When you've been in the communciation game as long as I have, you want to run, screaming, from the room when a marketing guy says, "We really don't need much media coverage. Our customers are engineers and they all talk to each other. So we just need to reach a few of them." I swear, if I had a dollar for everytime I heard that I'd be an angel investor (who could fire a long of marketing guys).
So when UBM TechWeb CEO Tony Uphoff tossed out a Facebook link to an article on word-of-mouth marketing I was immediately drawn to it. I was surprised to learn, however, that the age group most influenced by word-of-mouth marketing are teenagers, while adults will use word of mouth early on in their shopping process but rely more heavily on media when they make their decision.
That immediately brought to mind the axiom above. If it is true, that engineers make buying decisions based on what their peers tell them, without benefit of third-party input, than engineers have the research skills of high-school students.
I'm sure that's not what the marketing guys are implying. At least not what they wanted to imply. Maybe they should go talk it over amongst themselves.