Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's the right approach for GM's rebirth? There are many

The social networking gadflies are abuzz - telling anyone who will listen that GM should be using social networking media only - yes, that's only - to spread positive messages about their rebirth. My question is - who in their right mind would think GM or any other big brand would limit the distribution of their messages this way? With Hummer being sold off to the Chinese and Penske or somebody else buying Saturn, the four remaining GM badges - GMC, Buick, Cadillac and Chevy - will still appeal to a highly diverse consumer base. So they need to reach the female Gen-Nexter looking at the Chevy Cobalt and the 70-something male shopping for his 7th Buick with equal effectiveness. Let's also look at it this way - that older demographic is likely to know nothing of Twitter, Face Book or You Tube, but he does watch a lot of TV. And GM will make a bigger profit on the Buick he buys. So you can be sure they will keep traditional media in the mix for a long time. And event sponsorship for that matter.

Case in point: The only GM car I've had as a daily driver was a '98 Buick. Before you label me a geezer, let me clarify this was a Regal GS - supercharged V6 - very impressive when the right foot was lowered. How was I, who previously had driven  a string of imports, converted? I had an opportunity to look at the car up close and personal at a golf tournament, then I went to a dealer and drove one. So in my case, Buick's big dollar commitment to the PGA and Mr. Woods did get them some ROI.

I think better days are ahead for GM, and the people who plan their media are very very good at reaching a diverse audience - from highly mobile twenty-somethings, to the AARP crowd.

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