The leaders of the Big Three automakers received all kinds of negative press for flying individual personal jets to the bailout hearings in Washington DC. I’m sure if their marketing people had a say in the matter they may have done something different.
Imagine the positive word of mouth they might have created with a drive across America buzz campaign. They could have stretched the 8 hour drive over the course of several days using their most fuel efficient cars . They could have featured the men and women that work in dealerships and auto suppliers in each State along the way. They could have videotaped the trip and uploaded it to their websites, giving the public a sense of the very real people whose lives would be affected by allowing the Big Three to fail.
The marketing departments of the Detroit automakers may want to adopt a word of mouth marketing perspective especially as they begin to scale back some of their mass media programs, witness Buick ending its relationship with Tiger Woods, citing their economic situation. Word of mouth marketing cannot replace traditional marketing but it can be done more cost effectively and will be more credible.
Automobile marketers will have to find more cost effective ways to get the word out about their products and a word of mouth marketing perspective may be just what they need. All marketing should be designed to create positive word of mouth, and everyone would agree the Big Three sure need some positive buzz.