention. The Ford Flex is a product that fits the needs and interests of this target market, which is evident in that they show off third-row seats for extra people-carrying capacity, 180-degree cameras to keep their family safe and avoid collisions and costly repairs, Bluetooth connectivity for music during long family road trips, and images of parents with their children in the car, simultaneously transporting large household furniture in the trunk. At around $30, 000, Gen Xers would be very satisfied with the variety of family-friendly features at this average price-point.

Lastly, baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, have the most disposable income and are well-established in society. Boomers have accrued a large amount of wealth during their working years, and the increase in American life-expectancy to 77. 4 years has made Americans over 50 consider middle age as a new start on life. With the digital age being more recent, boomers are influenced by traditional advertising, sales representatives, and word-of-mouth. As active members of society, boomers feel they deserve to indulge in their retirement and are less price-sensitive; marketers target this cohort upon such lifestyles. Since baby boomers are mostly retired, they travel for leisure more than obligation like work. With the most amount of time and disposable income, boomers are most likely to purchase comfortable, luxury vehicles. Ford attracts boomers by promoting the high-end quality of their cars, options for bigger engines, leather seats, and bespoke sound systems, because boomers will be the most willing generation to pay a higher price for these luxuries. Ford accomplishes this by promoting on TV, printed mail, and having sales representatives at dealerships (place). On their website, Ford markets their Taurus model product by showing off heated seats for comfort on cold winter days, accessible technology such as voice activation, contoured seats for back support, and certified pre-owned options for their “tried-and-tested” loyalty mindset.

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