Ford Motor Co. is using co-op funds to push for more digital advertising. According to Rich Savino, dealer principal of All American Ford of Old Bridge in New Jersey and a member of the Ford National Dealer Council, Ford is requiring its around 3,200 dealers to spend 25 percent of reimbursement-eligible advertising dollars for digital media as part of a new program.
Dealers earn co-op reimbursement money based on the number and cost of vehicles they buy. Under the old co-op system, dealers could get reimbursement for money spent on advertising – regardless of the media mix. Ford collaborated with dealers to modify the co-op mix as an incentive to use of digital marketing on a greater degree, Savino said.
The coop program provides dealers incentives to "dip their toes" into paid-search, banner ads, ad retargeting and other digital sales tactics, Savino remarked. Ad retargeting allows ads follow shoppers from one Web site to another.
Ford joins Chrysler Group, Scion and other carmakers who have modified their co-op programs to encourage more digital advertising by dealers. Studies show that around 90 percent of shoppers do some or all of their vehicle research online.
In a statement, Ford remarked its Digital Advertising Solution is an optional program that also available to Lincoln dealers. According to Savino said the total advertising reimbursement available to each dealer depends on the value of the vehicles they buy from Ford. He disclosed that co-op represents 0.25 percent of the sticker price of the vehicles bought.