Beware the digital savvy:

Often we are employ the shiniest, trendiest execution of a digital concept, pairing bold messaging with the latest in bells and whistles for experiences of unparalleled brilliance and immersion. And then we have to deal with the fact that only 5% of the population could possibly enjoy (nay, even experience) the full ideas therein.

In technology the savvy are the early adopters, the beta users, the ones with the latest gadgets. But the savvy might also be your loudest loyalists and advocates without compare for your brands. They rarely represent the entire spectrum of your audience and can lead you to go down a rabbit hole of delightful but ultimately rarely enjoyed concepts.

Take the growing prevalence of QR codes, for example. A QR code reader has never stood atop the most popular apps on smart phone app stores, which means that more people have downloaded Bubble Ball than have a QR Code reader – begging the question: who are you targeting with the QR code on the poster you just printed? Too often we focus on a subset of the population that we as tech-loving marketers belong to, stratifying demographics through our own lens of digital hobbyist rather than first studying the population and their habits. In most cases a QR code is trying to simply solve the issue of a short URL.

That’s not to say that the savvy can’t influence the general population. Geolocation is one of the starkest examples where brands are smitten with the single ultimate advocate rather than a wide impact on many less savvy consumers. The reviews tied to locations and visible on Google Maps influence hundreds of thousands across many platforms from automobile GPS units to smartphones. But with check-in applications like Foursquare brands often create prizes and offers that focus too heavily on Mayors (those who visit a location more than anyone else).

Receiving word that there is a special at your favorite restaurant or store that is only for the Mayor only affirms that despite your own loyalty, you’re not loyal enough and likely won’t ever be as loyal as the superfan (who could end up being an employee). Furthermore, if the actual prize for the Mayor isn’t substantial, what you’ve created is a weak coupon with an unreasonable minimum purchase. What firms looking to utilize Foursquare and other geolocation services should be leaning towards are specials and benefits that require a user to be more productive in sharing their actions and experiences (through photos, posts on other networks, etc.) rather than simply checking in. Essentially, brands should reward them for making their interaction resonate among their peers.

The savvy have their role – from message board leaders to important blogging influencers – but be careful not to set your sights and concepts solely on the digital maven. Do your homework and research on the behaviours and the demographics of your audience and create digital experiences that resonate with all your targets.

This article was written by , one of our Worldwide Partners in US.