Young couple admiring new General Motors car

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.

  • “The foundation of the Environics Analytics' 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, GM’s director of sales, service and marketing for the Toronto/GTA | General Motors Canada

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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 better understand its Toronto buyers. 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 adopt instead a local segmentation approach using data analytics.



The first step is discovery

To better understand who buys General Motors vehicles, we looked at their customer base within the City of Toronto through the lens of PRIZM5, our comprehensive segmentation system. We then divided the automaker’s customers into one of seven groups to target for direct marketing.


Step two is conducting analytics

Once we had identified the seven prominent GM segments, our Client Advocates 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 ENVISION5 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.

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Our analysis helped lay the groundwork to aid Toronto dealers in their local marketing efforts, with 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 is spends its sponsorship dollars to ensure they align with their target audiences.




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