NEW DELHI, India — What started out as a marketing campaign to boost sales of Ford India’s mighty Endeavour SUV has now turned into a full-fledged war cry. ’Hail the King,’ a two month long local marketing initiative has generated significant interest among the Ford teams, their members, and their fans.
Based loosely on the Indian Premier League cricket competition, teams have been put together to represent different markets to generate competition and team pride that will drive increased sales for the Endeavour. The names of five teams proudly declare the region they represent — Veer Marathas (Mumbai and Pune), Joshiley Sardars (Punjab), Dabangg Jats (Haryana), Iron Patels (Gujarat) and Jaanbaz Mughals (Delhi and National Capital Region).
The campaign is part of efforts to boost sales from the key markets for the Endeavour— Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Mumbai and Pune – markets that contribute as much as 60 percent of total sales of the SUV in India.
“Due to a supply lag we were witnessing a decline in consumer demand. So we thought an innovative format in the line of league cricket and including people from different functions to head the teams will infuse some energy in the effort to boost sales as we have normalized supply levels,” said Rajesh Srivastava, Ford India’s deputy brand manager, marketing, and one of the key members of the organizing team. The campaign ends at the end of December.
Under the format, the teams will each be led by a manager from a non-sales background.
“This is to ensure that the non-sales leaders bring a new and fresh approach to how the sales promotion is conducted,” said Srivastava.
The leaders are assisted by team captains who are the Regional Sales Managers (RSMs) for that region. Ford India has also lined up exciting rewards for team members achieving their targets.
The organisers also developed a pledge that each team has to take: “I pledge to make my King most revered. My team and I will go further with all our might…that we will take the Ford Endeavour far and wide…Hail the King!!!”
To ensure free and fair conduct, ‘Hail the King’ has named Vinay Piparsania, executive director, Marketing, Sales and Service as the arbitrator and N. Raja, vice president of Sales as the umpire. Anurag Mehrotra, vice president of Marketing is the scorer and has promised to put up a live scoreboard in his office.
A weekly email digest of progress made by each team is being circulated among the employees, helping add to the excitement of the campaign.
So far, the results have been extremely encouraging. Four of the five teams achieved or exceeded their sales targets for November with Joshiley Sardars, the team for Punjab, leading the pack with a 206 percent achievement in bookings, Jaanbaz Mugahls second with 127 percent and the Dabangg Jats third with 117 percent.
“It is a matter of prestige and pride for us. We have sold 30 Endeavours against the target of 28 last month and are confident of emerging the winner,” said Ominder Duggal, manager of Customer Service Operations and owner of Joshiley Sardars. “Being from a non-sales function enables me to get a fresh perspective of the sales promotion initiatives and pass it on to the team which has done a brilliant job of executing the plan.”
“We are targeting non-resident Indians and farmers in the harvest season in a very big way. We have arranged for a display of Endeavour at wholesale paddy and crops markets in Punjab and are reaching out to customers through all possible channels including local newspapers,” said Amit Chhabra, one of the captains of Joshiley Sardars.
The campaign logo and pledge