Blog 3—A Social Media-proof Industry?

While reading about target audiences in Module 3, I kept thinking about one business that may be social media-proof.  There is one industry that has a specific, almost homogeneous demographic: pickup trucks. Pickup truck sales represent a very significant sector of the automotive market; in 2019, more than 3 million pickups were sold in the US and another 400,000 in Canada

Do the words “pickup truck” conjure a target audience in your mind? According to Hedges & Company, an automotive marketing agency, the typical pickup truck buyer looks like this:

  • Over 50 years old
  • More than 80% of buyers are male
  • Mostly white
  • Have an average household income over $70,000 (US)
  • Live in large and medium-sized cities

These figures are in sharp contrast to the demographics of social media users, who tend to be considerably younger, more ethnically diverse, and the majority of whom are female.  A Twitter search of the biggest pickup truck sellers shows that not all companies have dedicated accounts; Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Ram trucks had Twitter feeds, while Nissan and Toyota trucks did not.  

It’s possible that pickup truck sales and social media may just be two ships passing in the night.  If the market segment is not paying attention, why spend time and money on a social media strategy?  This doesn’t mean that truck makers are not looking for buyers.  If you tune in to a sports broadcast on American or Canadian network television, you’re likely to see pickup truck advertising, because that’s where this demographic can be found.  It may take a generation or two for the pickup truck demographic to catch up with social media.  

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