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Online Gets 15 Percent of $1B Ford Marketing Budget

Ford Motor's Ford Division will spend 30 percent of its estimated $1 billion-plus marketing budget this year on "targeted" media - half of that will be used for digital advertising, reports AdAge. The allocation comes as Ford's North American operations are trying to come back from a second-quarter loss of nearly $1 billion. Ford defines "targeted" as direct mail, video on demand, mobile-phone ads, sponsorships, CRM and internet marketing.

The online component is crucial; some Ford dealers close one out of five deals begun via online contracts. Ford general marketing manager Martin Collins said "media spending in digital will go up because it creates more business for FordVehicles.com," the marketer's website.

However, about 40 percent of the industry's web-based leads don't get a response within 24 hours, Collins said. Ford is using a proprietary tool called Lead Response Time that monitors how long it takes Ford dealers to respond to an online lead from its site. "Leads acted on more quickly close at a rate four times higher" than slower responses, he said.

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