Ford’s Marketing Mix: 4P Analysis

Ford Motor Company marketing mix or 4P, product, place, promotion, price, car business case study analysis
A 2014 Ford Transit (VO) 350E. Ford Motor Company’s marketing mix (4P) combines different strategies and tactics to maximize the firm’s performance in the global auto industry. (Photo: Public Domain)

Ford’s marketing mix (4Ps) effectively connects the business to car buyers and represents a successful marketing strategy. The marketing mix refers to approaches used to implement a marketing plan. In Ford’s case, the target market is highly varied and spans the global economy. As such, the company’s marketing mix is also comprehensive in addressing multinational business marketing needs. Considering the company’s position as one of the largest automakers in the world, a comprehensive marketing mix is critical to maintaining its performance. This marketing mix and related strategies also evolve through time to help maintain the competitive advantages emphasized in the SWOT analysis of Ford and keep the business profitable despite competition.

Ford Motor Company’s marketing mix enables the firm to reach its target customers worldwide. This marketing mix and associated strategic actions change over time to match the firm’s markets and industry environment, thereby enabling the business to continue developing toward the attainment of the goals set in Ford’s corporate mission statement and corporate vision statement, while accounting for the changing dynamics of the automotive industry.

Ford Motor Company’s Products (Product Mix)

Ford offers a considerable variety of products that are not limited to the automotive industry. Nonetheless, all these products are focused on supporting the automotive business, just as the company’s marketing mix is designed to support the growth of the car business. More particularly, the company’s primary priority is the profitability and growth of its automobile manufacturing and sales. In essence, these products are organizational outputs included in this element of the marketing mix. Ford’s products are as follows:

  1. Automobiles
  2. Automotive parts and accessories
  3. Financial services
  4. Vehicle leasing

Ford Motor Company is popularly known for its automobiles, such as sedans and trucks. The firm’s parts and accessories business, including the Motorcraft brand, sells automotive parts for most of the company’s vehicles, although some of the parts and accessories are also suited to the vehicles of other firms, like Toyota, Tesla, General Motors, and Volkswagen. In terms of financial services, Ford Motor Credit is the company’s subsidiary that offers financing for its customers, to make it easier to purchase cars. The company also provides vehicle leasing mainly to corporate clients. Thus, the diversity of the automaker’s product mix is shown in this element of the marketing mix. Also, the characteristics of the product lines in this marketing mix are business outputs that represent Ford’s generic strategy for competitive advantage and intensive strategies for growth.

Place/Distribution in Ford’s Marketing Mix

In this 4P element, Ford uses typical places or venues used for its strategy of product distribution. In this regard, the marketing mix focuses on the venues or locations that can provide target customers with convenient access to the company’s vehicles, automotive parts, and financing. This convenient access helps optimize the probability of selling the company’s cars and other products. The following are the main places or venues used for Ford’s product distribution:

  1. Dealerships
  2. Auto parts stores
  3. Ford Parts website
  4. Ford Motor Credit Company

Dealerships are the most prominent places for distributing most of Ford’s products. Most sales revenues are achieved through these dealerships. The company’s automotive parts/components are available in third-party auto parts stores, as well as the Ford Parts website. In addition, customers can access the firm’s financial services at the Ford Motor Credit Company offices or through personnel at the dealerships. This element of the marketing mix shows the company’s marketing strategy that utilizes different company-owned facilities and third parties to generate automobile sales. Decisions for the location strategy aspect of Ford’s operations management reflect the places included in this element of the marketing mix.

Ford’s Promotion (Promotional Mix)

Ford Motor Company promotes its products through all the conventional marketing communications tactics. The activities used to promote goods and services are considered in this element of the marketing mix or 4Ps. Ford’s promotion activities are as follows, arranged according to significance:

  1. Advertising
  2. Personal selling
  3. Direct selling
  4. Sales promotions
  5. Public relations

Ford uses advertising as the main tactic to promote its products. In this 4P element, the company’s television advertisements and online advertisements are especially prominent. In addition, agents/sales personnel use personal selling to persuade buyers at the dealerships and other venues. In some cases, the company applies direct selling, usually to corporate clients who lease vehicles from the firm. This marketing mix also involves sales promotion, usually through special offers, discounts, and trade-ins. Moreover, Ford’s corporate social responsibility programs and sponsorship of sports events and facilities enable the firm to promote its business and products to a wider population of potential customers. Thus, this element of the marketing mix shows that Ford effectively applies all the marketing communications tactics to promote its goods and services.

Prices and Pricing Strategies in Ford’s 4P

Ford’s prices vary, depending on the market. This element of the marketing mix involves the strategies used to determine appropriate price ranges and price points for the company’s cars, parts, and financing, based on market and business conditions. Ford applies two main pricing strategies:

  1. Market-oriented pricing strategy
  2. Premium pricing strategy

In the market-oriented pricing strategy, Ford’s goal is to set prices that are appropriate to market conditions, with consideration for competition, demand, consumer perception, and other variables. The business applies this pricing strategy for most of its products, such as sedans and trucks. On the other hand, the company applies the premium pricing strategy to set higher prices for some of its products. This pricing strategy is used for most of the Lincoln automobiles, which are Ford’s luxury line of vehicles. This element of the marketing mix emphasizes the importance of different pricing strategies to support strategic efforts to secure different segments of the market despite the aggressive competitive rivalry shown in the Five Forces analysis of Ford Motor Company.