by Lisa Grimaldi | July 01, 2005

Grand Hyatt DFWCarlson Marketing Group last month tapped Jim Schroer, a former executive with Auburn Hills, Mich.-based DaimlerChrysler, to serve as its new president. M&C spoke with Schroer shortly after his appointment to the Minneapolis-based incentive giant.

M&C: As a former client of Carlson, what made you want to work for the company?
Schroer: Carlson does a fabulous job with dealer motivation programs. In November 2002, Chrysler was in deep trouble it was just after the merger with Daimler. Carlson ran the dealer program that year, and the participants gave better scores in their confidence in the product, firm, etc., than they’d given when Lee Iacocca ran the company. Carlson played a key role in boosting DaimlerChrysler dealers’ motivation. That drives the bottom line, and it worked for me, so I’d like to see other firms use incentive and motivation programs, too.

M&C: What are the biggest challenges facing Carlson’s clients today?
Schroer: Our clients used to spend the bulk of their dollars on advertising, and whatever was left over was put into sales and marketing. As we go forward, I think U.S. industry is morphing from an ad business into the marketing services business.

M&C: What are Carlson’s present challenges?
Schroer: To be the “best in class” provider at the least possible cost. To that end, we’re further developing web-based systems for incentives and meetings that can be used for multiple clients in different types of businesses.