market segmentation

Alfred Sloan, of GM, invented market segmentation and differentiation, in the 1920’s, to create a brand in the automobile market. Quickly, this brand overtook the Ford Model T, and became the leading car brand in 1920 America. At the time this happened, the Ford Model T had a market dominance that was seen to be insurmountable. Sloan was able to create his brand through the wise use of the social media that was available at the time. He is a bench mark for us to study.

At this point, it is imperative that we define the word “social media”. We have to understand this term to understand how Sloan created his brand, and to draw analogies for our day. A key word is the word “media”. Media has the connotation of sharing and communicating information.

A definition could be the set of Web-based broadcast technologies that enable the democratization of content. This gives people the ability to attain content from publishers, enlarge on the content, and to create new content. A key component of social media is the personal engagement between brands and customers—the creation of a friendship. Naturally, Sloan didn’t have the social media platforms that we have today to communicate. To create his brand, Sloan did communicate and engage. He went to dealerships. He talked to salespeople and to citizens. Modern marketers use social media platforms to communicate. Sloan became the social platform by which brands and customers communicated to one another. Sloan, just as we today, use platforms to learn information from customers that aid us in our creation of modern brands. This is why the Alfred Sloan should be studied by contemporary social media marketers.


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