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Published on Thursday 18th of September 2014
Picture the world ten years ago. How different was the technology we used then compared to what we use now? The Internet was just starting to become commonplace and smartphones and social media were barely in existence! It is difficult to imagine living in a world like that today. Yet if you had imagined the same thing a hundred years ago, a ten-year difference meant hardly any change in lifestyle due to evolving technology. It is clear that today's technology adoption rates are increasing much more quickly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. So, how come so many technology companies fail while overall technology adoption rates are accelerating? What is the differentiating factor that makes some successful and others a total failure? The answer is simple: marketing. How can marketing be used to accelerate new product adoption when technology adoption rates are increasing at an unprecedented speed?
Fortunately, there is an answer to this question thanks to a concept conceived at the turn of the 20th century that still applies today. This concept is Everett Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory.
The diffusion of innovations theory seeks to explain the process behind new concepts and technologies and their spread through cultures. The theory states that there are four main elements that influence the new product adoption rate:
- Innovation: an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual
- Communication channels: the means by which messages get from one individual to another
- Time: the time from which the innovation is first known until it is either accepted or rejected by a potential user and the innovation's adoption rate
- Social system: a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem solving to accomplish a common goal (an institution, a neighborhood, a nation)
Being aware of these four elements, we can now see how they can relate to technology adoption rates and discuss ways in which we can improve them. Let's examine each element and how technology companies can use marketing to reduce the amount of time it takes for their product to be adopted by their clients.
Innovation: What does your product bring to the table that isn't already there? In order for your innovation to create a buzz, it must present something new worth talking about. This is where a good positioning strategy can make all the difference. Your product must be perceived as new and special, whether it is a breakthrough innovation or not.
Communication channels: As a tech company, you must be able to identify the channels that your target market listens to. What blogs do they visit? Are they a member of a certain social media group? Do they go to a particular professional meeting or conference? You must learn how to use these and other channels to spotlight your innovation effectively if you hope to increase your technology's adoption rate.
Time: Thanks in large part to the Internet, modern communication channels have allowed for faster communication than ever before. To boost your new product's adoption rate, your marketing strategy and execution must be able to communicate your product's value as clearly and concisely as possible or risk being rejected by potential clients who are accustomed to instantaneous communication. Time is money. If clients don't understand your product within 5 seconds, they will move on and not look back.
Social system: Today, a social system encompasses more than just physical examples such as neighborhoods, offices or schools. More and more, there is emphasis on online social systems like review sites, forums, wikis, video/photo sharing sites, social networks and other digital communities. These are very powerful tools that can easily spread messages in a very short amount of time. You must choose your target market appropriately and decide how to incorporate these online communities into your customer acquisition strategy, all without ignoring the potential of traditional social systems.
The bottom line is that for a successful adoption rate of your new technology, you must invest in marketing that addresses all four of these factors. Technology is changing our world and is evolving at an ever-increasing pace. To be a technology manufacturer winner, you must find a way to keep ahead of this pace.
Contact Direct Objective Consulting to discuss your marketing challenges and learn how you can take advantage of the four elements of the diffusion of innovations theory and use them to boost your new product's adoption rate.
Published on Monday 30th of June 2014
July 1st is not only Canada Day but also the day Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) comes into effect. The law has been described by some as the most stringent anti-spam legislation in the world. The CBC recently reported that according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), most small-medium businesses are still unprepared to apply the new legislation. Prepare for the implementation of CASL by following these 5 steps:
- Verify whether you have received express consent from your Canadian contacts
CASL deals with two types of consent:
- Express consent (expires only when an unsubscribe request is received): a recipient explicitly asks to receive your commercial electronic messages (CEMs);
- Implied consent (expires after 24 months): a relationship exists but the recipient has not explicitly asked to receive CEMs.
- Ensure that all your electronic communications are compliant with CASL
Every CEM you send must:
(1) Be sent with consent of the recipient;
(2) Clearly identify the sender; and
(3) Provide an unsubscribe mechanism.
- Define a plan to gradually build express consent from your Canadian contacts
You have a period of 3 years to ask for express consent from your existing business relationships. Implement a plan to gain their consent to ensure you can continue to send them CEMs.
- Keep a database to monitor express and implied consent
Keep a centralized database to keep track of your contacts and their levels of consent. You must be able to prove consent by providing the following information:
- What type of consent was obtained;
- When it was obtained;
- The context in which it was obtained.
- Educate your team about the DOs and DON'Ts of CASL and enforce new policies
It is critical that your employees be fully aware of the new CASL regulations, their implications and risks. Learn more with our CASL DOs and DON'Ts document.