Ask GM About Getting Value from Indirect Spend

Marketing costs are a category of indirect spend that are notoriously hard to control. As one ad agency executive admitted a long time ago, “I know that half of every ad budget is wasted, but I just don’t know which half.”
General Motors has often talked about streamlining its marketing — but with so many brands and geographic markets it never really made progress. Automotive News reports that an earnest effort that started during the bankruptcy reorganization is taking a new turn — which might save $400 million per year, or about 10% of GM’s estimated global advertising budget.

GM expects $2 billion in savings from marketing overhaul

It will take discipline to make that number stick, because marketing is exceptionally prone to chasing whatever seems to be the latest hot idea — regardless of cost. But it is an eye-opening lesson that every dollar saved, regardless of where it comes from, is a dollar that can contribute to the bottom line.

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