05.05.05-1 DO NOT HIRE ANY GENERAL MOTORS MARKETING REFUGEES

GM today was downgraded to junk by S&P. You can bet your bottom dollar that not much will get done today within the GM marketing ranks. Most of whom will have spent their day getting updated resumes out. Scott Sprinzen the S&P analyst who led the downgrade effort chalked up the problem to:

1. GM's inability to produce cars people wanted to buy.
2. Selling cars with deep promotional discounting.

Which sounds like a marketing problem to me. Don't get me wrong, unions, management, employees, the board all have contributed mightily to GM's fall from grace. But at the end of the day, if you can't produce a product people want to buy, then no amount of pension, benefit, or wage reductions will make up the difference.

There were two miscues in the recent past which highlight the marketing woes at GM. First was the attempt to extend the Hummer franchise by turning it into a piece of jewelry to be worn by well heeled socialites. Second was giving away a couple hundred cars on Oprah, a move that only benefited Oprah's ratings and the GM brand manager's ego who wanted to hang with Oprah.

So this is what I suggest. Do not hire any GM marketers. Make them stay at GM and figure it out. Make them stay and fight for the franchise. Nothing like wolves at the door to create the urgency needed to develop real breakthrough products and strategies. Hmmmmm.... says here you worked for GM in brand management... sorry no openings... you need to go back to GM and clean up the mess you created... then come see me.