It’s the holiday season, which means holiday parties, tree decorating, caroling, and perhaps most importantly, gift giving (and gift receiving, of course!). Undoubtedly, a new smart phone, tablet, laptop, or other tech gadget will appear on many wish lists and shopping lists alike this year. The onslaught of new technology introduced this year offers an array great gifts for the tech-savvy or otherwise. But how do you decide which smartphone would be best for your hardworking boyfriend, or what kind of tablet your parents would love? This holiday season, the answer is in the ads as marketers of tech gadgets target three different technology-user types.
With today’s ever-growing social media market, sharing capabilities are becoming more and more integrated into technology. To tap into this market, many advertisers are marketing to “the sharer,” the name I’ve given to the constantly connected social media superstar that thrives on “liking,” tweeting, Instagram-ing, and everything in between. (Think: Parks and Recreation’s Tom Haverford https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t08vfFUC01w) Tech ads targeting this type of tech-user emphasize the speed and ease with which you can connect with others and share experiences in real time. Take, for example, spots for Verizon’s Droid Razor M and Sony’s Xperia T. In each, the ability to instantaneously connect with others is paramount, more so than any other technical features of the smartphones.
With less of a focus on using technology for social interaction, “the workhorse” utilizes technology to streamline work functions and keep their professional lives organized and efficient. They place great importance on the apps that will allow them to seamlessly communicate with coworkers and clients, the tools that allow them to create and share presentations and documents, and the speed and portability that will allow them to do all of these things on-the-go. Marketers targeting this type of technology user emphasize portability and ease of use and access to the professional tools that support optimum business productivity anywhere, enabling “the workhorses” to effectively and efficiently do their work anywhere, at any time. In the tablet category, Samsung’s spot for the Galaxy Note and Lenovo’s ThinkPad spot highlight all of the features that make those tablets great for business use.
This third tech-user type is something of a catch-all; rather, their technology use is neither solely for social interaction nor for business; rather, it is an integral part of every aspect of their lives. These consumers are more concerned with variety than technical specifications. That is to say, due to their wide-ranging use of technology, they are interested more in the variety of apps or services available on a smartphone, tablet, or computer than having specific functions and technical specifications for business or social media use. If you take a look at this spot for Kindle Fire or this spot for Google Nexus 7, you’ll notice the ad’s messaging focuses on all the different uses for the product: from entertainment to games to reading, and much more. Clearly, these advertisers are targeting consumers who invite technology into their lives and use it for many purposes.
So, when you’re thinking about the perfect smartphone, tablet, or other tech gadget to buy your loved one, look no further than the product’s advertising to help your decision. Marketers have honed in on which tech-user types are their target market, the result of which is seen in the way these products are advertised. Whether you’re buying for a “sharer,” a “workhorse,” or someone that’s everything in between, understanding the way tech gadgets are marketed can help you purchase the perfect gift for that tech-user type.
University of Minnesota: Advertising and Spanish