by Anna Halloran
(Basically) Everything You Need to Know About Ford Co-Op
Are you overwhelmed by the thought of co-op? No worries. We’ll give you all the tips and tricks to get through it quickly and easily.
Your automotive dealership gets co-op dollars when you order vehicles from Ford. The formula looks like this: x(.0005)=y. X represents the MSRP of a vehicle and y represents the total co-op dollars you get. So, if you order a 2020 F-150 from Ford with an MSRP of $46,500 you’ll get $23.25 in co-op dollars for that vehicle. For most dealerships, your total co-op dollars are split 25/75 between traditional (broadcast, newspaper etc.) and digital advertising (social media, search engine marketing, etc.) respectively. Co-op funds for top-volume Ford dealerships are split 50/50 between traditional and digital, allowing a bit more flexibility in spend. (Are you aiming to be a top-volume Ford dealership? CBC Automotive Marketing represents the #1 volume Ford Dealer in the US, 2 of the Top 10 and 3 of the top 20. Check out this success story from one of CBC’s Ford clients.)
“I have co-op funds… now what?”
You have the vehicles, and the money. What happens now? If you’re looking to spend those co-op dollars effectively, a trusted agency and advisor like CBC Automotive Marketing can help guide you. We’ll make recommendations based on your budget, goals, and what you have available for co-op. The best part? We’ll make sure EVERYTHING is pre-approved through Ford, so you never have to worry about whether your advertisements are compliant with Ford’s guidelines. (Click here to read a recent article about CBC’s co-op deliverables.)
Submitting For Reimbursement
Fortunately, Ford has made the reimbursement process a straightforward one. Any information you need is here. This document breaks out which media types are eligible, and which ones are not (see Figure 1). It also describes exactly what documents If you forget, Ford includes a little reminder so you don’t need to worry about getting it wrong (see Figure 2).
So what are the steps?
- Choose Submit a Claim (see Figure 3)
- Choose the Media Type (see Figure 4)
- Follow the instructions, double-check that all your information is accurate and include all appropriate documents (see Figure 5).
“Ford is telling me I have a missing document or declined my submission. Help!”
Don’t panic! If you have a missing document, just click Submit Missing Document on the homepage and choose the ad number which was flagged. You can then submit the documents that didn’t make it the first time. For declined submissions, you will receive a note explaining why. Sometimes this is something you can contest and have the claim reversed. If not, that’s ok, because Ford allows the 3 following months’ worth of marketing to be applied to a single month of accrual. For example, if you accrue $7,000 in co-op funds in April, you can submit advertising from May, June, and July toward those funds.*
*Note: Ford’s submission window has been temporarily lengthened even further due to COVID-19.
If you remember one thing, remember this.
Submit your advertisement for pre-approval. This one step ensures you didn’t forget those little details that could get you declined. Here at CBC Automotive Marketing we submit everything for pre-approval. This ensures you will always have brand-compliant advertising which can be reimbursed. It also protects you in case your reimbursement gets declined later. Plus, it’s SO easy. Ford will let you know what, if anything, needs to be fixed.
Ok, remember this too.
Every advertisement you submit for pre-approval or reimbursement is reviewed by a person. This means mistakes can happen (and they have!) If something doesn’t look right, CONTACT THEM. CBC Automotive Marketing has had many declined reimbursements reversed because we’re diligent in reviewing any declines that come through. We’ve also learned a lot about what Ford is looking for, which means our submissions usually get approved with no issues.
Are you having issues with Ford co-op? Perhaps you just don’t have the time to do co-op pre-approvals and reimbursements effectively while also running your dealership or group? CBC Automotive Marketing can help. Let’s have a conversation.