Last September, General Motors promoted former Cadillac marketing boss Deborah Wahl to the position of chief marketing officer. GM had not had a global CMO since Joel Ewanick was released from the company in 2012, so Wahl’s appointment to the position was both surprising and significant.
We haven’t had the chance to hear too much from Wahl since she took the GM marketing reigns last year. Wahl was present at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, however, where she sat down with the event’s C-Space web show for a lengthy discussion about emerging technologies and GM’s Vision Zero initiative.
One of the more interesting parts of the interview is when the C-Space host James Kotecki asks how technology is having an impact on the automotive marketing space. Wahl says that GM is currently in the midst of moving to an “audience based, propensity modelling structure for all of the brands.” This means GM will attempt to use data to identify those consumers who may be predisposed to preferring a certain brand and then target ads at that individual.
The data that Wahl is referencing can be extremely specific – sometimes oddly so. For instance, she says GM has noticed that people who enjoy or attend magic shows have a strong propensity to buy a Cadillac. Unique overlaps like these can be extremely valuable to ad execs like Wahl, as they inform them where to target their ads for maximum effectiveness.
“I think it’s all those simple insights that rally do develop and it’s shocking when you become completely committed to it how it really changes a lot of the media strategy, the investment strategy, everything,” Wahl said of these data-based insights.
You can watch the interview embedded below to hear what else Wahl had to say at CES 2020.