Who knew IT could be so studly?
A colleague coined the term Googlesexual as a joke this week as we were researching gadget sales among metrosexuals (hip heterosexual men fascinated by clothes and hair products, say, Tom Cruise) and übersexuals (similarly hip men who focus less on mirrors and more on causes, perhaps Ewan McGregor). Neither term is derogatory, but instead pinpoints a state of mind in how people view themselves — cool, stylish, cutting-edge — which in turn connects with their behavior responding to advertising.
The more we considered it, there is a new species of psychographic variables (interests, attitudes, opinions) best represented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Googlesexual. The “sex” doesn’t mean procreation, but rather the deep Id inside the soul that drives instinctual behavior. The “Google” doesn’t mean a single company, but rather the power that comes from understanding networked technology. Put them together and you get the IT guys now running the planet, the manly risk-takers behind Internet Bubble 2.0, the women setting up media empires with blogs, Clark Kent with an attitude. The world has always had “dandies” and “dorks” — but what about men and women of technological sophistication who wield power and affluence and aren’t afraid to blow VC funding? These wundergeeks need a new name.
This is important, because Googlesexuals are driving the early adoption of most technology and entertainment. It’s not about age, or income, or Gen Y or X. It’s about how you see yourself, and how that invisible mirror spurs your reaction to products.
Many marketers miss thinking about psychographics and instead use baser levels of planning:
0 – base level – all about the product. “We made this widget, and it’s great!” This type of marketer wants to buy advertising as cheaply as possible, then spray and pray.
1 – media level – all about the advertising channel. “We want to buy ads! On Lifetime!” This marketer usually calls asking for a specific TV cable channel.
2 – demo level – about the customer demographic. “Hmm, after deep analysis, we understand we are targeting men 35-44 with household incomes greater than $100,000 in urban perimeters.” This is the most common marketer; armed with research, he or she knows where customers come from and what exactly they look like.
3 – psychographic – about the human mind. “Our target customer has these attitudinal aspects toward her self-perception, sexuality, friends, products and media. She is a Googlesexual who prefers to tell her friends first about technology trends, share advice, and networks with more than 1,000 people online.” Marketers who plan at this level have the best odds of using media to influence the marketplace.
Difficult to find, but not impossible. IPhone sales tell you they are out there. Amrita Chandra, a Toronto friend who runs an art gallery, had perhaps the best response to our Googlesexuals vs. übersexuals thesis: “I’ll take one of each, thanks.”