My definition of a geek is, “Somebody who socializes via objects.”
When you think about it, we’re all geeks. We’re all enthusiastic about something outside ourselves. For me, it’s marketing and cartooning. For others, it could be cellphones or Scotch Whisky or Apple computers or NASCAR or the Boston Red Sox or Bhuddism. All these act as Social Objects within a social network of people who care passionately about the stuff.
Whatever industry you are in, there’s somebody who is geeked out about your product category. They are using your product [or a competitor’s product] as a Social Object.
If you don’t understand how the geeks are socializing- connecting to other people- via your product, then you don’t actually have a marketing plan. Heck, you probably don’t have a viable business plan.
It’s hard for me to think of marketing, without thinking in terms of Social Objects. It’s hard for me to think of marketing, without thinking how the geeks fit in the equation.
So many people start out trying to market to Mr and Mrs Average. I think they’d have better luck if they thought of the geeks first.
[Afterthought:] Someone in the comments asks, “Doesn’t the product also need to make sense to non-geeks?”
It would depend on the product, it would depend how “specialist” it is, I suppose. Can you show me an interesting, successful product that the geeks hate, but the non-geeks love?