Remember the old skool “focus groups” of traditional advertising?
Oh wait… people still do that…
My question is WHY?
In an age of twittering and everyone’s grandmother having a blog of their own, you’d think this outdated form of data collecting would be collecting dust. First of all, why would you judge the success or “cool factor” of your product based on the opinions of a dozen people with nothing better to do with their evenings than be part of a focus group about the latest shampoo bottle design for $50 and some snacks? Wouldn’t it seem more appropriate to scope out the Facebook fanpages and see how well your product is doing on it’s own and then decide if changes are even needed?!
Take the Sci-Fi Channel’s recent change to “SyFy”. Nothing was broken here…so why did they “fix” it? I’ll tell you why; they “tested it with consumers” (translation: They held a focus group, not with members of the fanbase but rather people they’d like to attract to the channel) Well, it didn’t take long for true fans to react and cause all kinds of upheaval for “the channel formerly known as Sci-Fi” via Twitter, Facebook and every geek forum known across the internet. The Sci-Fi Channel’s own blog had 900 negative comments by the end of the day after the change of name was announced publicly! (See above picture)
See… sometimes those 12 people may not have the brand’s true interest or “ideals” at heart.
So, Corporate America….if you’re listening…and you’re probably not….but in the off chance that you are and have ditched the old marketing models for the adwareness of today….I have one thing to say: Know thy consumers…and in so knowing thy consumers, know their status updates, know their tweets and most importantly, know their power.