Back then: In his role as chief mechanic of DaimlerChrysler’s global event portfolio Don Schmid director-global event marketing was our very first cover boy. Schmid revved up 1 500 events half of which supported the street-smart Dodge brand the other half split between Jeep and Chrysler. Programs included the X Games sponsorship the Detroit Auto Show and Camp Jeep with Chrysler poised for a major push.
Now: Schmid has since moved on to head up global events at GE Healthcare. Interestingly Deborah Wahl Meyer who graced our November/December 2006 cover in August defected from Toyota-owned Lexus to become Chrysler’s cmo. (Toyota’s marketing guru Jim Farley now fills her shoes at Lexus.) Phil Bockhorn Chrysler’s senior manager-global auto shows and multi-brand events brings us up to speed on the company now known simply as Chrysler and headed up by Jim Press former president and ceo of Toyota:
There have been a slew of executive changes at Chrysler including dropping Daimler from its corporate name. What else has changed?
A lot of change has come in the areas that Event Marketer has always been the leading voice on which is the metric side. On every trade show that draws more than 200 000 people we are there asking demographic questions—what is your purchase timing your vehicle ownership? We measure awareness consideration intent image pre- and post- and we do buyer surveys. We’ve evolved along the lines of what your publication has always espoused.
What is your biggest challenge heading into 2008?
How we set ourselves apart from the competition. That’s where we see the shows and events really coming to the front where we can get people to interact with our products. Letting people know what we have to offer and distinguishing ourselves from the pack.
And your biggest achievement since the cover story?
We’ve been able to handle the increased number of events and in the case of Jeep going from three vehicle lines to seven. That’s also been the case to a lesser extent with Dodge and Chrysler. So handling the increased lineup and making sure they all receive prominent treatment and communicating across a wider number of shows at a time when budgets have not necessarily kept pace with the change in scope.