Young couple admiring new General Motors car with GM Canada logo in the centre of the image

General Motors Canada 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.

“The foundation of the EA data is to determine who we are already selling vehicles to and where can we find more of them. Most dealers plan to use the information in their marketing plans.”

—Jason Easton, Director of Sales, Service and Marketing for Toronto/GTA | General Motors Canada


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 better understand its Toronto buyers. However, they 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.



    The first step is discovery of data

    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.


    The second step is apply analytics

    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.


    Step three is actionable outcomes

    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.


The project helped lay the groundwork to aid Toronto dealers in their local marketing efforts. The analysis included delivery of maps indicating the concentration of Chevrolet target groups in each dealer area and the primary target groups in their audience. GM's marketing team conducted a roadshow across the country to present the analysis and highlight the differences between target groups, so dealers could understand the nuances—as well as their commonalities—within their market. Through this analysis, GM now has the ability to be more effective with sponsorship opportunities based on the alignment with their target audiences.



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