Chevy’s Maria Rohrer: “We celebrate Silverado owners who are as dependable as their trucks.”

Marketer Interview

Maria RohrerMaria Rohrer is the Director of Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet Trucks, marketing for Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Traverse, Avalanche, and Colorado. Prior to her position as Director of marketing, Rohrer was the Director for Chevrolet global marketing operations and focused on global brand alignment for Chevrolet. Portada interviewed her to learn about how Chevy is planning to reverse its 4 points market share loss in the full-size pick up market since 2008. Rohrer also expands on the importance of the Hispanic customer in selected states and Chevy Silverado's national advertising campaign.

Portada: How important are Hispanics for your 2014 Chevy Silverado campaign and in general for Chevy's U.S. marketing plan?
Maria Rohrer, Director of Marketing and Strategy, Chevrolet Trucks: "The campaign speaks to truck buyers regardless of gender by emphasizing the strong work ethic, dedication to family and integrity that appeals to truck buyers in particular."

We understand that 50% of initial production of Silverado was provided to dealers in Texas. How does this strong emphasis on TexasSilverado translate into your marketing and advertising efforts, particularly towards the Texan Hispanic market?
M.R.: We have ’focused a lot of our marketing effort in Texas because one in every six pickups in the U.S. is sold in the state. We are advertising heavily in that market and began the campaign there two weeks before the national launch. We will also be present at general market and Hispanic events throughout the state."

How important is the Hispanic customer for Chevrolet in terms of overall Chevy sales?
M.R.:'This Hispanic market is very important to Chevrolet particularly in select states. We are trying to engage the Latino consumer authentically. We are integrating with key Latino passion points to become more relevant to buyers. For example with Silverado, the ads show the heart of the truck segment with images of hardworking family men and women at the center."

Do you market Chevy differently depending on the Hispanic market (e.g. Florida and California) or is there a unified advertising message?
M.R.:'"We can't discuss our strategy, but know that the Hispanic markets are important to us at Chevrolet and we reach out with consistent and engaging messages both in Spanish and in English."

GM’s full-size pickup market share fell from 29% in 2008 to 25% last year. How do you intend to reverse this trend in terms of your positioning and advertising?
M.R.:We aim to differentiate ourselves from other manufacturers by taking back the heart of the category. We will appeal to buyers based on their shared values. It is what the song “Strong,” that is featured in both the general market and Hispanic campaign, is all about. The song celebrates Silverado owners who are as dependable and capable as their trucks."

We aim to differentiate ourselves from other manufacturers by taking back the heart of the category.

What role do dealerships play in Chevy's advertising plans and where do they invest the majority of their marketing dollars (e.g. online radio or print)?
M.R.:'Chevrolet advertises in a variety of ways through both the corporate brand and through its dealer network, but as a matter of policy, we do not disclose our strategic planning program. We cannot disclose our mix for strategic reasons though."


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