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Allyson Witherspoon, CMO of Nissan USA, on launching 10 new models and marketing in 2021

Today on CBT News, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Allyson Witherspoon. Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Nissan USA. Witherspoon joins the show to discuss the latest automotive marketing trends, as well as future plans for Nissan.

Witherspoon begins the interview by looking back at the lessons learned from 2020. She says that 2020 brought “huge and unprecedented changes.” Nissan is a corporate sponsor of the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament, which was unfortunately canceled as the virus began to spread throughout the country. From there, Nissan made a pivot to reimagine product launches. The launch of the Nissan Sentra and Rogue was very different from product launches conducted in the past.

Witherspoon also said that the company accelerated its e-commerce efforts to meet the needs of consumers. Nissan’s “Nissan @ Home” platform allowed customers to buy a car from the comfort of their own homes. Witherspoon says this platform doesn’t replace the dealership experience, but it does allow dealers to meet specific consumers who feel more comfortable conducting business from home.

Witherspoon then goes into where dealers should be spending their marketing and advertising budgets. If she was a dealer, Witherspoon says she would prioritize search marketing. She would also invest in quality video advertising. Video allows dealers to be creative and connect with customers in numerous ways. Content is key, and dealers are able to build customer interaction by pushing out as much content as possible.

Witherspoon concludes by talking about Nissan’s partnership with Oscar award-winning actress Brie Larson. As a brand ambassador, Larson helps tell the story of Nissan by providing confidence and charisma to various advertising roles. Witherspoon says it’s important to find brand ambassadors that are passionate about the products they represent. Larson embodies the Nissan brand and proudly drives a Nissan Leaf on a daily basis.

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