Advertising Week preview: GM's CMO on connected TV, personalization, customer experience - SmartBrief

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Advertising Week preview: GM’s CMO on connected TV, personalization, customer experience

Ahead of her upcoming appearance at Advertising Week in New York City, General Motor’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl sat down to talk about connected TV, personalization, how technology is changing the customer experience and more.

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Advertising Week preview: GM's CMO on connected TV, personalization, customer experience


This post is sponsored by Innovid.

Connected TV’s effects on the customer ad experience, personalization, tech innovation and the balance between data and creativity are sure to be hot topics at the upcoming Advertising Week event in New York City this month. To prepare for the discussions that will take place, we sat down with Deborah Wahl, global chief marketing officer at General Motors, who will participate in a panel discussion with global advertising and analytics platform Innovid at the event.

Ahead of the event, Wahl talked about what role personalization plays at the car maker, where quality data fits into the creative process and how new technology is changing the customer experience, as well as what Advertising Week conversations she is looking forward to most:

How is connected TV helping GM improve the customer ad experience? What role does personalization play?


Connected TV helps us understand who our current and future customers are, and when we know who they are, we can personalize what we share with them. It allows us to bring what we know how to leverage in digital to TV.

Creativity and data are both key components — how are you balancing the two to create engaging experiences for your customers? Are you finding one more critical than the other?

Good data drives great creativity, so they are inextricably linked. Raw human insights, understanding people’s behaviors and understanding when and how they react to the world opens doors to amazing work.

How are you using new technology to change the customer experience? How are you innovating the way you communicate with your customer?

New technology drives both our customer experience within our vehicles, and how they communicate with us. We are redefining what “customer experience” and “car buying experience” mean at GM, and that changes how we communicate with our customers — whether it’s their vehicle anticipating their needs, like knowing it’s cold out so they’ll want the heated steering wheel on, or serving them an ad in a way that allows them to engage with the brand differently.

What opportunities are you seeing for the auto industry and brands in general with over-the-top/connected TV?

This data-driven targeting brings the personalization that we can easily execute in digital to TV.

Are there any key conversations or trends you’re looking forward to hearing more about at Advertising Week New York?

The evolution of addressable, OTT, CTV — Are you watching A&E on Comcast receiving an addressable ad, or watching it on Sling through Roku? And if it’s on a Samsung, which of those three were the ad server? As this space evolves, and how we buy advertising inevitably evolves with it — it’s going to be more complicated before it becomes simple again.


Look for more insights from Wahl when she participates in Innovid’s “The Future of TV is Now” series at Advertising Week New York, one of the industry’s biggest events of the year for advertising decision makers, taking place Sept. 23-26. Occurring at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Innovid’s panels will focus on the transformation of TV measurement, how brands are scaling success in connected TV and how personalization is driving growth and engagement. Join Innovid at Advertising Week New York.


Deborah Wahl is the global chief marketing officer at General Motors. Previously, she served as marketing chief for McDonald’s and CMO of Pulte Group. Prior to that, she spent more than a decade in the automotive industry, as CMO at Chrysler and in marketing roles at Toyota Motor Sales USA, Mazda North America and Ford Motor Co.