Assessing Marketing Strategy of Ford

The marketing orientation has become common in companies that make things for individual customers. It remains rare in heavy industry that produces steel, coal, oil, and paper, where the immediate consumers are other businesses. The transition from the production orientation to the marketing orientation is still going on. It is the most important but least understood revolution in human history, marking a decisive power-shift from institutions to individuals. In the production orientation, human enterprise asked first what we could make, and second whether anyone will want it.

In the marketing orientation, we ask first what we want, and second how we can invent the means to fill that want. Production made people technology's servants. Marketing makes us technology's masters. The marketing revolution promises a golden age when social institutions and markets are systematically organized to maximize human happiness. One of marketing's strongest features is its empiricism. What science did for perception, marketing does for production. It tests intuition and insight against empirical fact. Henry Ford thought he knew what people wanted from a car: cheap, reliable, and black.

Ford sold millions of model-Ts in the 1920s with this mass marketing strategy. Then General Motors came along, segmenting the market into many strata according to income, age, and tastes, attracting buyers by fulfilling their needs more precisely. Now all car companies work very hard to find out what people really want from cars, and they try to build cars to fit the preferences. Market research uses all the same empirical tools as experimental psychology, but with larger research budgets, better-defined questions, more representative samples of people, and more impact.

Ideally, marketing's empiricism works like Rogerian psychotherapy: it holds up a mirror to ourselves, reflecting our beliefs and desires so we can recognize, remember, evaluate, and transform them. Ford Motor Company is undergoing a transformation that is putting their customers at the center of everything they do. Their vision is to be the world's leading consumer company for automotive products and services. That requires a much different headset than that of a traditional automobile manufacturer?

one that concentrates intensely on the people who buy and use their products. Obviously, they had had a pretty good idea of what their customers wanted in the past, or we wouldn't be approaching our 100th anniversary. For nearly a century, Ford Motor Company has worked to improve people's lives and be a responsible and valuable member of the community. In recent years, they have expanded and accelerated their corporate citizenship efforts, and worked to integrate them into their overall business strategy. But today's customer?

and today's competition? requires a deeper level of understanding. Traditional market research is fine, but it's only the start. To transform the company, require all employees to interact directly with consumers. At the Consumer Insight Center, customers bring their vehicles in and discuss them face-to-face with Ford employees. The emphasis is on the individual's interaction with her or his vehicle. The most well known consumer connection programs is the effort to provide home computers and Internet access to all of employees around the world .

Being a leader in corporate citizenship is not only the right thing to do, but also is fully aligned with ultimate goal of providing superior shareholder returns over time. 1. Strong and Differentiated customer proposition. Ford Motor Company is undergoing a transformation that is putting their customers at the center of everything they do. Their vision is to be the world's leading consumer company for automotive products and services. They constantly measure customer satisfaction to learn what their customers like about their products and services, and what issues need attention.

The most important determinants of customer satisfaction are product quality and the experience customers have while using the product. About 75 percent of a customer's satisfaction typically comes from these factors. A customer's sales and service experience typically factors into the remaining 25 percent. That requires a much different headset than that of a traditional automobile manufacturer? one that concentrates intensely on the people who buy and use products. Consumer driven 6-Sigma, an extensive quality improvement initiative, is a proven method of reducing variability and improving efficiency.

While other Fortune 500 companies have implemented 6-Sigma as a cost-cutting tool, Ford taken the 6-Sigma process in a new direction. They used it to identify projects that have the greatest potential to increase customer satisfaction by improving quality and reducing defects. Feedback from customer surveys, focus groups and other sources helped to identify the top customer concerns. Groups of Ford employee Black Belts and UAW employee Green Belts are trained in statistics and problem-solving to identify ways to address these concerns.

All told, Consumer Driven 6-Sigma contributed more than $52 million to Ford Motor Company's bottom line in 2000. For nearly a century, Ford Motor Company has worked to improve people's lives and be a responsible and valuable member of the community. In recent years, they have expanded and accelerated their corporate citizenship efforts, and worked to integrate them into their overall business strategy. According to the company's vision, mission and values the customer is Job 1. They do the right thing for the customers, for the people, for the environment and for the society.