Is it GM’s Facebook ads or the content that failing to connect with women?


So GM has decided to pull Facebook advertising apparently because it has failed to reach today’s women. But are the ads failing or is it the marketing messages or the content? I looked at a few of the few GM brand pages and most of the content seem targeted at men with races and golf.

Today it is estimated that 62% of new car purchases are made or influenced by women. Typically we are portrayed as SUV driving kid haulers. Hell, I want a Cadillac V. For all I do as mom, I deserve a little fun and the luxurious interior is a peaceful sanctuary from my multi-tasking madness. If I lived in the burbs I might even want to be a mother trucker. It’s such a secure feeling being in a sturdy truck high above everyone else on the road. So what would sway my choice or other women’s selection when in the new car purchase mode?

It’s as simple as asking, “What are we missing here?” I was at a conference last year where the head of PR from Pampers spoke about bringing moms into their corporate headquarters for the first time ever and how enlightening it was. Wow.

First we know for women attention is in the details. Having worked on Saab, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, I know sometimes it can be things like cup holders as ridiculous as that may seem. But when you look deeper into things and understand that a mom often spends upwards of 3 hours in a car per day, you understand why cup holders are so important to her.

And it’s not just the car we want to understand. Attention is in the details, guys. We want to know that we’ve done the research and made the right decision. And it’s not just the homework around the car. What about the upkeep? Or the cost of insurance? Plus we’ll think about all the things we will potentially use the vehicle for. Give us all the details, please.

And let’s not forget the dealership experience. Last time I went to the dealership the dealer paid very little attention to me till it was pointed out he should talk to me as it was going to be my car. For women it’s the whole package: the car, service, maintenance and the dealership experience. I’ve spoken to Jody Devere in the past, an expert in women and automotive marketing, who shared that until automotive companies fix the dealership experience, they will continue to have a disconnect with women. Here’s what she had to say:

“Although GM is pulling their Facebook advertising, an Certified Female Friendly® Chevrolet dealer in Bay City Michigan, a bedroom community with a population of around 34,000, knew how to get it right with women. They recently ran a “Cutest Baby Photo Contest” on Facebook aimed at reaching women and families to build stronger brand perception of Graff Chevrolet as a welcoming family friendly place to shop for and maintain their cars. Their Facebook page fan base grew from 960 to over 3600, a gain of 2600 during the 7 days of the initiative, 560 baby photos were submitted.

Getting it right on social sites like Facebook is about building relationships with engaging content that resonates with the demographic of women you are trying to reach with your brand message,” said Jody.

So miniscule Facebook ads are likely not the issue here at all.

9 Responses to “Is it GM’s Facebook ads or the content that failing to connect with women?”

  1. As a recent car shopper, I agree the “dealer experience” is really the black hole in the whole process…the “hyped up” salesman with their antiquated techniques just suck the life right out of you. I’ve visited SO many dealers in the last few months, and they’ll blab the whole time at you about a car’s features, without even barely listening to you! And I won’t even get into how rude and self-aggrandising most of them are…

    Here’s the bottom line for most auto manufacturers and dealers…while they’re trying to sell cars, I’m looking for a transportation solution…see the difference! If you want to sell to women, you have to LISTEN to them! That goes for the WHOLE process; from design to production to sales. Factor in what women say THEY need, treat us like “ladies” – and maybe you’ll sell more cars! How hard is that?!

    Robin Mendelson
    • Agreed. It’s all about listening. I don’t know why it’s such a hard concept.

      Holly Pavlika
    • My pleasure. And a huge compliment coming from the woman who wrote the book on women and automotive.

      Holly Pavlika
  2. Great post, very insightful. I agree about the dealership experience. If you’re with your husband, the rep will often just talk to him even though you’re the one who decided to buy a certain model of car.

    Bicultural Mama
    • Made me so mad. They assume men make all the decisions. LOL!

      Holly Pavlika

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