Eric Peterson of Ford Motor Company stands by his product, the Ford F-150.

Literally and often.

He stands by it outside of NASCAR events, country music concerts and other places where a large number of his brand’s fans might be gathered. Why? Because Peterson wants connection and feedback with the customers he sees as some of the most loyal in the country.

Peterson discussed the Ford Truck’s marketing strategy at the November meeting of the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Marketing Association, where Smirk New Media’s Stephanie Bice caught up with him.

Real data, especially the kind that comes straight out of the customer’s mouths at an event, is solid gold for Peterson. Attending an event like a sports event or a concert can give the Ford F-150 team, the most popular brand of truck in America, valuable and unvarnished feedback.

“The thing when you are talking to customers at an event, which is cool is that you really get the behind-the-scenes color commentary that you don’t get when you get just a piece of data,” Peterson said.

“We are constantly aware of the feedback we get from all of our customers.”

Of course, social media plays a part in gather fan insight. Loyal F-150 owners can flock to the Ford Trucks Facebook page, which has more than 1 million fans.

“When we talk we talk through all of these different channels,” Peterson said. “When you put something on Facebook, they are interacting with that right away. It’s been part of what we dialogue we have with them.”

During his discussion with AMA, Peterson stressed the importance of how the F-150 fits in with the overall brand of “Built Ford Tough,” prompting new off-road features and other innovations.

“Our ‘Built Ford Tough is at the core of everything we do and is talking in that same tone of voice all the time,” Peterson said.