Email marketing

GM’s zero-party data strategy defies cookies to sell EVs

Adobe is just one piece of GM’s marketing and advertising kit. On Tuesday, Kapoor talked about a new “real-time” component of the marketing cloud services. The automaker can analyze consumers as they visit websites and apps, precisely the places where consumer tracking has become more difficult with the death of cookies.

“As interactions happen across channels from the GM website and mobile app, to email marketing,” said Stephen Frieder, Adobe’s chief revenue officer of enterprise by email. “It allows the automaker to understand where customers are in their journey with brands such as Cadillac.”

GM is trying to identify when a new customer walks through the website or app. When they return, GM hits them with a new message. When customers expressed interest in its Cadillac brand, “their next GM interaction surfaced tools that allowed them to build and customize a Cadillac vehicle,” Frieder said. “Each subsequent engagement follows similar logic, including customization based on actions customers took in their buying journeys.”

Programmatic advertising and personalized marketing

GM has a long road ahead to get Hummer drivers to ditch gas-powered vehicles and turn them into GMC Hummer EV enthusiasts. And it wants to do the same with other vehicle lines within its Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC brands. GM sold 2.27 million vehicles in the US last year, and fewer than 2% were electric.

“We’re focused on driving EV adoption as kind of this next stage of our ‘zero crashes, zero congestion, zero emissions’ vision that we have at GM,” Kapoor said. “And part of that is a focus on really taking EV adoption to the next level.”

GM is relying on programmatic advertising and personalized marketing, backed by data and customer data platforms. GM has its website where it sells merchandise, which builds direct relationships with core fans. The site also teaches visitors about EV ownership and has tools such as maps to charging stations. GM also has relationships with dealerships around the country where consumers buy vehicles. It advertises on the open web, finding customers through programmatic ads across the internet, and through direct deals with publishers, especially in TV and connected TV. And GM has vehicles that are increasingly connected. Last year, GM became one of the first brands to announce a partnership with NBCUniversal’s new clean room, a place to play with data that adheres to consumer privacy rules.

“We’ve been really an early adopter and advocate of, call it connected TV, advanced TV capabilities,” Kapoor said.

“We’re constantly tuning our media mix to the highest impact channel,” Kapoor said. “Even in cookie deprecation, our leverage of our first-party data through clean rooms have allowed us to still be able to activate in most, if not all places. And so, we’ve seen our mix really just changes based off consumer habits and where our consumers spend time.”

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