Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
There's a great article here called Doing It Wrong: 11 Boring Things GM Posted on Facebook. I couldn't agree more with the article. And, like the article itself, I have more to say than just comment on the "boring" Facebook page operation by GM, as well: GM is stupid, or "dot dumb", for revoking their paid Facebook ads.
What is going on? This is really "Old Media vs. New Media" and nothing new for GM's advertising, unfortunately. I don't agree with the folks who claim Facebook cannot be monetized well--in fact, if I were running GM's online efforts, I would have wanted to WORK WITH Facebook to tune up their ad system! The press from such an effort would have been very big. And positive, even if the project itself didn't work (which I think it would). We will sell 14 million vehicles this year, give or take, and spend (between the OEMs and dealers) $14 billion dollars in advertising! That's $1,000 a vehicle. And that's a lot of money to direct to the right places.
And yet Facebook--with a standing audience of many millions that includes both domestic GM customers and possible conquests (not to mention SERVICE customers)--is somehow not, in GM's eyes, worth working it out? Evidently. Well, whether you believe Facebook is the Next Online Ad Giant or you don't, GM's move to revoke $10 million of Facebook advertising (very important, though a drop in the bucket for both OEM car ads as well as Facebook income) is indicative of a systemic problem: GM has never, ever really "gotten" the Internet. From their matching funds efforts for digital ad strategies to their lead programs, they don't understand what it takes to really advertise vehicles much less sell vehicles leveraging the Internet. And this was true before the bankruptcy and is true after.
Phrases like "Emperor's New Clothes" and "Calling Their Baby Ugly" come to mind, as clearly GM has an entrenched mindset that has continued to not "get" the Internet OR social media for years--and so I don't expect either to make a change at GM or make a friend from this article (and I do have friends who work at GM, by the way, and for the record as individuals they are very smart). I'm just one guy who DOES get it writing a blog in an online community.
However, change is needed for GM. And how long does it take for GM to really change? Another decade will be equivalent to at least 50 "Internet Years". How much must happen for GM to really change and not be "dot dumb"? A bankruptcy couldn't even do it.
Which is sad. I'm a long-time GM vehicle buyer, by the way. A true fan of the product. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer of us: Most of the "unaffiliated" vehicle buyers are on Facebook. And they're under 35. And maybe under 40.
And, as the most-marketed-to age group in history, they are not stupid. They are "dot smart".
Maybe GM Marketing/Advertising should hire a few of them.