General Motors Company: International Marketing Channels

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 2
Words: 552
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

General Motors is one of the largest American automotive manufacturing companies, and it uses such marketing channels as direct sales and sales through retailers. More precisely, the company has several brand shops where it sells the goods directly to the customers. In addition to that, half of the manufactured goods are sold via retailers. To add value to the products in the direct sale marketing channel, the company can launch a frequent buyer program and introduce a system of benefits and rewards. According to Alshurideh et al. (2020), loyalty programs are commonly applied to “build and extend customer-supplier relationship” (p. 599). This way, various bonuses and a frequent buyer program will make customers feel their importance and encourage them to come to a shop more often. In the case of the sale via retailers, the company could add value to its goods by providing potential customers with a chance to get advice from a store representative who will assist in choosing the right cosmetics.

The company successfully operates not only in the US but also in East and West Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Its international marketing channels are like the ones applied in the home country: direct sales and sales through retailers. The major advantage of selling products directly, both at local and international levels, is that this way, a company gains access directly to the target audience. Besides, this marketing channel allows reducing the cost of advertising because the brand shop speaks for itself. At the same time, the disadvantage of direct sales is that they focus on a niche audience, not a broad one, and, therefore, this negatively affects the company’s profits. The strong side of sales through retailers is that it gives access to a wider audience and, hence, increases the chances that a product will be purchased. However, selling through retailers also means that the products of the company will face greater competition.

The first step in General Motors value chain is inboard logistics. The company gains resources needed for the production of automobiles from suppliers in China, Mexico, Thailand, and the US. In recent years, the company has become concerned with the environmental aspect of production and now strives to reduce carbon emissions and use as many environmentally friendly materials as possible (Fournier, 2017). After the goods are produced, General Motors delivers them to stores and retailers all over the world. The process of car selling is accompanied by the provision of a warranty. The importance of a properly managed supply chain lies in its ability to reduce costs and increase the enterprise’s profits. The major benefits of General Motors’ supply chain are customer orientation, and introduction of innovative solutions, and the most recent technological developments.

The case of General Motors illustrates that this company follows the demands side of marketing. General Motors are concerned with the quality of the final products, the geographical location of the stores, and competitive pricing. This corresponds to the idea of demand marketing, the main purpose of which is to attract customers by making them excited with the quality and price of the products. The supply side of marketing, in its turn, is based on the view that an increase in supply leads to an increase in price. General Motors, in turn, emphasizes the quality of goods over its price.


Alshurideh, M., Gasaymeh, A., Ahmed, G., Alzoubi, H., & Kurd, B. (2020). Loyalty program effectiveness: Theoretical reviews and practical proofs. Uncertain Supply Chain Management, 8(3), 599-612. Web.

Fournier, G. (2017). The new mobility paradigm: Transformation of value chain and value proposition through innovations. In D. Attias (Ed.) The Automobile Revolution (pp. 21-47). Springer.