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As GM sinks, its blog grows more interesting


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November 22, 2005

As GM sinks, its blog grows more interesting

Stephen Baker

As General Motors sinks in crisis, it's Fastlane blog makes for lively reading. Dave Taylor thinks GM is showing its defensiveness, but I don't agree. I see a marketing exec making the best case possible for the company's heavy discounting. "We have to move the metal..." Then I read terrific comments from very skeptical but engaged readers--many of whom care deeply about GM and its cars.

examples:

"We know the Employee Discount for Everyone program brought in lots of customers who otherwise might have waited."

Translation: "We cannibalized future sales to move iron."

---

I'll go ahead and rain on everyone's parade and predict that Solstice sales will tank after the first year, when buyers find out it has 1 Cubic Foot of cargo space with the top down. Toyota MR Spider, anyone?

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"Why did you buy that GM? You've been drooling over it?"

-ummm...no

"You will never have to worry about big repair bills or selling it down the road?"

-ummm...no

"Get a great deal?"

-Well....I thought so when I bought my 06'. But I saw yesterday that they are now even cheaper than when I bought mine for and it ain't even 06 yet..

"So would you buy another or recommend one...?

-ummmmmmm..........

12:15 AM

Inside Companies

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Naughty Dave... taking all the glory on this one! He and I have been involved in a back and forth volley about the direction of GM's Fastlane blog over on BusinessBlogConsulting.com.

I agree with you, Stephen. I don't think we can write off Fastlane just yet. Although I do wish the blog would be just a tiny bit less cheery, as GM enters what looks like a death spiral.

As I wrote in response to Dave's entry:

"Blogging is an imperfect, messy strategy. And it's going to be adapted and will evolve as more and more companies use it as a marketing strategy. It's premature to say that corporate blogging has to be done a certain way or else the blog is a failure."

So I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude to Fastlane. I think the folks writing and managing the blog need a bit more time to figure out how to handle the elephant in the room. Cuz it looks like this elephant isn't going away anytime soon.

Posted by: Debbie Weil at November 22, 2005 02:06 PM


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