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gm and microsoft’s big hairy marketing challenges

June 7, 2009

we’ll eventually get around to writing up some of our approaches . . .what’s worked for us and all that.

but am following two very interesting marketing campaigns at the moment. both are “come from behind” stories, though quite different.

on one hand, general motors has to completely resurrect it’s brand, redefine itself to its existing customer base, reassure investors and the market, and possibly salvage the american economy. great article in business week about what the marketing department is doing here.

microsoft is similarly faced with a bit of an uphill battle, but of an different kind. this is less about resurrection and more about overcoming the one competitor that has consistently outmanuevered microsoft. the campaign that launched for bing last week has been interesting to follow. the article in the seattle post-intelligencer is well done.

in general, the thing we always watch for is the level of integration . . .is the product consistent with the marketing message? that’s important. what are the other elements that have to be consistent to be really integrated? good question, and one we think about a lot — product, message, advertising, customer outreach methods, customer targeting . . .all of that and more has to work together.

it is in the level of integration that these two campaigns are so different — gm must “rebrand” and bring along a set of legacy products, a vast network (though smaller now) of dealers, and convince people to make $20K+ choices. microsoft has to shift the conversation from a rapidly established household brand in google, to convince people to change rapid-fire minute by minute decisions.

i’ve never bought a gm car, but if they make a really good car . . .i would at least consider them. google to me is a reflex. it’s almost harder to overcome the tiny decisions that lead me to go to google instead of bing. but, i’ll at least consider it. i have tried bing and it seemed fine, but i’ve probably spent 30 minutes on google just today, when i think about it.

anyway, these are two marketing campaigns that are going to be fascinating to watch because they will get so much attention. what is interesting is how many marketing campaigns you interact with on a daily basis that haven’t received any attention . . .but affect the choices you make.

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