Preliminary Findings and Limitations: Ford Volt

Research marketing for the Ford Volt has brought forward many objectives to consider. The most important objectives match that of the Ford Motor Company. There are several objectives Ford has focused on this year. These include safety in the vehicles they produce as well as the manufacturing facilities they run and supporting climate change initiatives by using recycled materials, limiting their waste, and producing vehicles with little to no carbon footprint (Our Future is in Motion, 2019). The objectives also include innovating the highest performing technology possible into new vehicles. Since the Ford Volt is an all-electric vehicle with state of the art technology and safety precautions, the Volt stands by Ford’s 2019 objectives.

There are several internal and external factors that support Ford’s objectives, as well. Ford has an incredibly strong innovation process that is projected to get stronger (Rowland, 2017). This internal factor is parallel to their technology objective and will likely draw in the young, tech-savvy target audience. One of the strongest external factors for the Ford Volt would be the increase in the low-carbon trend and the increased interest in climate change across the world (Rowland, 2017). Once again, this is parallel to their sustainability objective. Since the target demographic is highly educated and focused on sustainability, they will gravitate towards electric vehicles.

During the marketing research process, there have been many industry trends that could have possible implications for Ford. For example, there is a huge push towards Artificial Intelligence in the automotive industry, which aligns perfectly with the technology in the Ford Volt. There are stricter emission regulations on the horizon and with that will come a multitude of electric vehicles like the Volt. Electric vehicles are trending in the market, and this combined with the increase in the automotive electronics trend should set the Ford Volt up for success (Singh, 2019). As for possible future trends, personal vehicles are falling way to mobility services such as Lyft and Uber. This has caused vehicle sales to slow quite dramatically in 2018, and this could potentially change the way Ford designs and markets their products.  

Like with any marketing research there are legal, ethical, and industry standards to consider. One of the biggest ones would be transparency in advertising. Ford will be required to create ads that are truthful and backed with scientific evidence when necessary. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these laws regardless of where the advertisement is featured. (Truth in Advertising, n.d.). False advertising is illegal and highly unethical, especially when it affects the health or financial standing of the consumer.

Another thing to consider is privacy and data collection. Data is always collected when marketing a new product, but there has been a growing concern with privacy in recent years. Marketing through Google and Facebook will be highly effective, but Ford will have to be cautious about keeping the information they receive confidentially (What Are the Legal and Ethical Issues in Marketing, 2017). Even though these privacy concerns are not considered illegal in most countries, it is considered highly unethical. As for automotive industry standards, everything is going digital (How Digital Marketing Is Fueling the Automotive Industry, 2019). It is more important than ever to track the customer from their smartphone to the dealership to understand their purchasing motivation, but as previously mentioned privacy with data collection should be a top priority.       

There have been some limitations in creating a marketing proposal for the Ford Volt. Some of those include little information on existing fully electric Ford vehicles. It was difficult to identify the best marketing practices for the Ford Volt because of this. Another obstacle to overcome would be automotive marketing standards. The research found is objective, but it tends to contradict itself from source to source, and it was difficult to find scholarly articles to set the record straight. Other than that, the marking proposal is going smoothly.

References

How Digital Marketing Is Fueling the Automotive Industry. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.visualiq.com/about/blog/how-digital-marketing-is-fueling-the-automotive-industry

Our Future is in Motion. (2019). Retrieved from https://corporate.ford.com/microsites/sustainability-report-2018-19/index.html

Rowland, C. (2017, February 05). Ford Motor Company SWOT Analysis. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/ford-motor-company-swot-analysis

Singh, S. (2019, February 11). Top Automotive Trends In 2019: A Year Of Wows And Woes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarwantsingh/2019/02/11/top-automotive-trends-in-2019-a-year-of-wows-and-woes/#de0ff981be85

Truth In Advertising. (2015, June 15). Retrieved from https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/truth-advertising

What Are the Legal and Ethical Issues in Marketing. (2017, May 04). Retrieved from https://spinsucks.com/communication/legal-and-ethical-issues-in-marketing/

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Final Project Review

I have chosen the company Ford to focus on for the final marketing research brief. Ford is one of the leading automobile manufacturers in the world. This company revolutionized manufacturing with the first moving assembly line, and basically created the middle class with the $5 wage in it’s infancy (Our History, 2019).

Ford has been highly profitable for generations by making affordable vehicles that last. They have met a demand from low/middle class to upper class with their Lincoln brand. Ford even makes affordable cargo vans for manufacturing and recreational use.

Coming from a dealership background, I have noticed a hole in the market that Ford could fill. There is demand for an Eco friendly cargo van. The Ford Transit was a success, but the gas mileage and impact on the environment is less than desirable.

Since Ford is a product-oriented company, this could be their opportunity to break ground on electric cargo vans. This electric cargo van would be called Ford Volt.

We must conduct applied marketing research to determine the best way to sell the new Ford Volt. To start off, I would like to complete a SWOT analysis for the new product to determine a well rounded idea of the Volt’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Next I would like to conduct surveys of manufacturing businesses that focuses on overhead in terms of transportation in order to understand how exactly the Ford Volt can fill the need in the market. More importantly, surveying consumers will give us a better idea of our target market and what motivates that market to purchase ford products!

Finally, we will need to do promotion research to decide the most effective form of marketing for the new vehicle. As the research progresses we will find the need for more specific research, which will be conducted for the best chance of success for the new Ford Volt.

References:

Ford Company. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://corporate.ford.com/company.html?gnav=footer-aboutford