Sunday, August 02, 2009

Whose Word is it anyway?

Imagine a scenario.....You are computer literate, savvy to the extent that you know how to use excel, word or power point. A persona of this nature when asked to buy a computer will be quite unsure on what to do and what to buy. I am quite confident that at least 30% of the associates in a given organization will be of this nature.

The obvious thing is to reach out to a super computer savvy associate or friend to get some help in purchase. Conventional wisdom will make you believe that its the best way to purchase.

I see a challenge with this approach.

Usually as early Majority ( refer to Moore's idea diffusion curve) when we seek for referrals, we reach out to innovators or early adopters.The kind of conversation early adopter persona will have about computers includes RAM, Processor, Multimedia Card, OS ( Linux), DVD + /-RW with Dual Layer Write Capabilities, Optical USB Mouse and all possible jargons which will be confusing for the Early/Late Majority.

It will be an information overload for the buyer hence the best option is to choose the path of least resistance. Go ahead and ask your geek friend to chose the desktop for you. I am sure it will be a good purchase.

The problem is post purchase... You spend so much money to get the best configuration but you have no idea how to put it to use.. What you do is the same Word, excel Power point.. This could possibly cause discontent and may eventually create some resistance for new technology adoption.

This gap will serve as pointer for marketers who intend to build long term relationship with their customers

If a good majority of the consumers fall into this category , marketers may have to try innovative ways to reach out this segment. May have to help them take baby steps by involving consumers of similar behavior and aptitude.

The Quest is to find new way to identify the right sneezers (influencers) for the Early majority or Late majority.. Whose word is it anyway?