Ford Ranger: Ford Ranger Leverages Data to Develop a Powerful Customer Journey


Campaign Summary

Developing a customized, data-illuminated customer journey, Ford sought to promote the new model of its Ranger pickup truck without cannibalizing sales of its previous model.



Ford's challenge in Vietnam was to drive sales of its existing models while building excitement for the new model.

There was a new and highly competitive Ford Ranger pickup truck due to be launched, which would have more advanced product features and upgrades, completely renovating the concept of Ranger.

2021 would thus be a transition period when the old model P375 Ranger would need to be sustained while starting the launch activities for the 2022 release of the next-generation P703 model.

Clearly, with communication campaigns about the upcoming new model being launched, there was the danger that sales of the old model might decline.

Ford's communication objective was to create a strong connection with the brand's audience through brand values that would ignite the desire to own a Ford Ranger, while at the same time maintaining Ranger's leadership despite being an aging product up against new competitor launches and despite the campaign for the new Ranger model.

In media, Ford, therefore, needed to personalize the path to purchase for different intender needs, triggering sales of the current model while also driving top-of-mind awareness of the launch of the next-generation Ranger among its audience.

Target Audience:

Given the aforementioned factors, Ford needed a strategy to not only keep the brand's core audience, but also increase the pool of potential customers based on audience reports that indicated buying capacity.

In addition to the core audience (males aged 30 to 40, specifically business owners, managers, and tradesmen), Ford built its growth audience by extending its targeted age groups to males 25-to-29 and males 41-to-44.

Considering different stages of customer need, Ford grouped all core and growth audiences into the "Can't wait" audience (those who were looking to buy a pickup truck immediately for their urgent need) and "Can wait" audiences (patient consumers who intended to get a pickup and looked forward to the next-generation model) with some different data signals.

The "Can't Wait" Audience

  • Search keywords: Those related to the Ranger P375 model, its highlight features, P375 pricing, promotions, payment, installment term, etc.
  • Video views: P375 model comparison and review
  • Website visits: The current ranger website page, with specific pages related to getting a quote, pricelist, and locating a deal from P375 page

"Can Wait" Audience

  • Search keywords: Those related to the 2022 next-generation Ranger, P703 pricing, offer, and launching information in Vietnam
  • Video views: P703 model-teasing videos and reviews
  • Website visits: Ranger's next-generation product page and the "Keep Me Informed" page

Creative Strategy:


Ranger focused on the theme of: "Fearless Independents — Work Smart, Play Smarter."


To ensure a seamless transition from the current model to the next-generation model, Ford kicked off initiatives to run two campaigns in parallel:

Campaign No. 1 to Promote the Previous Model

Through the theme of "Work smart, play smarter," Ford highlighted product feature upgrades and communicated promotions to "can't wait" audiences with KBA (key business acquisition) as the key media metric.

Campaign No. 2 to Promote the New Model

Ford generated a pool of leads for the new product launch by enticing the "can wait" audience to sign up for the latest product updates using KMI (Keep Me Informed) registration as a key media metric.

The conventional path to purchase no longer leads directly from awareness to consideration then to purchase. Key life milestones or practical needs (in a "can-wait" or "can't-wait" context) are the key triggers for buying a new vehicle. The journey is not linear or uniform; it is customer-driven, complex, and unique to each shopper.

With this fact in mind, Ford developed a strategy called the "Five Moments" approach, in which each moment was segmented by specific digital signals from multiple sources, with dynamic creative being applied to deliver different messaging and calls to action tailored to the moment the consumer was experiencing.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Ford leveraged an integrated media approach to target both core and growth audiences.

To expand its audience with an unchanged budget and to maximize reach across offline (TV and OOH) and online channels (OTT, programmatic display, and video) with the most efficient cost, Ford used mScreen — a tool used to calculate budget allocation between TV and online video to achieve cost-efficient reach.

Ford also used digital channels and PR to support experiential events at which media, dealers, and customers could take part in on-road and off-road test drives.

Additionally, Ford capitalized on mid-funnel tactics — including Facebook and YouTube videos, feature-focused content, and product highlights — to drive consideration.

Ford applied its "Five Moments" in the lower funnel, where product selection took place and purchases were made, using high-conversion channels like programmatic, Zalo, Facebook, and search, leveraging first-party data to encourage actionable leads.

Overall, Ranger's approach was a holistic, full-funnel one in which TV commercials and digital were the key channels in the upper funnel to build awareness and drive lead-generation in the lower funnel.

Mobile Execution:

With 70 percent of its budget allocated to mobile, Ford used the power of data to capitalize of the five moments it identified as key to the customer journey.

Moment No. 1: Which car is best?

The consumer is entering the market and searching for market-leader vehicle information. The data signals marking this phase include search activity (related to top pickup trucks and "king of pickup"), browsing activity (on automotive sites, pickup PR articles, pickup interests), and video consumption (videos about pickups, reviews, comparisons, etc.).

Moment No. 2: Is it right for me?

The consumer starts to weigh considerations and determine a checklist of important features. The data signals marking this phase include search keywords (related to brands, engines, and competitors), website visits (functional features information on Ranger), and display/video (functional content such as comparisons).

Moment No. 3: Can I afford it?

In this phase, the consumer is narrowing down options, weighing cost considerations, pricing and payment options, and exchange programs. The data signals marking this phase include search keywords (related to segment pricing, payment, and installment terms), video views (reviewing segment pricing), and website visits (relating to price, comparing models, and downloading brochures).

Moment No. 4: Am I getting a deal?

In this phase, the consumer is proactively getting to know if there are any promotions related to prices and searching for discounts and offers. The data signals marking this phase include search keywords (related to additional offers, deals, or discounts for Ranger), website visits (related to getting a quote and price lists), and display (related to promotions and discounts).

Moment No. 5: Where should I buy it?

In this phase, the consumer is trying to find the best dealer and set up a visit, ensuring the place they are visiting has inventory. The data signals marking this phase include search keywords (related to finding a place to buy a vehicle, e.g., "distributor" and "showroom") location data (Google maps searches), and website visits (aiming to locate a dealer).

Based on these behaviors, Ford customized creative with corresponding messages and calls to action. More than 400 creative executions with variations of message and size were produced and applied. As soon as the audience arrived at Ford's websites, the brand provided them with a dynamic landing page based on the creative they had clicked, which improved website actions and encouraged sales or KMI registration.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Positive social sentiment increased by 50 percent in the five months since the first reveal campaign in November 2021 (compared to the same period in 2020).

Thanks to expanding Ford's growth audience, Ford has increased lead generation quantity by 22 percent and its conversion rate by 30 percent, while at the same time observing a 13 percent decline in its cost per lead.

Additionally, search volume for Ford ranger increased three-fold in H2 2021 versus H2 2020.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Data/Insights | Awards: X Global Finalist