GM marketing spend will return to normal levels post pandemic By Reuters

GM marketing spend will return to normal levels post pandemic By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Logo of GM atop the company headquarters

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) -General Motors Co’s marketing and promotional spending will return to normal levels after the COVID-19 pandemic caused that budget to drop last year, the U.S. automaker’s top marketing officer said on Monday.

“What we went through in the pandemic was certainly severe and we should be moving back up to our normalized levels,” GM Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl said in an online appearance at a Reuters Events conference.

Wahl declined to discuss how much GM will spend this year, but GM cut its advertising and promotional spending last year by about $1 billion to $2.7 billion according to the Detroit company’s annual report.

GM is engaging with online influencers in a new way, launching vehicles in a more entertaining way and working to personalize communications, Wahl said. “We’re looking at really changing the way that we spend,” she said.

In a separate appearance at the conference, Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co’s chief customer experience officer, Elena Ford, said the No. 2 U.S. automaker has pushed to deepen relationships with its retail and commercial customers post COVID-19.

“As people venture back out, we have a real opportunity to re-imagine the entire experience our customers have,” she said.

GM’s Wahl also said the No. 1 U.S. automaker will offer a third-party app that delivers in-vehicle navigation capability to about 900,000 vehicles that lack the feature.

The Maps+ app, from Mapbox, will begin the rollout on certain 2018 and newer models on April 30 to customers with select connected services plans, GM said.

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