General Motors

Epsilon Rebrands, Becomes a 1-Stop Shop as Others Do the Same
October 23, 2014

One-stop shop. Marketing agencies and vendors are moving quickly to ensure marketers never have to leave their doors to find specialties of any type. The latest to do so is Epsilon, one of the big players currently synonymous with the word "data." On Wednesday Epsilon, an Alliance Data company, announced its rebranding as a "an all-encompassing, global marketing business."

Denny’s Daily Zinger: When Is a Brand Dead?
August 29, 2014

This past summer came a stunning announcement: "Floating an Idea: Would P&G Sell Ivory Soap?" The Wall Street Journal further writes, "As Company Pares Brands, an Icon's Status is Weighed Against Sinking Sales." I grew up with Ivory soap. Throughout my life, I would try different brands—often with negative reactions. Whereupon, I went back to Ivory. Ditching Ivory would be like General Motors trashing Chevy!

Does Correct Grammar Influence Marketing Success?
May 5, 2014

Tastes good like a cigarette should. Think different. Got milk? Sticklers for grammar will point out that these famous ad campaigns are grammatically incorrect (and other sticklers will argue that “Think different” is, in fact, correct). But these slogans were tremendously successful for the corporations that chose them. Does this mean correct grammar and spelling don’t really matter?

Only Hire Professionals!
December 1, 2013

World War II has been called the "last good war." Unlike the wars of today, the entire country was involved. It dominated my childhood. Men went off to fight and women took jobs in defense plants turning out planes, Jeeps, tanks and uniforms. My family was involved in selling war bonds and working with the USO to bring Broadway show people to entertain troops at local military bases.

Why Ad Agencies Aren't Going Away Anytime Soon
November 7, 2013

Years ago, I was making a presentation to a client about the need to make a major change in the brand's overall strategy. The client's marketing director looked at me and said in a stern voice: "We do the positioning. You do the advertising." (I bit my tongue so I wouldn't say, "But Jack Trout and I had something to do about creating 'positioning.'") He was right, of course, and he was wrong. The client always bears the responsibility for the success of a marketing campaign. But along with that responsibility is the need to listen to its advertising agency

Cars Are Big Smartphones on Wheels: AT&T CEO
February 27, 2013

The connected car will be as common as smartphones, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC on Monday, following the company's deal to take over as the high-speed wireless provider for GM vehicles. "General Motors has probably been the most aggressive thinking about the connected car and where the connected car goes," Stephenson said in a "Squawk Box" ... GM's OnStar — best known for connecting drivers to live operators who provide directions or call emergency help after an accident — will start using AT&T instead of Verizon in its 2015 models

How Fortune 500 Companies Engage Customers on Social Media
September 7, 2012

Fortune annually compiles a list of America’s largest corporations, aptly named the “Fortune 500” (F500) given their size and wealth. … In 2008, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research released one of the first studies on social media adoption among the F500 … Last year’s F500 study drew attention for the leveling off of blogging, with only 23 percent hosting a public-facing corporate blog in both 2010 and 2011. The latest iteration documents a leap forward for these titans as they show the first signs of really embracing a range of social media tools.

Facebook Doesn't Want to Talk About Ads Anymore
August 22, 2012

Amid Facebook's falling stock price, and word that its biggest investor has sold almost all his shares in the social network, Facebook's director of developer products Doug Purdy gave The New York Times' Somini Sengupta a vision for the company, which was surprisingly vague on the advertising part. The future of Facebook involves the following, according to Purdy's interview with Sengupta: One day soon, he said, the Facebook newsfeed on your mobile phone would deliver to you everything you want to know: what news to digest, what movies to watch, where to eat and honeymoon

Why Facebook Ad Haters Are Wrong – Here’s How Marketers Can Do Better
July 17, 2012

On the heels of a WSJ report that Facebook and GM are in talks to rekindle their advertising relationship, after a very public breakup in the days before what can be kindly described as a lackluster IPO, BBC has jumped on the bandwagon to throw stones. In "Facebook ‘likes’ and adverts’ value doubted," BBC’s tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones warns companies are wasting large sums of money on Facebook ads that largely attract those with no real interest in their products. The BBC launched an investigation into the issue after a marketing consultant approached them

The Muddled Math of Social Media Marketing
May 22, 2012

I have spent 50 years in direct marketing. It is a precision business model with three elements that can be described in 85 words: 1) Testing. If something works in a small quantity, you run confirming tests in a larger arena. If the results hold up, you roll out and cream the market; 2) Discipline. Be it direct mail, off-the-page advertising or broadcast, the overriding constraints are size and accessibility of the specific universe and cost-per-thousand; and 3) Measurable Arithmetic. Rules include: allowable cost per order, ROI and lifetime value of the customer. Direct marketing arithmetic is precise right down to tenths and hundredths of a percentage-otherwise known as a gnat's eyebrow.