Joosts and Mariekes

When working at Yoast with my husband, Joost de Valk, I often divide customers into the Joosts and the Mariekes. The Joosts were like my Joost: technically skilled, wanting to know everything about a product, quickly bored, always looking for new things, and very early adopters. The Mariekes were more like me: a bit lazy, not technically skilled, just wanting to use a product because it helps. Mariekes are not eager to change anything once they’re used to a certain routine. 

When launching a new product in the WordPress ecosystem, the Joosts are the early adopters. They are the ones who’ll get enthusiastic about a new tool and try it out. They will talk about it; their feedback is vital to improve those first versions of your product.

The group of Joosts, however, is rather small. Too small to grow a thriving business. If you want to grow and scale your product, you’ll probably need to appeal to the Mariekes as well. And they might need a different marketing approach. They’ll probably respond better to another tone of voice; their problems might differ vastly from the Joosts. They could well use your product in a slightly different way. Mariekes usually don’t respond well to any technical terms.

To grow a successful business, you must reach both audiences – the Joosts and the Mariekes-. That is crucial. You can’t do without the Joosts because these customers will help you fine-tune your product. In addition, they’ll influence the Mariekes to become customers, too. 

Your business will take off once you’ve reached the bulk of Mariekes. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting the Joosts, though. Joosts are still very important, especially if many Mariekes use your product. Joosts are important in influencing, and you want them to remain positive about your product. You’ll need to keep adding cool new features and ensure your product remains relevant and of good quality; otherwise, the Joosts will take their business (and influence) elsewhere. 

In growing Yoast and helping to grow our new investments, we often talked about our audiences as though they consisted of Joosts and Mariekes. Of course, it is a major simplification, but it did help to keep us focused. To succeed, we must be aware that our audiences are diverse. And that means the marketing messages we send out must also be diverse. Appeal to both Joosts and Mariekes!

This article, Joosts and Mariekes, was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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