Generalizing one’s own experiences and opinions to the rest of the world has its pitfalls, and is one of the fundamental reasons to do primary market research. Case in point: Heat, a San Francisco based ad agency, recently released data from its own study comparing use of social media among ad agency professionals to “normal people”. The results show a huge difference in use of social media platforms: For example, 92% of ad agency professionals have a Twitter account versus 39% of the general population. Major differences also exist for social media services like Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and others.
Specific to social media, one might conclude from this data that there is a risk of agency partners focusing too much on social media as a result of their own interests and habits. At the very least, these data highlight the potential risk, in any industry, of assuming that our own likes, dislikes, and passions are also the market’s perceptions and experiences.