Marketing Transformation at GE: Storytelling and Business Results

The company that brought us the light bulb, the jet engine, and the MRI machine is now thinking about the convergence of the digital and the physical, and finding ways to tell their story that allows them to be more relatable, less like an institution and more like a person.

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The company that brought us the light bulb, the jet engine, and the MRI machine is now thinking about the convergence of the digital and the physical, and finding ways to tell their story that allows them to be more relatable, less like an institution and more like a person.

At the BRITE ’16 Conference, Linda Boff, CMO of GE, spoke about her team’s quest to find and share everyday GE stories: “Every person at GE, the 333,000 of us, believe that we are working for a company that’s changing the world and that is solving problems, and those are the stories that we want to find and tell.”

Boff explained that curiosity and passion drive the marketing team to be relevant and contemporary. “Our challenge is not being known -- everybody knows who GE is,” she said, “it is being known for the right things.” So they set out to find clever ways to remind people that GE is improving everyday lives since, unlike a brand like Apple that people use daily, GE’s impacts are largely invisible to consumers.

An example of this is the Breakthrough series, co-produced with Nat Geo, that tells the stories of scientists working at the forefront of innovation on fighting pandemics, slowing down the aging process, using renewable sources of energy, and more. The stories are told through the lens of famous directors Like Ron Howard and Paul Giamatti. “As marketers we are thinking more and more about how we own media, not just how we rent media,” said Boff.

WATCH Linda Boff’s talk at BRITE ’16 to learn more about how GE innovates with marketing.

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