UPDATE: On December 1, 2009, Fritz Henderson was ousted as CEO by the GM board. Read my open letter to Ed Whitacre, new interim CEO of GM.
+++++++++++++++General Motors world headquarters in Detroit at the invitation of the GM social media communications team.
I met a bunch of interesting people, drove some cool cars, and learned a great deal. I’ve got so much to share that I'll be blogging exclusively about GM for the rest of the week.
First up is my video interview with Fritz Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors.
We discuss what helps to sell cars, including "new marketing" (brand journalism, blogs, online video, etc.) as well as the more traditional television commercials plus the importance of word of mouth. The video is 11 minutes. Below are some times if you want to skip to a particular part of the video.
My favorite (lightly edited) quote:
“Word of mouth is the number one influence on the decision to buy a car... Social media democratizes providing word of mouth to a much broader audience.”
:00 - 2:40 How marketing and communications has changed in the 25 years that Henderson has been with GM and what hasn’t changed: Word of mouth.
2:40 – 4:00 The role of Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and other instant tools to get information out.
4:00 - 5:40 How people consume information on their time.
5:40 – 8:50 The importance of corporate produced video and the continuing role of traditional media and TV commercials for broad consideration and tactical offers.
8:50 – 11:00 Fritz Henderson provides advice to other CEOs about new marketing and connecting with customers.
Tomorrow I'll post a video interview with Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman, Marketing and Communications. Watch for additional blog posts throughout the week.