GE reinvents its marketing: Fast, creative, unexpected

Stephen Whiteside

"We have completely pivoted," Linda Boff, General Electric's chief marketing officer, told delegates at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando, Florida.

"We stand today as a company that's going to reinvent what it means to be digital and industrial at the same time."

But repositioning GE as a "digital industrial company", allowed Boff – who took on the organisation's top marketing spot in September 2015 – poses a major problem from a communications angle: "How are we going to get the world to get excited and understand, or translate, what it means to be a company that's digital and industrial?"

In the first instance, this strategy has led the Fairfield, Connecticut-based enterprise to divest its finance and appliances divisions so it can focus on connecting products like jet engines, wind turbines and locomotives to the web.