So are Apple iPod users the ultimate influencers or
standard-bearers of consumer-generated media? For all our our big talk about complicated "influencer" segmentation models, maybe it all comes down to one simple question: "Do you own an iPod?" That's just an hypothesis, as I'm in the process of completing a study (660 rep completes sourced from Insight Express) on CGM behavior. One of the most interesting “breakout” areas involves looking at iPod owners versus non iPod
owners. For starters, iPod users are 2.5 times
more likely to have authored a web blog than non iPod users. They are twice as likely to exchange text messages on cellular phones (59% versus 28%), twice as likely to take photos with a camera phone (45% versus 18%), and nearly three times likely to download music to a computer or digital music player (89% versus 34%).
CGM Creation Activity: As the first chart suggests, iPod users signficantly over-index on core CGM-creation activities, from use of cellular phones to digital cameras to PDAs. Interestingly, they also over-index on use of ad screening devices such as DVR or spam/pop-up bloggers. Key takeaway: if you see someone with an iPod, assume they have more CGM tools in their arsenal, and hence greater impact/amplification.
Learning About New Trends: Second, if you note in the second chart, iPodders tend to gravitate to "new trends, information, and products" at a much faster rate than non-iPodders. Tip of the Day: if you know iPodders (or any influencer) are in your database, consider sending early news or product "samples" to them first. They'll spread the word faster. Just make sure they like the product.
Communication Preferences: There's so much more to look at, but one other interesting piece of data that really caught my attention: iPod user communication preferences. If you look at the last chart, which asks "Which way are you most likely to express yourself online," you'll note that iPod user dial down e-mail and dial up online discussion. This has huge CGM implications because online discussion tends to leave a more permanent (and often more viral) digital trail. It also may suggest that "ahead of the pack" iPodders view e-mail as less effective than it used to be as an influence tool. Tip & Takeway: Don't ignore e-mail, but remember that early movers and trendsetters (and trend "spreaders") are increasingly reaching for the forums, boards, and blogs.