Get grounded

It has been predicted that the future of the Internet will bring us such delightful creatures as ubiquitous robots, intelligent fabrics and cloned humans – all within the next ten years.

Whether you these forecasts or not, believe the predictions he feasibility of these developments is at the very least intriguing. Wouldn’t you enjoy invisibility cloaks, immersive virtual reality shopping booths and mood-sensitive home décor? While these technological fantasies may sound appealing, it’s important to remember how long it takes your mom to change her voicemail message and how long it might take your grandfather to send an email.

The rapid development of technology that we are experiencing is a beautiful thing. And it’s something people should hopefully benefit from and enjoy. As marketers seize the new and shiny technology of today, a key component of their strategy and decision-making should revolve around the social technographics profile. Should we market our new tennis shoes using Twitter? Can we fundraise using YouTube? These questions are in the forefront of every marketers mind in the midst of the groundswell.

The term groundswell, described by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in the book Groundswell, represents a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.

The social technographics profile helps dissect technology consumers into categories based on participation in groundswell activities. Instead of descriptions based on age, race and gender, online participants can be described as creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators or inactives. Targeted messages should reflect how audience members fit into these categories. Messages and tactics are useless without some insight into current consumer conversations.

To learn more about the social technographics profile, visit Forrester Research http://blogs.forrester.com/marketing/2009/08/social-technology-growth-marches-on-in-2009-led-by-social-network-sites.html.

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