One of the biggest challenges for brands as they look to scale their marketing capacity is focus. The task to scale the marketing function is massive and it never ends when done right. We encourage our clients to build a strategic plan which they can adapt to as they move through time. When looking at consumer and b2b audience segments, it is easy to get overwhelmed by their size. On the other hand, if we want to implement a new technology or innovation throughout the company we need to find a small group of champions. Brands can leverage the “Law of Diffusion of Innovation” by using it to help clearly define external and internal audiences.
So how do you get started?
Geoffrey Moore introduced the “Law of Diffusion of Innovation” or the “Technology Adoption Lifecycle” in his book Crossing the Chasm. More recently Simon Sinek in his must watch TEDTalk, “Start with Why,” illustrates the importance of using the principle to establish connections in the early market. If any brand wants to reach mass market adoption for its product, service or idea it has to first win the Innovators, or 2.5% of the market. Then it must win the Early Adopters or the next 13.5% of the market. Only after winning the early market can you reach mass market adoption.
Winning the hearts and minds of the early market is only possible by clearly identifying a defined niche, or target audience segment, to focus your efforts. To reach mass market adoption, Moore references World War II military strategy and encourages brands to establish a “Beachhead,” which he defines as mass market adoption within a specific vertical market. Pick the easiest niche to conquer first.
The use of this principle at this phase is to establish focus. For illustration purposes, let’s assume your initial market has 1000 customers in it. Following the Law of Diffusion, you need to win the hearts and minds of the Innovators, or 25 people, before moving on to the Early Adopter market where you need to win an additional 135 people. In this example, your entire early market is comprised of 160 people.
Now we have a focus. By clearly mapping out your strategy in this way, it allows you to align product development with your marketing planning and sales efforts in a clear and measurable manner. The same principle applies to internal efforts. The end result is a strategic roadmap with measurable milestones.
Please contact us to learn more about how we use this principle as part of our strategic planning methodology to help brands scale their marketing capacity.