Monday, June 2, 2008

Social Technographics – June 2, 2008

Forrester recently published a book, Groundswell, which I’ve been occasionally reading as time allows. So far, I think it’s a good read for a marketing executive who has absolutely no idea what social media is, and the propensity it has to change the way products go to market.

To aide marketers, Forrester developed six distinct personas to define the ways in which people utilize social technologies. The personas are as follows:

- Creators (publish a blog, upload video/photos, etc)

- Critics (post ratings/reviews, leave comments, edit a wiki)

- Collectors (use RSS feeds, add tags to content, vote)

- Joiners (maintain a social network profile)

- Spectators (read blogs, watch videos, read reviews, etc)

- Inactives (none of the above)

I think that they are all fairly self explanatory. Now, what should a marketer do with this information? Let’s say you’re launching a new product. Let’s say your target market is women, ages 25-34 that live in the United States. If you were to launch an online campaign to raise awareness about your product, and encourage engagement with your product, what would you do with social technologies?

The Forrester social technographic tool will help you decide what type of social technologies your target audience is most comfortable with. See the snapshot of the tool’s profile of women, ages 25-34 living in the U.S.

Bars indicate the percentage of the selected demographic that are in each social technographics group. The white marks indicate the same percentages for the whole population of the country selected. The index indicates how the demographic compares to the population — a score of 100 means the demographic is the same as the population average.

According to this chart my target audience is comfortable with social technologies given the high indexing across the board, but they are most likely to be spectators and joiners. That being said, a decent amount of my target audience is also likely to be a critic or creator.

Essentially, I could then take this information and feel good about executing an online campaign that embodies many of the social technologies that my target audience lives and plays with.

Given these profiles are somewhat generic, I think they are a good step in the right direction for giving marketers the confidence they need to incorporate social media into the mix. It would be great if they could breakdown the profiling even further (e.g. men into sports, ages 18-24 who live California).

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