The subject of how quickly individuals adopt products is always one that interests me. The adoption process (to give it it’s right name) involves the attitudinal changes experienced by individuals from the time they first hear about a new product, until they adopt it. There are five stages of the adoption process…
Here the individual is only aware that the product exists, but they have no motivation to seek any information about it.
The individual is becoming more interested, but is still not really involved. Commercial sources of information are important at the outset.
The individual is now mentally applying the new product to their own use requirements, considering their results. They are actively thinking about whether or not this product is worth a go. Commercial sources of information become less important, as potential customers now seek to validate the proclaimed merits of the new product. Advice from opinion leaders is critical, as people value this more than simple promotional information.
The individual now wants to try the product, but will only do so on a limited basis (if possible). Individuals want to reduce as much risk as possible, and trial is tantamount to adoption. Only if use is satisfactory, will the individual progress to adoption. During the trial stage, marketers should attempt to make it relatively easy for an individual to try the product with minimal risk.
The individual now not only continues to use the product, but they adopt it in lieu of substitutes. Obviously the length of time we take to adopt, or whether we even adopt at all, is down to the individual. Early adopters are different from late adopters. The first 2.5% of adopters represent the innovators, the first customers to buy the product. The following 13 to 14% are what is known are the early adopters. The next two categories account for 68% of total adopters… First we have the early majority which represents 34% of total adopters, followed by the late majority representing another 34%. Finally we have the remaining 16 or so percent, who are the laggards. It is essential for marketers to fully understand the adoption process, and understand the best marketing practices for each stage. Getting marketing activities right will dramatically increase the rate of adoption, whist getting it wrong will result in adoption not being achieved.
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