Back then: Jim Farley vp-marketing was going full speed ahead with a marketing strategy that focused on connecting with the consumer deeply and personally. Toyota wasn’t satisfied with simply throwing money at big-time sponsorships although it still had relationships with big-time properties like the NBA and NASCAR. Its main focus was zeroing in on the customer’s interests attaching specific makes and models to carefully chosen properties and events that would attract exactly the right demographic. Farley laid out seven characteristics of a Toyota sponsorship including taking a layered approach adding to the event with activations that tie in seamlessly and tapping into related cause-marketing initiatives.
Now: Farley moved on to Lexus earlier this year. Now Randy Pflughaupt is behind the wheel at Toyota which doubled its event marketing spend last year over 2005 levels aligning its vehicles with a specific sport or lifestyle and taking things down to the grassroots level. Well-said. Pflughaupt fills us in on what’s new in the last 18 months:
Toyota’s biggest accomplishment since last May is…?
Toyota’s dedication to making a difference as it relates to the environment and overall well-being and health via its Hybrid products. Its entire suite of Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive-powered vehicles is associated with triathlons marathons USA Swimming and the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team.
And its biggest challenge in the coming year?
The biggest challenge with this engagement approach is to continue to find ways to engage fans and sign athletes and teams in ways that are inventive and creative but authentic to the sport and relevant to those fans and those athletes. Toyota’s Japanese parent is looking to sell 10.4 million vehicles in 2009 an ambitious plan but one that is focused on maintaining product quality introducing new hybrid technologies and boosting global sales.