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Study Identifies "Tech-Fluentials"

Shel Holtz
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-29

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Burson Marsteller, the PR agency that initially identified "e-fluentials," has release a study focusing on a new e-fluential subcategory, tech-fluentials.

According to the agency's press release, tech-fluentials are…

a new breed of influential, technology-driven opinion leaders who seamlessly connect their work and personal lives while transmitting information about companies, brands and products. All-powerful chat rooms, web sites, digital cameras, discussion boards and blogs are the tools of the trade for these influencers who can create or change opinions, establish trends, build buzz for a brand and sway stakeholders.

In order to tap into the word-of-mouth tech-fluentials accelerate through their efforts, marketers need to "go beyond conventional approaches to target and engage tech-fluentials on an ongoing basis. These information activists require more than the tried-and-true communications approaches," according to Burson's chief knowledge and research officer, Dr. Leslie-Gaines Ross.

Some of the statistics from the study:

  1. Eight-six percent of tech-fluentials are asked by friends, colleagues, and family for advice; they influence these people's buying decisions.

  2. Fifty-one percent give feedback to companies and 33% have their own blogs.

  3. Quality and function influence technology purchase decisions over price. Quality was important to 98% and function to 97%, but price to only 74%.

  4. Nine out of 10 tech-fluentials have broadband and 43% live in wireless homes.
When businesses dismiss bloggers as too small a population to warrant attention, somebody should point out the influence they wield over others. As Burson's knowledge development director, Idil Cakim, puts it, "Every time tech-fluentials speak up, companies have the opportunity to engage in one-to-one communication with them and earn their support."


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    About the Author:
    Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

    As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.

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