Why It Isn’t a Big Deal That GM Pulled Its Facebook Advertising

Alan Belniakbusiness, Marketing, Social MediaLeave a Comment

old school General Motors (as seen on http://www.SubjectivelySpeaking.net)

Maybe you didn’t hear recently… In case you didn’t, automaker General Motors (“GM”), on the eve of Facebook’s IPO, pulled their advertising from Facebook.  Maybe it was one big newsjack.  Maybe it wasn’t.  Regardless, I think there was too much hullabaloo about why this is so detrimental to GM.


(skim the links below to get caught up, if you like)


As marketers (well, good marketers), aren’t we encouraged to try, test, execute, measure, review, adjust, and iterate?  As Mitch points out here, we don’t know the inside details at GM.  But let’s make a supposition, for the sake of argument: GM is a big company and has some intelligent people working in marketing.  My guess is that they probably did try some things, look at data, make some tweaks, adjusted what was done, reviewed those results, and iterated.  And after one, two, or n rounds of that, they said, “You know what?  This isn’t working for us.”


I don’t know for sure, though.  My gut tells me that this wasn’t a one-and-done approach, though.  GM is too big a company to do that.


I don’t get it.  Lots of brands make decisions all the time.  Didn’t PepsiCo decide a few years ago to not do SuperBowl advertising in lieu of doing more social stuff?  Where was the outcry then?  Sure, there was coverage of the story.  Was there as much “I can’t believe this is happening!” stories?


Personally, I think it’s not a great move to shut down an entire channel.  Especially a channel that has a sizable audience and is inherently two-way.  Perhaps GM had some misconceptions heading in as to what or how fast this channel could effect change.  But again – we don’t have the data.


And if GM did do the one-and-done approach?  Well, then they’ve got larger issues than Facebook on their hands, in that case.  They need to look at overhauling talent in general.


image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyeline-imagery/505967206/


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