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Will Segway Be Successful Based on Marketing?

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A likely first reaction to this question may be; does Segway engage in any marketing? Merriam-Webster defines marketing as; "the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service." After several hours exploring Segway.com and various other websites the answer to both questions could be, yes. There are reasons to believe that Segway may be successful. It appears that Segway is doing very little marketing on the individual consumer level; however there may be a method to this. Based on their website it appears that their commercial marketing is much more extensive. In addition Segway manufactures less well known robotics platforms and is working in conjunction with General Motors on an experimental vehicle.

Is it possible that Segway's marketing department is staffed by geniuses? Other companies and people appear to be doing Segway's individual consumer marketing for them. A general web search for Segway shows that Progressive Insurance Company will give a quote to insure for your Segway PT. Segway was featured in Columbia Pictures' Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It is also featured in the Indie documentary, 10 MPH by Hunter Weeks and Josh Caldwell. Fox Broadcasting Company's sitcom Arrested Development featured the character Gob who regularly rode a Segway. A search for Segway on youtube.com produces over 7,000 results. A Google search for "Segway" produces more than 15 million results. So maybe the question is does Segway even need to market to individual consumers? It appears as if individual consumers are marketing to each other. What's more, a Yahoo News search for Segway produces more than 250 stories. Many of the news stories are about communities using Segway vehicles in different ways from tours of historic areas to college safety offices obtaining Segways to improve their response time during emergencies. It's not all good news. In 2010 TIME magazine listed Segway on its 50 Worst Inventions list and on September 26th, 2010, Jim Heselden, who bought Segway from Dean Kamen in December 2009, rode his Segway x2 off a 30-foot drop to his death. Although some of the stories are not flattering to the company the old saying goes, there's no such thing as bad press.

While it appears that possibly Segway is letting others do their marketing to individuals. They have many more product lines than most people know about and not all of their products are intended for individuals, many are intended for commercial use. According to Segway's Fact Sheet since 2002 the company's average annual growth rate has exceeded fifty percent. This is no small feat for a company that some people would say does little to market themselves. However, the Fact Sheet states that Segway's sales are about 60 percent individual purchases and the remaining 40 percent is made up of commercial procurement. In addition, according



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