Opinion Leaders and Market Mavens
Two important concepts in marketing are that of a market mavens and opinion leaders. In today’s world with the growing importance of social media they are becoming more and more valuable.
Opinion leaders are consumers with an enduring involvement in a particular product category. In the climbing world they would those who do more than just climb, they spend time getting involved in the scene around it. Such opinion leaders may spend time in the climbing gear shops, online in the forums, open access groups, competitions, outdoor trade shows, gatherings including movie/slide show premieres, training clinics, trail projects and more. As a byproduct of their involvement, opinion leaders are limited in participation of product categories. Opinion leaders chose to be more selective in their involvement. Opinion leaders are attracted to other opinion leaders in the community and may be less likely to share their information with others outsiders. The opinion leader hold a wealth of knowledge and are great source for getting product feedback on new and test products.
Market mavens are much like opinion leader but take in a wider range of product categories. Market mavens may not be as deeply involved in climbing specific activities but more with all outdoors and recreational activities. Some researchers have found that market mavens feel an obligation to share information and get pleasure from helping others, unlike the Opinion leaders. In terms of marketing, the market maven makes for an important, valued target, especially in social media, due to the fact that they want to share information, have a larger network of individual who they can share with and can help a climbing company disseminate their advertising or branding message. Market mavens have shown to be receptive to targeted online advertising and direct communication through forums and emails.