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    Nobody pays me to write any of the copy on my blog, and should I ever have the good fortune that they do, I will declare it. My main employment is as the owner and principal of The Future Place consultancy. The Future Place provides two key services 1) training and services to industry and academic bodies and 2) consultancy services to companies. The details of the companies I work with are a private matter, but if I blog about any company who has paid The Future Place more than expenses recently (approx. two years) I will mention that they are a client. I hold equity in Virtual Surveys and provide consulting services to them from time to time. I am paid to run courses for a number of trade bodies and over the last few years clients have included ESOMAR, AMSRS, MRS, and MRIA.

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Mass brands could use niche marketing to promote their niche products as well to build the mass branding..

Ray Poynter

Hi Martin, I think your observation supports the main point. If a product is for mass consumption, then mass media needs to be a major plank of its communication strategy. However, for niche brands, or niche products from major brands, niche communications may be the optimal route.

The topic of early adopters is, perhaps, even more interesting. I find them to be a double-edged sword. Sucessful innovations tend to be used by early adopters first, but most products used by early adopters never become sucessful. Most digital early adopters had Apple Newstons, Psions, and many other PDAs which were doomed to failure. By contrast, the Apple iPod was shunned by many new adopters because it was technically an inferior product (in terms of functions per dollar). I tend to view early adopters as necessary but not sufficient.

martin Silcock

Hmm doesn't it depend on what your marketing objectives are and how new the product is you are marketing?

Say a mobile phone manufacturer integrates a GPS turn-by-turn navigation feature into its devices. Should this be mass marketed or should they find niche users and early adopters and market in a more focused way?

Nokia and Sony Ericsson are major brands, but maybe also needs to think small when the market is small...but will grow?


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