Behind the Brand: Cadillac’s Marketing Secrets & Commitment to An All-Electric Future

Behind the Brand: Cadillac’s Marketing Secrets & Commitment to An All-Electric Future

For the past century, Cadillac has earned their place firmly at the center of American culture. You may recognize the brand from their recent campaign promoting the advanced Super Cruise technology – the first truly hands-free assisted driving feature – which incorporated celebrities such as Sofia Vergara and The Jonas Brothers. Or you may have heard musicians such as Johnny Cash or Bruce Springsteen singing wistfully about the luxury vehicle. 

During the Brand Innovators 10th Anniversary Day One livecast, chief executives from Cadillac discussed the marketing secrets behind the iconic American automaker and the acceleration towards an all-electric future. 

The Cadillac marketing team is passionate, dynamic, and driven by consumer insights. The brand takes an audience-first approach and has stayed true to that strategy despite the challenges of the pandemic. 

“When we look at innovation, we look at it holistically, from the product with its features to how we bring it to market, to how we reach our customers,” said Melissa Dias, Chief Marketing Officer at Cadillac. “We want to show up differently, it’s at the core of our strategy. We have this high-propensity audience, current and EV. When we look at that audience, we use them for our media planning so that we understand where consumers are.”

During the past year, Cadillac has not lost their spark of innovation, and the team has paid even closer attention to meeting consumers where they are. Through consumer data, the automaker is aware that although people are spending less time watching linear TV, consumer screen time has increased on platforms like social media and gaming. “We wanted to innovate by looking at where people are spending their time, and we want to show up in a way that is additive, not disruptive,” said Dias about Cadillac’s new partnerships with AR12Gaming and Forza.

“Our strategy hasn’t changed, but the tactics, partners, and consumer behaviors are changing,” said Marcie Pérez, Associate Director, Media and Performance Marketing, Cadillac. “We can be nimble and account for these changes by adding different partners and testing new creative units. The strategy is still data-led from consumers, but the things we are trying as a result of the data to reach consumers is what’s changing.”

A brand steeped in innovation, Cadillac has a 120 year history of reinvention, driving forward, and staying relevant. The automaker has recently begun a new chapter of innovation, committing to an all-electric future. Starting now, every new product released will be electric, and Cadillac vows to stop selling internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030.

“In the automobile industry, we say that more will change in the upcoming 10 years than in the past 120 years,” said Jason Sledziewski, Director of Product Marketing at Cadillac. “Cadillac is a leader in the shift to EV and autonomous vehicles, with our commitment to producing all electric vehicles. We will continue to invest in this direction. As marketers, we have the unique opportunity to educate consumers on how EV will fit into their lives. We have a lot of data around drive patterns and how consumers use their cars. We can showcase the new phase of EVs and how our new vehicles, like the Lyriq, will fit into the life of our consumers.” 

The digital world ushered in by COVID-19 has encouraged Cadillac to be more creative about the ways they communicate with car-buyers, in the midst of new EV product releases. 

“As we are reinventing our products, we also have the opportunity to reinvent our marketing,” said Pérez. “We are looking at our spaces and thinking about the potential for the future, the new consumer expectations. It’s been tricky, but we have been able to invent engaging platforms like Cadillac LIVE. From an experience perspective, these platforms demonstrate how we always put customers first and make sure their needs are met.”

On Cadillac LIVE, a platform launched last year, consumers have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with ambassadors and ask questions about different models. The brand has also incorporated another online feature – Shop. Click. Drive. – where customers can purchase a car from the comfort of their homes. 

In terms of partnerships, Cadillac’s portfolio is diverse, ranging from the PGA, to the NFL, to the NCAA. The company also has a meaningful connection to the music industry, and has recently collaborated with RZA (the de facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan) as well as singer-songwriter James Blake.   

“We have a clear vision of the Cadillac brand,” said Dias. “It’s about big dreams, bold ambitions, and being entrepreneurial. As we think about partnerships, we want our partners to embody those same values. We are also very big on equity and justice for all. As we look at these key themes, it’s easy to see who really stands with us as a brand and embodies our values.”