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Marketers: Be nice to tech 'evangelists'

New Zealand's small group of 'technology evangelists' have the ability to powerfully influence the purchase decisions of more than a third of Kiwi consumers, according to an IDC consumer survey.

New Zealand's small group of 'technology evangelists' have the ability to powerfully influence the purchase decisions of more than a third of Kiwi consumers, according to an IDC consumer survey. 

Just 8 percent of local technology consumers wield power over the choices of a further 35 percent, the ConsumerScape 360 study found, highlighting the power of word of mouth.

Tech evangelists should therefore be a critical target market for device vendors, IDC senior consultant Liam Gunson said.

"In a market of expanding device types and thinning margins, the ability to target a certain group of consumers and reap wider benefits is a silver lining that many consumer electronics companies would be looking to take advantage of."

The study surveyed more than 1,000 New Zealand households (40,000 households globally) to identify current use, purchase intentions and brand perceptions across the consumer electronics and IT segments. 

It identified six key consumer types based on their attitudes towards technology devices: evangelists, impulse buyers, experiential adopters, pragmatic purchasers, green buyers, and disengaged functionalists.

Evangelists are five times more likely to purchase tablet computers over netbooks, while other consumer categories are on average twice as likely to favour tablets.

"The advice-giving nature of these consumers makes them a key target for word of mouth and viral marketing, given their strong preference for social media over traditional media. It also makes them a strong indicator into what technologies have a higher likelihood of becoming mainstream," said Gunson.