In the April 2012 edition of FutureProof, Yannis Kavounis of The Futures Company breaks down the importance of the 5.6% to 6.1%% of US consumers (5% globally) known as “leading edge” even to those businesses and organizations with otherwise mainstream audiences.
These are the folks who “push the boundaries of the status quo” and “always look to expand horizons and create new solutions.” They are “constantly curious” and have a “high sensation threshold” and they are always “seeking new, alternative, and unique ways to express self.”
If I were in the business of pursuing new models for local newspapers, these are the people on which I would keep a close eye through studies such as the one on Newspaper Multiplatform Usage also released in April.
Keep in mind that being “leading edge” isn’t about being younger. In fact this type of consumer is only three or four years younger on average than mainstream consumers. I’m not sure I agree with my friends who kiddingly refer to me as leading edge but I certainly made good use of this group as a bellwether during my 40-year career in community-destination marketing.
My days have grown even longer since I retired nearly two and half years ago. Ubiquitous multitasking on multiple platforms such as a desktop, mini-laptop, smartphone and tablet has extended my virtual 24 hour day by an average of 6 hours according to the recent study Screens to the nth, conducted by Ipsos MediaCT and IAB.
While studies such as these, along with analysis like that provided by Kavounis, are invaluable to various forms of media and marketers they require attention and focus and thought.