General Motors Canada is the Canadian subsidiary of General Motors and it produces and sells vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands. With a workforce of more than 23,000, GM Canada represents one of Canada’s largest automotive dealer networks.
There are few tougher markets for selling new vehicles than Toronto. With its mix of young renters, culturally diverse suburbanites and wealthy older families, the Greater Toronto Area is complex, hyper-competitive and more diverse than other markets. As part of Chevrolet’s sales strategy, GM wanted to pursue a new data-driven analysis to understand its Toronto buyers better. But it needed buy-in from its 18 Toronto area Chevrolet dealers to switch from focusing on aspirational targets at the national or regional level to adopting a local segmentation approach using data and analytics.
To better understand who buys General Motors vehicles, we looked at their customer base within the City of Toronto through the lens of PRIZM, our comprehensive segmentation system. We then divided the automaker’s customers into one of seven groups to target for direct marketing.
Once we had identified the seven prominent GM segments, our Insights Analysts built personas around each target group, such as “City Renters” and “Multicultural Suburbanites.” These personas considered several different factors, including demographics, media usage and psychographic profiles. The analysis revealed which segments accounted for the most sales of Chevrolet vehicles in Toronto, which were underperforming and which offered the greatest opportunity for growth.
Finally, we helped GM develop their media plan. We started by mapping out each segment using ENVISION to see where they live and then looking at the personas to see what media they consume. City Renters, for instance, were heavy consumers of TV, newspapers and direct mail, while radio was a better channel for reaching Multicultural Suburbanites.
Our analysis helped lay the groundwork to aid Toronto dealers in their local marketing efforts, including maps indicating the concentration of Chevrolet target groups in each dealer’s market area and the two or three primary target groups in their audience. GM’s marketing team took their findings on the road, spending to review our data and other complementary research and analytics with its dealer network. The presentations highlighted the differences between target groups, so dealers could understand the nuances—as well as their commonalities—within their market to be more efficient in their marketing efforts. The automaker is now more discerning about where it spends its sponsorship dollars to ensure they align with their target audiences.
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