Weblogs and the quest for trendsetters: a new approach to recruitment

Serguie Cheikhetov
O+K Marketing + Consulting, Russian Federation

INTRODUCTION

The marketing studies of trendsetters' lifestyles have recently become required reading. The logic of clients interested in these studies is quite clear, the studies of trendsetters' habits and behavior forming the mass culture and various trends followed by others help forecast the overall tendencies of market development. However, despite obvious advantages, these studies bring multiple problems of both methodological and purely technical character. The problem of finding the respondents for studies is the most important one. Surely, trendsetters do exist, but where and how would we find them?

No doubt some of the trendsetters are well known and always stay in sight. They are popular film stars, showmen and other popular figures of the mass culture. As a rule, the level of their influence correlates with their popularity (although, it may differ and personal popularity in mass media can frequently relate to wealthy sponsors or close ties with serious political circles, but not to individual talents). However, in the case of celebrities, finding trendsetters is not a problem. It is much more difficult to find opinion leaders who are unknown to the community. This paper highlights methods for studying this population group.