8. I Made My First Significant Sale…
I’m Ready to Conquer the Mass Market!
Differentiating early adopters and mass consumers is essential and being able to reach the mass consumers after getting some traction with early adopters is a critical milestone and a real challenge.
The adoption of new products evolve throughout the course of the life cycle of the product and is composed of five distinct types of adopters.
5 Distinct Types of Innovation Adopters
- Innovators (2.5%),
- Early adopters (13.5%),
- Early majority (34%),
- The late majority (34%) and
- The laggards (16%).
Reference: Diffusion of innovations by Everett Rogers
Each type of consumers has their particularities. For example, innovators are usually risk-takers, knowledgeable about your product, are excited by the possibilities of your new ideas and they can generally afford to pay the extra to get your product at an early stage.
Early adopters are the most influential people in the market, are somewhat risk takers and they have enough leadership to make their own decision. They won’t wait for the majority to adopt a product before jumping in!
The majority (early and late) are not risk averse, they tend to be skeptical, they have more limited financial resources and tend to spend their money wisely. They will usually wait to get some recommendations from early adopters and build their opinion on others’ experiences.
Finally, the laggards are last in line and their arrival is usually not a good sign as it is announcing a decline in the product sale cycle.
Being aware of these adoption phases is essential to target to the right audience in your marketing strategy and build the value around your product. Timely speaking, if you approach the majority before launching the product you are clearly wasting precious marketing dollars. That is to say, if you use one single approach and apply it to all phases, you will fail miserably to carry your product to the mass market.
Even though you made your first significant sales it doesn’t mean you are ready to attack the mass market, maybe you are currently selling to the 2.5% innovator group and have yet to reach the early adopters! This means you are still far from reaching the mass market stage and need to adjust your marketing accordingly.
It’s one thing to sell a high tech and expensive console to the most fanatic Gamers in town, it’s another challenge to sell the same console in every household in the country.
Many businesses never manage to reach the mass market although they make a few hundred thousand, even a few millions in sales.