A chat with Finbar McFall, Vice President of Marketing for Land Rover

Bullz-Eye.com’s Gerardo Orlando recently sat down with Finbar McFall, who is Land Rover’s Vice President of Marketing in North America to talk about a host of topics, including what were some of the challenges the company faced over the last couple of years because of the down economy.

Finbar McFall: Hi Gerardo, it’s Finbar.

Bullz-Eye: Hey Finbar, how are you?

FM: Very good. Thanks.

BE: You took this new position in ’07, with this great luxury brand. I’m sure you had a lot of plans in place. And then we get to 2008 and the bottom falls out of the economy. It must have been quite a shock to your plans. Did that have a big impact? What happened?

FM: Well certainly, of course it had a big impact on everybody. It affected everything that was done because nobody had experienced anything like this really in recent memory. Across the business everyone was affected. The good news now of course is that we can feel a real momentum and our sales have been increasing, month to month, for the last seven months. You know, there’s always a positive side to these things. As we lived through what was a very difficult period, we all collectively learned, and I’m sure it was the same in your business; we all learned a lot of very useful lessons.

BE: Right.

FM: And hopefully ones that we keep with us. So, you know, we’ve become much more efficient in everything that we do, and that’s not just from a cost perspective as well. It’s also made sure that we’ve been more focused in our messaging. One of the things that I’ve been very keen to do, and I’ve been doing over the last couple of years with Land Rover and Range Rover messaging, is to make sure that there’s a real, what we call, a call to action. And you know our brands have a very emotional appeal but also there’s a very rational side to them as well. It’s always important but it’s been even more so living through the environment that we’ve been in. And I think that’s what’s really helped to make us stand out and sustain our sales through a difficult period. Now that we’re starting to come out the back of it, we launched our ’10 model year and they’ve been a huge success for us and that momentum has continued. So such is the nature of the economy and the environment that we’re still living in that you can never take anything for granted but we’re very hopeful now. We see growth back in our numbers again. There’s a real demand for our products out there. All the key metrics that we measure, whether it’s awareness, or consideration, or showroom traffic, or web hits, or leads and hand raisers, all of the business metrics that we have have been on an improving trend now for at least seven months, if not slightly longer actually.

Click here to read the entire interview.


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