Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On a Clear Day You Can Hear General Motors

Chrysler has a new chief executive, a fact that is not particularly important for the purposes of this narrative. What is more relevant is that he webcast his comments about the future of Chrysler.

This little tidbit appears in paragraph 6 of the New York Times article:
Mr. Nardelli also said in the speech, which was broadcast online, that car
shoppers want gadgets. “It has to have the latest technologies on board. It has
to provide the comfort, it has to be kind of self-tutorial, on the education of
Hearing a chief executive describe his or her vision for the future is no revelation; quarterly earnings calls have been going on for more than a decade. The noteworthy part here is that the speech to which the article refers does not seem to be mandated by federal regulations - as quarterly earnings calls are.

If this is the case, then Chrysler CHOSE to broadcast this via the internet and that carries some interesting implications.

The television is as expensive as it is effective for spreading a message; ask politicians and televangelists. A company like Chrysler probably has to continue spending millions on advertisements to maintain "brand awareness" in the zeitgeist, but would it not be interesting if Chrysler started spending thousands on webinars targeting "car enthusiasts" -- much like a politician forgoing a big television buy in an urban market to target "likely voters" with webcasts.

Of course, that would force the Chrysler guy to up the quality of his message from people want cupholders and gadgets [read the article and you will see that is an accurate paraphrase].

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