I just read a great post from Sarah Nielsen at Buzzmetrics about a recent presentation by the Chief Marketing Officer of Virgin Mobile, USA. I didn’t hear the presentation, but Sarah recaps it in detail, including facts about the teenage persona the company targeted when it entered the already-crowded U.S. cell phone market a few years ago. But the best part is that this huge, wildly successful company attributes their success to "thinking like the customer". They know their product is a commodity so they don’t market the product. They identify their target market’s priorities, understand how they relate to new ideas and information, and deliver their relevant message where the kids are.
The size of the market and budget vary dramatically, but every tech company can use this same simple process to dominate a target market or segment.