Heard the phrase “early adopters” or “Late majority”. Or “laggards”?
These are buckets we put people into when describing the stages when adopting new ideas.
Take smartphones for example.
Laggards are the last to adopt or use. And could be retired or elderly people. Smartphone “early adopters” are, broadly speaking the 16-45 years old with some cash wanting the latest and greatest technology.
Is it fair or right to bucket people? To label people?
Stereotyping people no. Not ok. As a way to narrow a group of people to match a world view your are trying to reach. Yes, absolutly.
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing & Selling Products to Mainstream Customers
The Bots are taking over ― Geoffrey A. Moore
Geoffrey popularized the concept of crossing the chasm. The chasm represents the challenge of selling ‘complicated’ products to people less technically capable or less willing to explore new things.
But, crossing the chasm is a metaphor for most business, not just technology businesses.
The first and easiest people to sell product to are those that get it. Understand immediately, see your ‘vision’ and value the benefits of having your stuff. Ideal customer types.
The tougher challenging is selling to people who don’t get it immediately.
Big business success will only happen when you sell to a bigger group of people.
This bigger group is the ‘early majority’ group. Geoffrey theory describes how high-tech products initially sell well, mainly to a technically literate customer base, but then hit a lull as marketing professionals try to cross the chasm to mainstream buyers.
The crossing the chasm problem is also evident with social networks. At some stage of adoption or sales, an inflection point is reached and the mainstream users begin to use the service. Facebook is a prime example, with Twitter, and RenRen being other social networks that have crossed the chasm.
Lifecycle Graph for Social Networks
There are few late majority social networks, few early majority and the most by numbers of social networks are the early adopters and the innovators.
- Late Majority – Facebook. it is the largest by numbers, most widely spread, but not the first
- Innovators – Google+, Foursquare
- Early Adoptors – LindedIn, Viadeo as professional networks; Orkut as a generalist network; VKontakte – Russia; Badoo a dating network
- Early Majority – Twitter, RenRen Chinese Qzone is close to late majority.
Which Crossing the Chasm problem in your business?