After being declared bankrupt in 2009, General Motors (GM) was repurchased by new investors who restructured the entire business by acquiring the majority of assets, including the name. Currently, GM operates under four solid brands, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. The core aspect that has led to the success of the company anchors from its brilliant marketing strategy which aims at attracting potential buyers (Anbinder 2018). The company’s aggressive advertisement aims to speed the sale of its products; automobile parts, vehicles, and vehicle financing services.
General Motors focuses more on customer satisfaction since they have programs that check social media to see reviews from clients. GM uses a unique strategy to sell its products since they solely depend on customers’ interaction and not the price tags (Adriaanse 2017). GM has also created programs that support public understanding of what the company offers with the corresponding benefits of purchasing certain vehicles. Rather than having one-time customers, GM ensures they provide the necessary support to their clients to retain them as they attract new clients.
The overall primary sales of GM are attributed to a well-laid dealer structure. The company has assigned authorized dealers who handle the sales. (Anbinder 2018). Therefore, the authorized dealers are responsible for providing services, selling, and distributing cars and vehicle parts. The dealers can also service and effectively perform repairs on GM vehicles using GM parts under the GM warranty programs. The GM management went ahead to allow their dealers to provide lease financing, provision of credit, and insurance to its consumers under the GM financing programs. Additionally, GM uses the internet to sell their vehicles, meaning a client can make an order, and through the dealers, the vehicle is delivered to the client’s location
Effectiveness of GM dealership strategy
In 2010, GM sold an approximate value of 8.4 million vehicles, and since then, there has been a positive trajectory whereby in 2016, it made record-breaking sales of more than 10.01 million cars. The adopted dealership strategy seems to be effective for GM and it can be related to increased sales throughout the years (Deese, Shafran & Jester 2020). In 2016, GM attained a significant global market share of 8.22.
Therefore, working with market-oriented dealers can significantly improve the profit being plowed back since GM focuses on only quality products as its dealers focus on the market. However, GM’s sales would have increased if it had dealt with the customers direct. Using a dealership approach can inflate the total price of vehicles, which may affect sales. After calculating the production and distribution costs of a single car, GM should set a fixed price, and the dealers are allowed to only sell with the stated figure. Homogenizing the value of a certain vehicle will improve customers’ confidence in specific choices.
GM’s Online Marketing
GM has adopted a program that aims at clarifying issues and providing advice to a client during the pre-purchase period. In North America alone, GM has 26 social media customer care advisers. GM came up with the BuyPower site that aims at driving a considerable number of customers into purchasing cars online. The company has focused on designing its online marketing plan. They are using BuyPower with the argument that it brings a huge track which is converted to purchases.
The site has a monthly visit of 1.5 million with an approximate dealer inventory search of 3.5 monthly. In 2002, 200,000 vehicles were sold through the website traffic, and the management confirmed a revenue of 1 million only through the internet (Chuang & Zhao 2019). The aggressive involvement of GM in an advertisement through their market plan provides a promising future in terms of profit margin.
The Center of Expertise (CoG) is a social media platform that GM adopted to assist in marketing. The program has generated a well-established connection between the company and GM product consumers.
Strengths and Weaknesses of GM online Marketing
Creating a personal online marketing plan is a game-changing idea. Online advertisement has proved to be expensive. Some companies may spend a cost value in adverting, which may not compensate through online sales. GM has reduced the cost of advertisement significantly. BuyPower site can act as an advertising and online purchases platform (Deese, Shafran & Jester 2020). The site has adjustments according to the inventory dealers’ and customers’ needs. Therefore, clients can access a user-friendly site that does not ask for many formalities.
The CoG and BuyPower programs have proved to be ineffective when hunting for new clients. By using these programs, GM is advertising to the existing consumers who already know the GM products. For example, CoG relies on referral, whereby the company advertises to the existing clients who are expected to convey the information to the public (Adriaanse 2017). Likewise, BuyPower focuses on GM inventory dealers rather than attracting new purchases. The well-laid structure of using authorized dealers undermines the power of direct purchases, which might be profitable due to purchase confidence created with the manufacturers.
GM should acquire new advertising approaches which aim at attracting new clients and retaining the existing ones. There are advertising agencies that have large data cookies that collect any potential buyer of GM products. Therefore, GM should seek to collaborate with these agencies for mutual benefits. Additionally, GM should attract clients who would wish to order customer-tailored vehicles. With the current economic setting, rich individuals are willing to pay a fortune to acquire a tailored vehicle. GM should adjust to the fast-changing customer needs for market survival.
Adriaanse, J. (2017). Back to the future: The General Motors restructuring plan. In Turnaround Management and Bankruptcy (pp. 365-387). Routledge. Web.
Anbinder, J. (2018). Selling the World: Public Relations and the Global Expansion of General Motors, 1922–1940. Business History Review, 92(3), 483-507. Web.
Chuang, C. H., & Zhao, Y. (2019). Demand stimulation in finished-goods inventory management: Empirical evidence from General Motors dealerships. International Journal of Production Economics, 208, 208-220. Web.
Deese, B., Shafran, S. M., & Jester, D. (2020). The Rescue and Restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler. In First Responders (pp. 359-384). Yale University Press. Web.