Memo to Automakers: Hello? Is your brain engaged?

The number one rule of marketing is “Perception is Reality.” (OK, to be fair, I number all my rules with “number one” so I don’t have to remember the order but this one is pretty darn important, let me tell you.) It’s really quite simple, the actual on-the-ground truth is not as important as what I — as your customer — perceive it to be.

If I think your service sucks, it sucks. You can quote J.D. Power studies from now until the cows come home. I won’t believe it. If I think your prices are too high, your prices are too high. If I think your employees are rude, your employees are rude. It’s all about the perceptions. Oh sure, after I get past the perceptions, I’ll start to weigh some facts. But if my perception of your business is lousy, you will NEVER get me through the door or onto your website. It just won’t happen, got it?

A big chunk of stupid

So, let’s jump to the current automaker crisis. The “Big 3” (which, if one follows the news these days, should be called the “Begging 3”) are in front of congress asking for $25 Billion, which is a sizeable wad of cash — at least by my standards. General Motors says that they might not even make it through the end of the year without a financial infusion. So, in effect, they are marketing themselves right? They’re looking to close this transaction with a sale of about $25 Billion. They need to follow the rules of marketing.

My bags are packed, I'm ready to goAnd what do they do? They show up in private jets? Hello! Are you daft? Not only has the management of the auto industry driven them down a wrong road, but their public relations department should be fired! You’re showing up on the national stage, telling everyone you’re destitute (and you really might be) and how do you do it? Via Leer Jet!

No one is asking you to fly coach (for under $300!) roundtrip from Detroit to DC. OK, maybe they are. Maybe you have to fly first class because you can’t stand the treatment that your average, every day, working class employees get. (Sarcastic much?) However, to pay approximately $20,000 when you’re bleeding cash is just stupid! It further enhances the perception that you’re out of touch.

And since perception is reality, you therefore really are out of touch. The question then becomes, “do we plunk down billions and billions and billions of dollars to a management group living so far in a bubble, they can’t see what’s really going on?”

It’s a shame because it is a serious issue with vital ramifications and management just doesn’t get it. It appears to be further validation that they are out of touch. And why would we — taxpayers — give all that money to people who don’t understand their customers?  Sad. Sad. Sad.


~ by scottqmarcus on November 20, 2008.

2 Responses to “Memo to Automakers: Hello? Is your brain engaged?”

  1. Meow!

  2. At least Speaker Pelosi finally made an intelligent comment; echoing your thoughts and mine. SO here is my solution:

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