Friday, January 18, 2013

Cross Channels with Market Mavens

Rather than considering themselves expert advisors on only certain retail products and services, market mavens counsel others about the whole shopping experience and go on to recommend specific stores. Consumer researchers at University of Pittsburgh and University of Arizona have used questionnaire items like the following to identify market mavens:
  • People ask me for information about products, places to shop, or sales. 
  • I like helping people by providing them with information about many kinds of products. 
  • If someone asked me where to get the best buy on several types of products, I could tell him or her where to shop. 
     Because of the power of market mavens to steer shoppers toward your store or away from it, you’ll want to court their approval. I urge you to also ask if the characteristics of market mavenism cross channels of influence: Are the market mavens in face-to-face and telephone interactions with others the same market mavens who show influence in email communications, on social media, and in the online shopping simulations found in virtual worlds like Second Life?
     Well, since I urged you to ask, I want to give you an answer. First off, researchers at University of East Anglia and Lancaster University, both in the U.K., find that there’s a strong relationship between face-to-face mavenism and web mavenism. Therefore, as you identify market mavens with favorable impressions of your store, encourage them to post their views on social media. Offer them materials and internet links they can take away with them as conversation starters to share with a broad network of family and friends. This is especially useful for newly introduced products and items for which the purchaser incurs monetary or self-concept risk.
     The relationship between face-to-face mavenism and virtual world mavenism is substantially weaker. This might be because email and social media are currently much more popular than virtual world pastimes. Therefore, as the brands you sell appear more frequently in online virtual worlds, you may want to encourage your market mavens to show their influence there, too.
     In identifying your market mavens and then encouraging them to spread the word about you, stay aware of their distinctive take on individualism/collectivism: Research finds that market mavens show considerable individualism. They want to be given personal credit for their recommendations. At the same time, market mavens seek out other market mavens and will accept what they consider to be assistance.

Click below for more: 
Court Market Mavens for Social Media 
Build Buzz with Market Mavens

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