Why We’re Ignoring User “X” and So Should You

Last week, our team released our Social TV User Map which plots consumers according to their enthusiasm for TV, their social media usage and technology usage. You can view the user map here on Flickr or you can register for access to Voice to download your own copy of the User Map.

Inevitably, when you take a look at the map, you think of a friend, family member or neighbor that just doesn’t fit one of the five user profiles and it makes you ask the question “where do they fit?”  One of our readers, Anthony, asked “Aren’t you likely to have very social people who are not interested in TV and TV gadgets?  Or, people like my parents who watch shows religiously but are not into technology?…What are your thoughts about not having personas in the upper left and lower right of your map?”  It’s a great question and one that many of you are likely asking.

Our answer is this:  “X” user profiles (in the upper left and the lower right) exist, but you should ignore them.

Those not interested in TV or TV gadgets, but users of technology and social media, would fall into the upper left-hand corner of the chart. TV watchers that are not into technology would fall in the lower right-hand corner.  But, the crux of the matter is this: why would a company building a product that is meant to service both social media and television care?

We argue that you should ignore these “X” users because they would never use the product in question, a social TV application, because they either a.) don’t watch TV or b.) don’t use social media. A more interesting item to explore is what, if anything, would move the “X” users from where they are today to one of the represented profiles?

The researcher within us wants to learn more about these mystery users.  However, the business person in each of us must step in with a gentle reminder about the goal: identifying the consumers that have the potential to BUY a product. Instead of pushing product out to all consumers, the focus should be on building products that specific consumers want to use.

In the next few weeks, we will verify the five user profiles through in-lab, one-on-one interviews – we’ll get to know these folks better, learn more about what makes them tick and what types of devices and applications they might use (if any).   Stay tuned!