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June 03, 2009

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Rachel Bryant

David - Loved your #5 suggestion. You are so right - they ARE a nameless, faceless company. And that's why many outside of the Detroit/Michigan area (those that are or know GM employees) don't feel sorry for "Big, Bad GM".

I would argue that none of your other four suggestions will work unless they address and fix this one.

John Lane

I think your ideas are solid advice for new companies and older-but-not-quite-so-fallen-out-of-favor companies. But I'm not sure any of them — or all of them together for the next 5 years as GM tries to rebuild — will make much difference in GM's future success.

I think that's because they're missing one more reinvention marketing idea: start by showing us a big, hairy example of what the reinvention will bring.

Currently their reinvention commercial and site still highlight the same vehicles we weren't buying in the first place (http://www.gm.com/vehicles/?evar24=Reinvent_Sitelet). And the VO and stock visuals sound and look like what we expect from the old GM.

What I think people need to see is a vision of the future... a visualization of what reinvention means. (And I'm not talking about MORE attention on Volt. 40 miles on one charge isn't really that groundbreaking, is it?)

Perhaps this is idea is just an addendum to your "show me don't tell me" idea. The "shock me into paying attention" footnote to it.

Regardless, I enjoyed the post and think it's packed with great ideas for companies who want to market correctly in today's world.

jl

Emilio Bello

GM really need to read this post! Very good advices, I think I'm gonna use some of them for my self.

Carol Cox

Great post! I just watched the GM commercial on YouTube and completely agree that is more of the same that hasn't been working. Did you notice that comments have been disabled for the video? GM really doesn't get it.

Elliot Ross

All too true -

And though it may be part of #2 - GM has to get over its fallacy that near luxury or luxury must be equal to or greater than (=>) BIG

GM has never made money on smaller vehicles - because they always become econo-boxes

The Chevy Cobalt & BMW 3 Series are both classed as sub-compact cars - but only one of them is "desirable"

They gotta get to the <= formula ;-)

Siobhan Bulfin

Every corporation and medium to large organisation needs to sit up and read this post but replace GM with their company logo. Few exceptions. Great post.

Cal

Nice ideas. Will they listen? Probably not...

I think most corporations have a case of the "we know what we're doing" disease. When it's obvious that they don't have a clue.

If they truly want to reinvent the company they should scrap every brand, model, etc. and start over from scratch.

What do we do here at GM? Is the question they should be asking.

Robert Parrish

Well-said, David. It's nearly impossible for dinosaurs of the 20th century to understand 21st century marketing.

Domenick Cilea

Well done. You provided the marketing team at GM with some excellent (and free) advice. But will they listen?

Given their current tumultuous situation, GM needs to STOP talking and START listening.

Engaging with their customers (many who are US taxpayers that technically now own 60 percent of the company) will allow them to garner market-driven insight to make better products.

As you know, when customers find value in a product/service, they tell their friends (which is the best form of advertising, marketing and PR).

Nick Lucido

Ive been following what's going on with GM since I've been born, actually. I'm from the Detroit area and I like to think I'm very familiar with the company. I like your ideas a lot, but to me, they do most of what you suggest above. They have a strong and very human presence online. They connect with customers and share the stories about what their company does.

Also, when you talk about making cars that people want, the marketing folks aren't the ones making the cars. Sure, they provide research, run focus groups, etc., but ultimately, it takes a long time to develop a new vehicle and this small vehicle revolution is relatively new. Big cars sold, so GM made big cars, and now they're paying for a lack of diversification.

Besides, what's going on with the auto industry doesn't have a lot to do with marketing. Every auto company is performing poorly.

Antonio Montero

Good post. I think that first and foremost, GM has to sit down and develop a vision of it's future. This vision must be inspiring, challenging, realistic, achievable and SHARED by all it's employees.

Judging from their new ads, it seems to me that they haven't really committed much time and thought to this because as you noted, the ads seem to be more of the same old, recycled stuff.

Notice that I stress the shared quality of the vision. All people working at GM must embrace this new vision and, ideally, they should be able to contribute their thoughts in shaping it in order to be able to commit to it. Visions formulated at the top by just a handful of people are doomed to fail because people at lower levels will not feel represented.

However, this is not simple task to undertake considering the massive size of GM. But it's a fundamental first step in any successful organizational change initiative. Hopefully there are tools now that can help people participate and make this task a little easier. Just look at Starbucks and their MyStarbucksIdea.com. If GM really cares, they should do something like this and invite their employees, customers and non customers to participate. They should give it a shot at least. Otherwise, the stakes of failing are extremely high. Or do they really think that things are going to magically change by following the same approach they have been using for years?

Reinventing implies not only marketing in a different way, but also rethinking the fundamental vision of what the company hopes to become.

Rodney Johnson

Reinvention is a huge undertaking - and that likely needs to be pursued. However from my side of the fence, I expecting that they will try to reinvigorate what they have. This allows more of the same, and prevents them from truly reinventing themselves.

May its just semantics, yet semantics appears to be what GM has been doing for years.

David Meerman Scott

Thank you all for such thoughtful comments. I really hope that people from GM are paying attention to what you all have to say. But so far, nobody from GM has commented...

Ron Arden

Great post. I went to www.gmreinvention.com and poked around. I went to the bottom of the page and clicked on the Twitter icon to go to their Twitter feed. Guess what comes up? A dialog box with legalese telling me that I am leaving a GM owned site and they are not responsible, blah, blah, blah. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. These people can't get out of their own way. So much for looking at things in a new way.

Andrew Rodgers

Great post. It really does look like the only way GM can make it now is to humanize the company, come down from the silver tower and listen to customers, internal customer (employees). Find out what type of car Americans want, create new cars that are future proof and desirable. Break the link between Madison Ave and C-gulls.

ToddySM

Hey David,

Great suggestions to GM but as you write above - no follow up from their side. And I totally agree with Siobhan - there are bunch of organizations spending millions of dollars on useless TV commercials. Idon't think any company should spend more than $2K for TV ad and they can learn from Doritos how to do it. The sad part is that companies like GM launch such old fashioned marketing campaigns that change nothing and the money comes at the expense of taxpayers (as in the case of bailed out copanies), shareholders or company employees.

My suggestion to GM is: don't do any TV commercials and newspaper ads; lower your traditional marketing footprint because this is quite big expense with little or nothing ROI; word of mouth (or mouse:)) is your best friend. Ooh, and learn from Tesla Motors - I have not seeing any TV ads from them but I've heard a lot and I am more familiar with their models than yours.

Justin Ellett

Great post David
All I can say is, I sold my stock a long time ago :)

kay plantes

Great post. Your customer image is not what you say, but how you actually behave.

In GM's history is the (now lost) national sentiment that "What's good for GM is good for the USA." Is there a way to return to that historic feeling of "we're all in this together?"

Reinvention is something we all have to do in this daunting downturn. Were I GM, I'd create community (point 5) around the need to, challenges of and opportunities for reinvention. Get engineers at GM personally connected to engineers in other companies in need to reinventing their offering gather ideas from those engineers about reinventing cars and engineering, sales people connected to other companies' sales people. GM then becomes a community focused on reinventing the US so as to improve lives for all of us.

My idea may sound lofty, but I think it will take emotional benefits to keep GM going while they work on the longer term reinvention of their offering to better meet customers needs.

ilya

David - great post.

But one thing I disagree with is your derision of the "ten year bumper to bumper warranty."

To me, that's not evidence of building a product that nobody wants to buy; I instead view it as a statement of confidence in their product. (BTW, my sense is that Detroit screwed up on quality in the 70's and 80's, paid dearly for it, but has arguably come back and even surpassed the Japanese on that particular measure.)

@NWGuy

Antonio has a great point, reinvention is change management and a shared vision. The employees have taken a lot of hits over the last 20 years; it will take a lot of effort to make them believe in this. It isn't TQM or other nice programs, it's adjusting to being a much smaller, nimbler company.

I'm not an expert but nobody here discussed the branding aspect of the reinvention. On Monday I tweeted with someone from GM and was pointed to their site to learn about the 4 brand strategy. The nameplates didn't really support reinvention, and I'm a lifelong GM car owner. Doesn't this confuse between product and corporate branding?

Why advertise everything as GM when you are trying to sell people Buicks and Chevys? How many P&G commercials do you see versus products?

And is Chevy the brand that will woo America to small green cars?

BTW, I truly hope for the best but it will take a major shift in thinking to be successful.

carrie williams

Great post and discussion. Beyond the financial pressures GM faced was the diminished value of the GM brand as something representative of anything more than big. Is there a GM truism of every product within its portfolio? Will GM, as a parent company, represent any one thing that we can all point to? I shudder when I hear Madison Avenue words like "reinvent." It's a dauntingly high platform to leap from. I would much rather see them reemerge building on a core value that once existed in a way that is relevant today. It's the thing that all great come-from-behind stories are made of.

GM

Dear Mr Scott

Thank you for your post and your advice. Unfortunately or Madison Avenue bank account (we deposit a lot of money there)thought it was in our best interest to spend more money on full page print ads and tv commercials. In order to do that we needed to cut back or a few staff, so we let go of our brand managers and monitors. I mean how often do people really blog about us anyway, and when they do can it really be useful?

Thank you for your concern, but if there is anything we learned from this last election talking about "change" is good, so that is our new strategy....to talk about it.

All the best
-GM

Scott Jacob

Thanks David - I found your post excellent, but I'm amazed you missed the iconic example of your last recommendation. For those of us old enough - when Chrysler took this road in the eighties, Lee Iacoca was all over their message - personalizing their struggle and acting like a leader of the troops.

I'm also afraid there isn't anyone in the top group of GM execs now days to fill his shoes. Maybe they can get President Obama to say a few words - talk about an iconic face to put on your brand!

Scott Karambis

Lots of solid points, but isn't it about time we put the whole out of date Madison Avenue cliche to rest? I'm not sure there are any more agencies on Madison Avenue, and even if you mean it as a metaphor for big NYC agencies, it's still wrong.

There are no big agencies in NYC or anywhere else who aren't doing good work in new media/non-traditional spaces. I don't work for one, but I know plenty of people at big agencies who are doing great, effective work. DDB and BBDO (2 very big nyc agencies)just won the most effies this year (based on advertising effectiveness). Check it out. http://www.effie.org/ This a tiresome red herring. And a distracting one at that.

Anyone who has ever presented to GM management know that the problem isn't some old-fashioned obsession with TV, but GM itself. GM has been too lazy, self-involved and risk-averse to do the marketing that any number of big or small agencies have recommended for years.

It's just as easy--and probably easier--to make expensive, unstrategic, pointless digital marketing as it is to make expensive pointless TV. Viral marketing in particular generally demands making the kind of provocative work which GM would never have the courage to do.

Christopher Barger

"A YouTube video, blog, research report, series of photos, twitter stream, ebook, Facebook fan page and the like."

YouTube video? Check. http://www.youtube.com/user/gmblogs

Facebook fan page? Check. http://www.facebook.com/generalmotors

Twitter stream? We've been on since January 2008. http://twitter.com/gmblogs

Series of photos? Been on Flickr since 2007. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmblogs

With much respect, I'd offer that at least in the social realm, we are already doing much of what you're suggesting.

As for the idea that we're tone deaf because we haven't responded to your post, this week we've engaged in literally hundreds of conversations -- on Twitter, in Facebook, on our own blog, on outside blogs, in webchats... we're trying. If we haven't gotten to a single individual's post yet, it doesn't mean we're tone deaf or don't get it... it means we're HUMAN and can only do so much in a 24 hour period.

You've got some points I'd like to get back to at some point. But my human reaction right now is that Twitterstorming us to get our attention was a bit unfair. My team and I have tried to answer as many questions and listen to as many thoughts as we can in the past week. I am sorry that we haven't gotten to yours yet.

I'd ask you to concede that it is not possible for anyone to be everywhere at once and engaging in EVERY conversation happening anywhere on the web. If you will indulge me this very exhausted response during the busiest week in our history, I will personally spend an hour with you on the phone hearing you out and bouncing ideas back and forth. Could we talk Monday?

Christopher Barger, Director Social Media, GM

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for the comment Christopher. I appreciate it and so do my readers.

I can understand that you are very busy now and am honored that you took the time to check out my blog.

Why don't we have that phone call next month when things settle down for you. You've got more important things to do next Monday.

Wishing you and everyone at GM all the best in your reinvention.

David Meerman Scott

Rick Friesen

My thanks to Mr. Barger for his comment -- I think this is a great response. I wish you all at GM the best of luck!

Christopher Barger

David - thank you for understanding and I apologize if I came off terse earlier. We're just wiped out this week - and we really are trying to do the right things.

I will look forward to our conversation(s), and will have a more rational response to your post soon. Thank you and once again I appreciate your indulgence!

ncvbn

And when im feelin incomplete your my Roll forming machine missing piece. And when you need your
forming machine breath taken away ill be your thief.

Amelia Vargo

Almost any big organisation could do with following some of this advice.

Engago team

Import Opel cars from Europe.
That's a first step in the right direction - learn how Opel makes cars (not exactly the best brand in Europe but still Opels have many advantages over GM cars)

Elliot Ross

@engago - GM tried that - No one in the states wanted to buy them (pontiac solstice & Saturn Sky are Opels Cadillac Catera was too

@Christopher - well done and good luck PS - from a car guy - keep workin' on the small can = desirable ;-)

@@NWGuy - I have heard that GM is reviewing that - you are correct - the average P&G customer has no idea who P&G is - they just know the brands. And many people could not have (especially before this) could actuall tell you that a Pontiac or an Olds was a "General Motors" vbehicle

adverlicious

fyi, GM's re:invention campaign also has a significant online component. From my archive of online ads, here's some of the current creative:

http://adverlicio.us/general_motors_re_invention_300x250

Unfortunately, it's perhaps worse than the television campaign!

Wendy Kenney @23Kazoos

Dear GM:

I am so disappointed in your company that it's going to take a lot to get me to come back. It's not about fancy websites, advertisements or stimulus packages, it's about people. And Frankly GM, I don't think you give a damn.

As a major US company, you have a responsibility to millions of people! The way back to my heart is to put America back to work, make affordable, quality products that people want to buy, and act like you really care about the little guy.

PS. I drive a Chevy Trailblazer, but unless you make it up to America, my next car is going to be a Toyota.

Steve Keifer

My favorite is #1. One of the biggest problems that GM has had in the past 20 years is public perception. They have been unable to convince the American company that they are an innovative company that can produce high quality cars. The number one reason, in my opinion, they have been able to overcome the bad perception is the unusual attention focused on GM by the media. For decades newspaper writers have taken pleasure in publishing front page stories about GM struggles. Yet they continue this "crack cocaine" addition to Madison Avenue advertising spend which is channeled primarily to these same media companies which are blasting them everyday in the press...

Kevin Cesarz

The press release/ad was absolutely classic. My eye rolled at "To our customers." No subheads, no examples of transparency? "Visit our dealerships and be a critical judge of everything?" OK, and how to now deliver that judgement - at the dealership, through salesperson, kiosk? I might deliver a judgement, but I'll probably take it home and deliver it via social media.

John Cass

David,

this is a really grouchy post about GM. What have they done to you? Though reading your post I completely understand your frustration with the website not working. Believe me I share you frustration when a site does not work well.

However, I think you have a few facts wrong about GM.

General Motors was a $148 billion company in 2008, and spent $3 billion on advertising in ‘07. $197 million was online. However, in ‘08 GM wanted to move 50% of their advertising spend to online by 2010 according to this 2008 article.

http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/03/general-motors-to-spend-15-billion-on-online-advertising.html

Rather than the laggard in digital advertising, GM has been the leader. John Hougton suggests this in his post "GM rushes into online advertising," and Comscore shares some numbers.

http://johnhoughton.com/2008/03/19/gm-rushes-into-online-advertising/

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2008/03/General_Motors_Heaviest_Online_Advertiser_Among_Auto_Manufacturers

If you look at the auto industry advertising numbers all of the auto companies are still advertising in traditional advertising, but GM seems to have done the most to make a big shift. Nielsen has numbers on auto advertising and how the auto industry's online traffic numbers have held up in the last year.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/advertising-stalls-for-big-three-auto-makers/

http://www.nielsen-online.com/blog/2009/03/11/ford-more-competitive-while-chrysler-general-motors-weaker/

Also, don't forget GM was an early pioneer with the use of Social Media, when they launched their Fastlane Blog in January 2005; there were very few big companies blogging at that time.

See Neville Hobson’s post about GM.

http://www.nevillehobson.com/resources/fastlane/

There have been some issues with GM’s social media efforts over the years. When I worked at Backbone Media; I started to document those issues after interviewing a GM Dealer in 2005. In recent years I think the company has come a long way. Remember that only about 12-16% of the Fortune 500 blog in 2009. Christopher Barger has played a big role in helping to advance some of the changes in social media engagement at GM since he joined the company in 2007.

See my blog post about Christopher's report at the 2007 SNCR research event.

http://pr.typepad.com/pr_communications/2007/12/general-motors.html

Now if you are criticizing GM for spending too much on traditional advertising, surely you could do the same for all of the other car manufacturers? Especially if it seems GM has done the most to make a shift to online. I'm not sure about its shift in spending on social media, but again they were the early pioneer in the industry (with my caveats previously explained).

I also think GM has made some progress on changing its line up of cars, was it fast enough, no, but a good independent source like Consumer Reports appears to see a few diamonds in the rough despite the bailout.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/cr-recommended/best-worst-in-car-reliability-1005/reliability-findings/reliability-findings.htm

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/resource-center/automakers-bailout/overview/automaker-bailout-ov.htm

Here’s my take on your five point list:

1) GM has been firing its traditional advertising agencies. Well shifting dollars.

2) You make a fair point. I am sure Christopher will shake a few trees for the user.

3) You are right about this point David. Though I think the company is seriously trying the change.

4) What if GM is doing more than any other car company in social media? Or at least on par with Scott Monty! I don't know the numbers for spending and amount of content in social media. Given GM's pioneer status and their early hiring of Christopher Barger from IBM, I think you are not giving them fair credit, given your criteria.

5) Don't entirely agree with you on number 5. GM is monitoring and conducting outreach on a systematic basis. Also they have designers front and center in their social media efforts.

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2009/06/live_blogging_from_gm_advanced_technology_event.html

Dell was an interesting example of the use of social media, its problems pail in comparison to the American car industry. Dell just had to fix its problems with customer service & product line up, not a whole industry brand. The American car industry has a huge brand perception hurdle to overcome. I hope that the bankruptcy will make the auto car industry turnaround the social media success story of 2009, if not, 2010.

For more on this see my December post "Will Ford & Auto Industry Be The Web 2.0 Turnaround Story Of 2009?"

http://pr.typepad.com/pr_communications/2008/12/will-ford-auto-industry-be-the-web-20-turnaround-story-of-2009.html

Lastly, on a humorous note, have you ever taken my curmudgeon meter ranking?

David Meerman Scott

Hey John.

Yes, my post was a little pissy. But I've been talking about car companies and their crappy online marketing for five years, with few people in the industry except Scott Monty (Ford's social media guy) and John Harris (an independent speech writer for auto executives) caring about what I say. So I ratcheted up the curmudgeon factor a bit with this post.

Thanks for your thoughts.

John, I think your first points completely miss what I was trying to say about advertising. Advertising is PAYING for access. When you advertise, you are BUYING attention. I want companies to focus on EARNING attention rather than just buying it with advertising. While advertising has a place, GM has spent 99% of their efforts in this area from what I can tell and in my opinion that is not a right ratio. Social media needs to be much higher as a percentage.

So your point about GM shifting ad dollars from offline to online is completely irrelevant to my argument. I don't care if a company buys ads in the print New York Times or buys ads in the online New York Times. It is still buying access through interruption based advertising. It's lazy and not as effective as actual engagement.

David

Ron Miller

Your post is full of intelligence and insight as usual, but I fear it will fall on deaf ears in Detroit. Desperation unfortunately, doesn't lead to innovation. It leads to fear and isolation. GM is too old, too slow and too afraid to try things you have defined. They should have been trying these things five years ago. Now, it's too much, too little, too late.

John Cass

David,

To me, marketing is all about listening to customers, understanding their needs and wants; satisfying those needs and wants, efficiently and profitably.

That's why as a marketer I am really, really excited about social media. You can listen and engage customers online and as a consequence of that engagement and content, ordinary customers turn into evangelists.

One of the reasons I loved your book, was because you included a lot of content about search engine marketing, the organic kind, you drew parallels between SEO and PR that I've been thinking and writing about for a few years now. I thought there was a real connection and perspective there that I don't always find in the SEO community and once upon a time did not find in the PR community.

Writing great content that's relevant and targets customers with the language and keywords they use is what SEO is all about. While public relations strategy is all about understanding the current concerns of an audience, and putting your product within the context of that concern. Relevancy is important for both disciplines, and is equally important for online or content marketing.

I'm totally with you on the question of encouraging companies to create more valuable content, and using social media to engage. Why because instead of trying to promote an existing product, you can really conduct good product marketing and make better products that people actually want to buy. Oh, and as a consequence the ROI is better, and you receive direct sales from higher search rankings and direct traffic.

That said I still think there's a place for advertising in this world. Especially if it produces a good ROI.

I also think that if you are criticizing GM for their online marketing efforts (I've been doing the same since a post in 2005)you should also criticize the rest of the industry, as they are in an even worse shape (Ford being the other bright spot with Scott Monty). Just because a company produces the best cars does that mean they shouldn't use social media to connect with their customers?

I also think you haven't given GM a far review of that they are trying to do with social media. Things definitely have progressed their since Christoph Barger came on board.

David, why don't we challenge the auto industry to give us dollar numbers on the amount they spend on social media and content marketing? Let's ask each of the companies to detail their people resources as well, and exactly what they do? Those that get it, will answer willingly, why? Well because they just got into an important conversation about the industry.

Jim Leemann

Interestingly I had a similar reaction to the full page GM "Dear Customer" ad in the AZ Republic this morning eating breakfast at my favorite restaurant. I would agree with all your points and add one more. It would have been nice for Fritz Henderson to thank all the USA taxpayers that just handed over $50 billion. Have you ever had that feeling when you have bought something and don't having anything to show for it? In addition to thanking us, Fritz needs to explain when he expects to pay us back.

David Meerman Scott

@Jim Leemann - Good point. By my calculation, my family's share of the bailout is $500.

Engago team

GM should import Opel (Vauxhall) cars from their previously owned European factories.
These cars drive relatively well and consume like a normal European car.
Still note: Opel cars are not the best cars on the market in Europe.

DaveMurr

All solid suggestions. #5 is critical. My father used to work for GM and I don't think he ever knew "who" GM was.

So how does a company that big define their face? Maybe a better question, is who would be comfortable internally to be that face?

I would add #6 - Reach out and engage with your customers and audience.

Find your champions, because there are some of us here in MI, who do want to see GM and the auto industry change and succeed. GM really needs to get from behind the office. Ford has done it in innovating and creative ways.

They have taken the time to find their fans. They found me. GM should follow suit.

Ed

Interesting and very informative.

I am going to try out this strategy for my business.

Larry Bennett

Jabber jabber jabber. All this is BS. Social media??? WTF does that have to do with anything that has destroyed GM? Want to succeed, GM? Design and build a car people want. Make it cool enough they're not embarrassed to be seen in it. Price it reasonably enough that it's residual value doesn't bottom out a the exact same instant as their last payment. Make it dependable enough that it can be driven 100,000 miles without replacing expensive shit. Make it economical and ethical to operate, fuel wise. Oh wait... I'm talking to GM, the USSR of car companies. I'm sorry, this is impossible. For GM at least.

Of course, Honda has already done this with the Fit. Years ago.

GM needs to die, just like the USSR died. And all the money the execs, ad agencies, consultants, bondholders, and stockholders sucked out over the past 20 years needs to be taken back and given to the ex-workers who built the vehicles. At least they tried to make a honest living. The corporate BS artists just sucked everybody else dry. And today they are sitting in their mansions, jets and yachts just laughing themselves silly...or writing about the earth-shaking significance of the etiquette of social media on GM "reinvention." Excuse me, while I go look for a barf bag.

Rachel Bryant

David - I, and I'm sure most of your readers, would be interested in a follow up from you next month when you do sit down and talk with Mr. Barger.

@Larry Bennett's post - although a bit vindictive - is reflective of your suggestion in #5. We don't see the faces of the workers and their families - those that are suffering right now. I'm not just referring to the union workers and those working the lines in the plants. A family member of mine is an engineer at Chrysler - very smart guy. Has some incredible thoughts on the future of car making. But right now, the face of GM/Chrysler - are the executives in private jets - taking tax payer dollars.

I truly believe GM/Chrysler both can fix this and turn things around...but they need to be more receptive to ideas like the ones you layout here.

Other thoughts: Don't just tell us about a) how you're reinventing, b) the high quality of your vehicles or c) how affordable your product is. SHOW US! Let us get down in the trenches and see for ourselves. Behind the scenes footage, success stories, etc.

Kevin McCormick

David, generally, I agree with your five recommendations for GM. But, I do take exception to #3. The quality between GM cars and trucks is equal to, and in some cases superior to the Japanese and foreign imports. Buick has products that lead in quality over its competitors.

The problem is that the perception that was created in the 80s when GM truly shoved crap down the throat of the consumer has not worn off 25 YEARS LATER.

GM makes a full suite of products in every niche that customers desire a vehicle, and they make vehicles that are more environmentally friendly than in the past. When the Chevy Volt his the market, they will be going head-to-head with Toyota in the plug-in hybrid market.

Having worked for Chrysler in Communications until November of last year, I know that the Detroit 3 car companies are embracing more progressive marketing strategies and working feverishly to speak more directly and clearly to customers.

Just like the (negative) perception that has built up over the past 25 years, it will take time to turn this large vessel. The problem and $64,000 question is if the market will give them time to do it.

Kevin McCormick, McCormick Media Group

Seh

I have nothing to add. That's a great list. I think I am actually using a majority of the steps without even knowing. I use direct response marketing, I post video to show my offer, I research the market to offer what the market wants. Plus I create attention by posting my video to http://www.Adwido.com and they target specific keywords to boost traffic.

Seth

Hi David,

I also saw this ad in the Globe.
After reading about how they were changing, it appeared that they were admitting all their faults and the reasons for their failure. The ad did not inspire me to purchase a new car from GM.

Seth

Felix Chesterfield

This site has just about everything you could want for GM car and truck parts

debt

David - I, and I'm sure most of your readers, would be interested in a follow up from you next month when you do sit down and talk with Mr. Barger.

@Larry Bennett's post - although a bit vindictive - is reflective of your suggestion in #5. We don't see the faces of the workers and their families - those that are suffering right now. I'm not just referring to the union workers and those working the lines in the plants. A family member of mine is an engineer at Chrysler - very smart guy. Has some incredible thoughts on the future of car making. But right now, the face of
loans GM/Chrysler - are the executives in private jets - taking tax payer dollars.

David Meerman Scott

@debt - Good idea. I just updated the post (see the top). Thanks David

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