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5. Representatives are the face of the company
At GM, the Sales and Service Consultants at the dealerships are the company’s face to the consumer. GM is instituting comprehensive training programs to help the dealership community connect with the diverse automobile buying market that exists in their own backyards. 
The first auto company to start a minority dealer program in the U.S., GM now has an all-time high of 379 minority-owned dealerships – bringing in over $11.8 billion in revenue.
6. Give back to the community 
GM supports hundreds of organizations that make a difference in communities throughout the world and encourages its employees to do the same.  Not just because automobile buyers are more likely to support a company that supports their community, but it is the right thing to do too.  
Last year, we gave over $9.2 million to minority organizations and events in the US. Gave away 100,000 child safety seats worth $2.5 million to African American families. And, just as our cars inspire songs, such as “Pink Cadillac” and “Little Red Corvette,” so too does music inspire us.  That’s one of the reasons GM is a proud sponsor of the Stellar Gospel Awards and the Chevy Stellar Youth Choir in Detroit.
7. Link diversity success to overall success
At GM diversity markets are a top business priority and are recognized as essential for overall company growth with aggressive performance metrics. After all, if it can’t be measured, it can’t be improved. 
GM cars, trucks and SUVs won 149 awards for automotive excellence last year alone.  But the real winners were the people who ended up behind the wheel.
8. Support from the top
Commitment to diversity programs begins and belongs at the top.  Gary Cowger, President of GM North America and the GM Corporate Strategy Board established the Center of Expertise for Diversity and Growth Markets to spearhead the company’s initiative and coordinate internal and external activities for maximum business results. 

The Center Stage

As diversity-marketing programs flourish across myriad industries best practices are established and lessons are shared.  Some basic building blocks of diversity marketing are illustrated in the GM experience, such as the importance of understanding cultural nuances, communicating in a respectful manner and fostering diversity internally as well as externally. 

Without commitment, these building blocks will topple.  Many diversity programs have failed because funding was tenuous or the commitment from the top and support from the bottom simply wasn’t there.  Others, like GM’s are destined to succeed – to take center stage – because they are bigger than marketing – they pervade the organization, they are part of a long-term strategy and they are built using solid business fundamentals that will reap a positive return on investment.  Miriam Muléy is the Executive Director of the Center of Expertise for Diversity and Growth Markets at General Motors Corporation, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer based in Detroit, Michigan.  GM has nine brands in the United States including Cadillac, Buick, Saturn and Chevrolet.

 

About the Author:

Mariam Muléy is responsible for all sales and marketing activities targeting diversity audiences – including Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Youth and Women – the fastest growing car-buying segments in the automotive industry.  

Ms. Muléy has spent the majority of her 20+ years of marketing working in brand management and in industries where women are the primary target – from Johnson & Johnson Baby Products Company, to Clairol hair coloring products, to AVON where she was General Manager for cosmetics, fragrances and skin care targeted to women of color.  She received a B.A. in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and was awarded an MBA from Columbia University with a concentration in Marketing.

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