The Digital Marketing Advantage GM Dealers Dont Know They Have


GM Releases Information On The Future Of Its Connected Car Strategy:


But The REAL Questions Are:

  • What does this mean for the future of in-car connectivity?

  • Why does this matter for my dealership?

Debrief ---------------

Mary Chan, General Motor’s President of the Global Connected Consumer sat down at CTIA Wireless last week where she acknowledged that GM’s connected car strategy will be dramatically different. “Instead of trying to bring every app and service to market itself, GM is leaning heavily on its new partners Apple and Google to bring core infotainment apps to the dash and relying on the smartphone to supply the connectivity for those apps”Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both user-interface layers that run on top of automakers’ own infotainment operating systems, essentially projecting a driver-optimized version of popular apps from the smartphone onto the dashboard screen.“

“GM is basically handing over development of any app that isn’t directly tied to the vehicle’s core driving capabilities over to Apple and Google.”


GM has chose this path for a variety of reasons:

  • Developing car specific apps is very tedious and requires lots of unnecessary work
  • Many apps require very little of the cars hardware to function
  • Consumers can use their phones internet connectivity to power the app without having to subscribe to a separate connected car plan

  This could be a + or – for the automaker:

  • Gain more users that will opt in to a free platform
  • Gain the ability to offer a larger variety of apps in vehicles
  • Loose revenue from subscription plans
  • Loose control of their connected car platform to app companies




By relying on the Smartphone to supply the connectivity of the apps, this gives dealers with a dealer app already in place a big advantage. A dealer app on a consumers phone will be able to directly link to the consumer’s vehicle giving the dealership yet another direct marketing connection to the consumer.  

This May Open Pandora’s Box Of Advertising For Dealers To:

  • Run advertisements directly on the digital dashboard
  • Create another direct interaction point to the consumer
  • Learn a consumers shopping habits
  • Determine how a customer interacts with their vehicle
  • Plug into a cars on-board connected car system to creating a SERVICE!!!


Picture this……

Scenario 1:

Your consumer steps into their vehicle, their _____ dealer app automatically syncs with their vehicle.

The app realizes that the vehicle is in need of an oil change and sends the customer your dealerships current oil change ad.

The consumer accepts the offer then the app routes the consumer to your dealership using the vehicles navigation system.


Scenario 2:

The dealer app analyzes the consumers shopping habits within the app and uses this information to market to the customer, subtly coaxing them into a vehicle purchase by using on screen advertising to psychologically keep the new car on the consumers top-of-mind.

Understanding the consumers shopping path allows the dealer to better segment purchasers into correct sections of the purchase funnel, allowing dealerships to use certain marketing methods to hit the customer at the correct place an time.

As apps continue to evolve, so too will the ability to market the connected consumer. This is just the tip of the mobile marketing iceberg, added customer vehicle insights will allow automotive marketing to take major turns in new directions giving your dealership new methods to interact with your customers on even higher levels.  

Also See: How Will Mobile Tech Partnerships Shift The Automotive Market?

By: Josh Knutson


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