Are You Marketing to Customers or Innovators?

Last week, we mentioned Jeff Pulver’s assertion that mobile apps like Foursquare and Gowalla are overtaking Twitter as the social media world’s tools of choice.

Meanwhile, Forrester Research recently reported that one third of adults now post to Twitter or Facebook at least once a week.

This means that the early adopters (who drive the media’s interest in social tools) are starting to pay less attention to Twitter and Facebook…

… even as the general public is only now beginning to use those exact same tools on a regular basis.

So… what does that mean for your company’s messaging strategy?

That depends: are you marketing to early adopters, or are you marketing to the general public?

If your goal is to generate buzz while shaping public perception of your brand, you may want to investigate Foursquare or Gowalla now.  If you reach the early adopters there, while they’re migrating, you can become part of their ongoing experience as those tools grow — and they may reward you with their own support as new audiences emerge.

If your goal is to move units, drive sales and engage your day-to-day customers, you’ll want to continue investing your resources in your existing channels — or even increase your presence there, since the general public is only now catching up.

It’s easy to be distracted by reports of newer and shinier tools, but until those tools reach a critical mass of users, their return on your investment is limited.  Therefore, if you don’t have the time (and capital) to burn, you may want to let other companies invest in the costly exploration of brave new worlds while you ensure that your existing customers are satisfied right where they are.

If you enjoy our blog, subscribe now and you’ll never miss a tip!